I take an August Break. Inspired by the inspirational Susannah Conway and in the company of a group of brave and interesting women from far flung places from across the world, I commit to publishing one photograph each day for the 31 days that make up this late summer month of August.
day 01 | morning light
I have commenced many such challenges before. I have failed even more. But the simplicity of this one that Susannah sets is achievable, manageable. Enough. One enticing prompt each day. One simple photograph each day. I begin in the midst of a pressured week of work related pressure but I remain committed. The simple focus of publishing one photograph each day is reassuring. A connection to myself and my creativity at a time of high pressure and demands from many pressures that take me away from my connection to myself.
day 02 | leafday 03 | handwritingI cheat. I am challenged to take one photograph each day but I cheat shamelessly on this challenge. I return to my albums, my archives, and I publish instead favourites that fit the prompts that Susannah sets. I do not berate myself that I cheat. Instead, I focus on the fact that I enjoy this challenge. I enjoy finding photographs from the past that fit the shapes and colours of the prompts that Susannah sets. The days pass.
day 06 | I’m reading
day 08 | favourite taste
Our lives are so different, this group of women who have come together to share a moment, a snapshot of one important-to-us aspect of our daily lives that resonates with the prompts that Susannah provides. I am fascinated and delighted at the diversity and variety of images that are shared. My favourite taste, unashamedly, is red wine. Others are healthier with rich, ripe strawberries and tart, tangy lemons. Early morning coffee is liked by many and chocolate universally adored. We live in busy inner cities, beside warm golden beaches, at the foot of gentle rolling hills, nestled amongst green leafy woods. We do not share our ages, our body shape, our occupations. Day 23 will challenge us to reveal our faces but until then we reveal few details. Our stories are told through the images we share, representations of the wider lives we inhabit, chosen with care to interpret our interpretation of the prompts we are given.
day 11 | green
I am delighted by the creativity of the women from far flung places across the world who take this challenge with me. Their own creativity, their own sharing of their own lives is inspirational and enormously reassuring. Across the far flung places of the world are other women interested in exploring their creativity, their sense of self, their connection to their lives and the world around them. Australia. Belgium. England. New Zealand. Scotland. Switzerland. United States. Where we are from is a bonus. It is the connection and sharing that I connect to, the creativity that taking part in this Autumn Break brings forth in each of us.
day 12 | a secret
I anticipate. I look ahead and anticipate the images that I will choose to accompany the prompts for the coming days.
day 13 | six o’clockday 14 | love isday 15 | unicornday 16 | breatheday 17 | bedroom window
I will be sorry when this connection comes to a close at the end of this August Break that we take together. There has been much support and admiration for the images that we share together and I learn that there is much to be gained from reaching out and connecting with others who are also reaching out, keen to share and express the colour and vibrancy of their lives. I have no doubt that each of these brave and interesting women have their daily and monthly and yearly challenges – I know there have been many along my own life path – but for the one moment that we share our images, for the one moment that we appreciate what each other has shared, we are united in appreciation of the gifts that life brings us. For, even in the midst of the many challenges that inevitably come our way along our life path, there are also and always many gifts. The secret is to stand back, as I and these other brave and interesting women do as we take the time to take a photograph and share it as part of an August Break, and allow that appreciation to be our focus, at least for that one special and sacred moment, and longer if we can.
More about the inspirational Susannah Conway can be found at: www.susannahconway.com