Absence of Confidence

The theme for this week”s SAPCC #4 photo challenge was “absence”.  Oh, yes.  I’ve got me some of that.

It is amazing just how much room “absence” requires when the absence is of confidence.   And, by the looks of it, I’ve got some company.

It is not like Auden’s description of suffering going on privately while someone else is eating or opening a window or walking dully along.  The herd is on the move.

I took a trip to the Canadian Rockies in 1989-Banff, Lake Louise, Calgary and we stopped at what was called the Buffalo Stampede.  It was a tourist stop next to a relatively small cliff.  It was explained that in the past, the most efficient way to hunt buffalo was to herd them in such a way that they would all run (stampede) in one direction and then the hunters would simply wait for the buffalo to run off the cliff and fall to their deaths.

Gulp.  That stop bothered me for days into my trip.

I’ve been feeling a bit buffaloish these past weeks and decided to invest in creativity to get me out of the herd, if at all possible.  Some days it even works.

For this week’s deadline (and I heart deadlines), I took a photograph of an abandoned home with boarded up windows of plywood.  I thought the photograph of the house would be it.  The roots of this global crisis appear tangled in plummeting real estate values so it seemed like a logical image.

Then, I started looking more closely at the boarded windows.  There were ghost pigments of color and text from old newspapers that apparently had been used in blocking off the windows as well.    Wind, snow and rain over time had allowed the pigments to bleed into the plywood.

This suggested to me the final idea of putting the dramatic and graphic headlines from this previous week onto the boarded up windows themselves.

It doesn’t help my 401K but it is going into my portfolio as I begin trolling for freelance work.

Creativity is the one investment under my sole control.

Ah, control.

As Martha Stewart might say:  Chocolate chip cookies, Champagne, Control–all very good things.

©Pat Coakley 2008


9 comments on “Absence of Confidence”

  1. stunning imagery. I love this photo. It tells the entire story right there. *hugs*

  2. Awesome smack of reality.
    I love textures from the chipping paint on the wall as well.

  3. Oh Pat. I worry about you! Apart from the stunning image/ relevant headlines/ all-round clever Pat-ness, you sound so down. Time for an Epic prod (with hugs, of course) – Creativity Creativity Greetings Card EMPIRE!!!
    Lots of love to you. Chin up. We will all get through this.

  4. Thanks, Amber girl. When you get your camera, you can begin to tell your story, too.
    Russ, creator of themes and lover of textures from chipping paint. I wished this template allowed for showing more photos within the text, but it doesn’t. The whole house was fascinating to me. Next week’s theme: Fur! Makes me laugh out loud just thinking about me trying to be nice to a cat. I hate them. Probably, won’t go THAT route. We’ll see. The only thing I promise: NOTHING ABOUT FINANCIAL CRISIS.
    EPIC, Do you know I’ve gone every day to the library for several hours at a clip to read the two reference books I bought about the greeting card industry! So, full speed ahead on that idea. I am down but I’m not out by any means. I’m not living above my means or have any worries that way. IT’s just down the line that one worries. It’s the down side of singleforareason, in historic down times like this, you feel a bit more vulnerable when you are totally IT. Although I just got off the phone with a retired teacher and his wife, & they sound like they both freaking out. Believe it or not, I just calmed them down! So, worry not and thanks for the support. I’m putting your encouragement to work!

  5. This photo says so much and at this time, saying so much is some kind of exorcism.
    Where amidst reality that’s been careening in this direction for years, and a desire to feel we’ll prevail, do we really dwell?

    I’d say, right now, no one knows.

    What I DO know, is that you have ideas to market and visual representations of those ideas.
    So while the herd of buffalo stampeded off the cliff ( I gasp at that thought and knew about it- horrors…), YOU will be the springbok who breaks from the herd, and jumps in the opposite direction.

    Interim suggestion is to embrace our schizophrenia. Some days, it’s dark and bleak, other days, it’s still bleak but we find laughs and macaroni with 4 cheeses, ( f–k carb counting now).
    The direct inverse ratio is Dow is Down, Cheese is UP.

  6. Russ stole my first thought: texture. Rich, glorious texture. By why do you force me to think about economics? I’m on vacation, dammit!

    And I would say buffaloish.

  7. Pat, your buffalo metaphor was amazing. I was wondering where you were going with that… Great story telling and such a great job with the headlines. I see you are the challenger who is going to keep upping the ante here :) I had your “driving rain” image in my mind when I was thinking about the “absinthe” idea. I was thinking I would show different stages of absinthe becoming absent :) Alas, I took a trip to the beach instead and wound up with some other things.

    A portfolio… I should work on one of those too :)

  8. BL: Leave it to you. Doing this post (and others) is like an exorcism. Is that what creativity is? Whatever “it” is, I’m not forgetting this lesson. Sounds like you are waking each day with similar challenges. Might you take some photos and post them whilst the next painting is in progress? I get seasick now, everytime I see that schooner!
    MT. Brooks, “buffaloish” is perfect. I’m changing it right now. No more financial woe posts, I promise. I’m thinking about pirates. Enjoy yourself, dammit. Someone has to.
    Breathlessmini, your entry was so enjoyable and poignant all in your own unique way! Yes, putting together a portfolio really is a good idea! SEe you next week. Fur. Now, that makes me laugh but I have absolutely no ideas as of now.

  9. Sorry life has kind of um stolen my ability to read more regularly and thrown a few curve balls that were way out of left field (is that how you say it hmm)

    I absolutely adore this photo, as all have said it tells a story, a very profound one at that. Hang in there!

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