Feeling glum

I woke up this morning feeling glum. Not for any particular reason I could think of. But glum, nonetheless. So there I sat, feet up on my desk, keyboard on my lap, eyes burning a little from lack of sleep, hair feeling a bit lank and belly a bit slack, just feeling glum.

A gentle breeze sneaks in by the window behind me and tickles my neck. The sun is warm outside. All is quiet in the house. Children are at school, husband is at work. Work. Now there would be a reason for glumness. Work is not filling my life with joy at the moment. But that might just be because I’m not doing enough of it. Far too much time is being spent checking email, counselling friends – glum friends – on the phone. And then there’s all that time spent agonising over my portfolio: how lacking it is in stunning images, reworking it, revising the images I had spent long, long nights selecting and placing, revisiting the My Pictures folder, scrolling through hundreds, no, thousands, of images, trying to find one that will wow a prospective client.

And then there are the clients. The existing, loyal clients. Those nice people who give me work and then revise the brief after the job is done. Those who give me work and bargain me down, and then down some more, without a contract. Those who give me work and cancel the project. Those who give me work and don’t pay. And those who don’t give me work at all but keep mentioning the work that’s on the way.

And so my feet are on my desk and my eyes are burning. And I am feeling glum.

I didn’t go for my daily walk. Always a mistake. I did turn up at the page, though. Listed my grievances to the universe. Closed the journal and went to check my emails. Nothing. Nothing of any consequence at all.

I checked the Jobfinder, thinking that being a secretary might be preferable to being a freelance photographer. Maybe being an anything would be preferable to being a freelance photographer who doesn’t photograph, and who doesn’t get paid when she does photograph. Maybe. But paging through the Jobfinder, looking at those dismal career options was just too boring. If I can’t read about the job at its most attractive, I’m certainly not going to be able to clock in each day and actually do that soul-grating work!

So I pick up my camera bag and drive into town. I park at the edges of town and walk to the Company Gardens. Wonderful morning light rimming the trees with glowing green halos surround me as I step onto the well-worn brown path. The ancient tree trunks rise rough and dark and moist where the sun cannot reach them. Patterns of light and dark play along the walkway reaching out ahead of me, narrowing to a pinprick width in a classic perspective study.

I reach into my bag and feel for my camera. My hand folds around its familiar, solid body, and I lift it out. As I do so, I feel my spirits lift also. It’s as if my soul is attached to my camera: when it’s down, I feel down, when it’s lifted, so is my soul.

I take a picture or two. It’s not art, I know. I’ll probably delete them when I get home. But looking at the world through a viewfinder is looking at the world in a completely new way. It’s exciting, even when it’s not art.

There is very little space inside a camera bag for glumness.


~ by ReluctantRunner on March 31, 2008.

2 Responses to “Feeling glum”

  1. There is very little space inside a camera bag for glumness.

    -I love that sentence. Sometimes I feel exactly that way about my writing.

  2. i will have to agree… that last sentence is what i needed to read today i googled ” i feel glum” and found myself at your website… thank you for the read …. i hope you have a good day…

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