I was a scrapbooker. I would dream in pictures. I focussed on taking and editing pictures that could tell a story worth a thousand words. And I put them together in combinations that transformed them into more than the sum of their parts. A well-chosen title would accompany these photos to fill in any gaps, physical or metaphysical . Song lyrics or a pithy quote frequently supplemented the story, but were only secondary to the pictures speaking for themselves.
I always knew that my scrapbook layouts lacked what all the "professionals" considered absolutely critical: Journaling. I was failing to accompany the photos with the story "in my own words".
Well, poppycock. I knew that my pages spoke volumes. Carefully chosen embellishments appeared to be placed effortlessly, belying the true deliberateness of their inclusion. The layers of details often told more than the face-value story; the emotional essences were undeniable.
I loved what I was creating. I was cutting and pasting myself into those treasured books.
And then I started blogging.
I began approaching family history from the completely opposite direction.
Now words became the paints on my palette. The stories were now told in the traditional way, with an occasional photo included to lead the reader into the written word.
I am conflicted.
I feel pulled from both directions.
Is there room in my life for both mediums? When I look at the amazing collection of photos I am accruing from an eventful summer, my old self feels compelled to return to the days of photo-stories. And yet, I love the challenge of discovering the hidden stories and life lessons that blogging encourages.
Perhaps the new challenge lies in utilizing both skill sets. Can they combine to be as powerful, or do they cancel each other out? Muddy the water? Over-stimulate?
Progression is what drives life. When we fall into predictable patterns we fail to grow. Sometimes our challenges motivate and require a shift in paradigm; sometimes it comes as a result of having squeezed everything out of the old one and needing a new bucket to dip into.
One thing I know about myself is that I am not content with the status quo. I must be moving forward or my mind, my creativity, my passion become stale, lackluster, and tiresome.
The only certainty is that change comes.
Aren't you curious to see which direction Ardith's Quest will take next?
I am too.