I had my current work deeply criticized the other night. By someone close.
>> It's just mediocre anymore.
>> You're not producing what you could be anymore.
I never thought that a few words could cut so deep. Like down to the very foundation of your being. What I've fought so hard to get through would now be something that I can't even relate to anymore. Those murky depths would bring me to the surface but I could no longer swim back down to touch them. I found myself fighting this. What am I now? Who am I now? Will I eventually just lose everything? Will I wake up one day and just say fuck photography? What will I do then? The depths of the creative mind are so vast. The place I was a few years ago was nothing I would wish upon anyone, and those words made me furious. It's like some meaty food critic pissing over his slice of gourmet veal. It's not tender enough. It's not flavorful enough. Like the animal didn't endure enough for you already? If my success is dependent upon suffering, I don't want it. There are other ways.
I'll be the first to admit that my work has shifted. But my entire life has shifted. It's not coming from a place of such pain. It would only be natural for it to be a little lighter, a little less.. complicated. I don't have this constant tugging feeling anymore. I honestly don't feel compelled as much to do self-portraiture. I feel a bit uneasy when I look back on old photos. They are so personal to me. They tell a story that few will ever know. I leave them up because it is my story. It's deep, some of it provokes discomfort, but it's real. I think I needed those years to probe and pick myself apart. Like the cat who catches himself in the mirror and is like PSHHHWHOA who the hell am I? I don't want to chase something that may have just run it's course. It's maddening. Our lives are in constant flux, changing and taking on different forms. I think it's when we start fighting and struggling against that, that it starts to cause pain and breaks us down. I don't know where this path is going to take me, I have high hopes for it, but if I wake up tomorrow void of all creative inspiration, I have faith that something else will fill that space. Something good.