Wednesday, July 9, 2014


Eyes of the Elder (Georgetown Malaysia July 2014)

The faithful friends and others who read this blog will know that I am now in Malaysia. A few days ago I wrote a "Paul's Pictures is in Malaysia" post. In that post I wrote:
Stay tuned then for further updates on our Malaysian adventure. I intend to be busy while we are here; while I want to explore, and "be a traveller", I really want this to be a street photography trip. So, let's see how it goes!

And I have been busy so far. But, you know something? I have stopped wanting it to be a street photography trip. No, sorry, that's not quite right. I desperately want to spend all my days on the street photographing. But, despite being out and about a couple of times, I find I just can't. No matter, I thought; I will just catch up on some editing and completing photographs ready for sharing and putting up for sale. But, again, I just haven't been able to get going on this at all. I've done a bit, but not really much at all. Why?

To tell you the truth I think I am suffering from burnout. We have been travelling for eighteen months now, and I have been full on both working on the street wherever we happen to be, editing and posting, blog writing and posting, making slideshows. In other words I have been working harder than ever before, and I think I have, as they say, hit a wall.

So, here's what I've decided to do. I am a great believer in the Buddhist idea that the cause of suffering is desire, or clinging. And, as I said, I have been desperately wanting to be out there on the street making photographs.It is this desire coupled with my burnout or wall hittng that is causing me to feel bad. Therefore, I have decided now to not want to work (at least to aspire to not wanting to work). I have decided to devote myself more to being a traveler, to exploring this place with my partner. I have decided that even artists need a vacation, and a break from their work sometimes.

And it's not as if I am not thinking about my work, or not being open to new experiences, impressions, ideas and the rest. In fact, it just could be that a rest at this stage will lead directly to a new invigorated me with new and more ideas, better ways of working. Who can say?

How long will this vacation last? Well, I made these decisions yesterday and already today I told my partner that I was feeling better and ready to get back to work. She said, give yourself a chance, don't hurry. So, I won't. And I won't commit to any time frame either. 

Just like with my work itself, I will try to simply be in the moment, allow whatever is going to happen to unfold and I will try to just go with the flow. It might be days, or weeks. Or it could be that tomorrow I just won't be able to resist the urge to pick up the camera and get back to work. Like the actual work itself, the timing of when and where to photograph or not to photograph, is a thing to be decided by one's intuition and one's feelings for the time and the space, for the environment as well as one's mood and state of mind.

So, once again, stay tuned. 


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