Before, After, and Middle
I'm in the middle
Most of the time I post the final version of Joe’s photos. The After. Like the one above. I think Joe saw things in the final version at the same time he saw the Before (shown below.) I don’t think there was a “middle” for him. He saw what he wanted and kept working on what was in front of him until it emerged, full form, to present to the world as he thought it should look. I call it “What Joe sees.”
It doesn’t work that way for me. As a writer, I spend a lot of time in the Middle. I absolutely see the Before as the expression of what things appear to be. But my After, my view of how I want it to look, is rarely crystal clear in form initially. I spend a lot of time in the Middle—thinking, examining, looking at all sides, and collecting more information—before I’m ready to define my After.
And that’s where I am right now. While it may appear to some that I’m in nowhere land, that’s not an accurate description. I am somewhere—I am in the Middle.
Certainly no one would deny there’s a lot to look at right now that appears to be true and perhaps even unfavorable in nature. But “unfavorable” is a value judgment. A better way to express it might be, “not to my liking.”
And while I have an idea of where I am and the direction I’m headed, the final destination is not fully formed nor clear.
I will say from my previous life experience that once the way clears, I’m on it. I’m focused and present and determined. What I have also learned from experience is that it’s not up to me when that “way” shows up. It’s up to my muse, my guide, my spirit—whatever one wants to call it. I simply need to get out of the way and be patient.
Ha! Sometimes I think the last sentence of the previous paragraph is what I’m here in this lifetime to learn.
The issue with being in the MIddle is that the boundaries are so unclear. Before and After are far easier to define. Middle is mushy. It expands and contracts inexplicably. But I’ve gotten used to the uncertainty of it. It’s where I often reside.
I no longer fight it or demand that it resolve. I have learned some lessons in the seven decades of my life!
Now I allow it, if I don’t embrace it. It is. I am. That’s really all I need to know as I continue to practice learning the art of patience.
I hope you, too, can be patient. Patient with me. I feel something big brewing that I will share, as soon as it comes more clearly into form for me.
For today, please enjoy Joe’s photo artistry and clear vision.
Until next time…my best, Shelley