Later Funkytown

I’m not gonna lie, I’ve been in a creative funk the last few weeks. It’s been too hot to go anywhere, everything is brown and dry, I’ve been stressed out and having a hard time focusing on anything. Then Thursday afternoon I decided I’d had enough. I grabbed my camera and headed out to brave the oppressive 110 degree St Louis heat. I was determined (insert fist pounding on desk to reinforce the determination) to take 25 pictures. I didn’t care what they were of, or if they were decent. I had a shoot coming up and needed to shake the rust off the shutter.

I made it half a block and snapped two pictures before I headed home. Now I was hot, still in a funk, and mad. So Friday morning I asked my friends on Facebook for ideas. Two of my closest friends suggested some ideas that I really liked. I thought about them…and then cleaned the kitchen. I thought a little more about them…and then cleaned my desk. That’s when I called my mother and got some life advice. After we hung up, I stared blankly at the wall for 20 minutes and decided I’d “take the weekend off” to relax. I hung out with a friend, watched a movie with the boys, learned the CuddleUppets song and didn’t worry about any of the stuff I “had” to do. Sunday night I checked Facebook again and noticed that one of the two friends had added another comment that she was in a funk too and I wrote back we’d have to help each other get out of it.

On Sunday night there was a much needed thunderstorm and Monday morning was very pleasant. I decided to take a walk so I grabbed my camera and headed out the door. I started down my block and turned onto the busier main road. I was going over song lyrics in my head and thinking about how I needed to work on the July stuff when I saw a patch of tiny white flowers and three rather large bumblebees figure-eighting around them. The bees were flying from flower to flower and as they would land, the stem would bend top heavy from the bee’s weight. As they were both about to hit the grass the bee would take off and the flower would rebound back into the air and sway back and forth sideways a few times. It was a mesmerizing scene and so I did what any girl in a funk would do…I dropped down onto the sidewalk in my floral skirt trying not to draw the bees’ attention. As the concrete dug into my knees I realized I didn’t have my 200mm lens; I laughed out loud at how ridiculous this was and as I inched closer to the flowers I hoped that the white van driving by wasn’t my neighbor. I started to take pictures of the bees. I have to say, for bees they were very patient and cooperative; what wasn’t cooperating was my camera. I crawled around for a few minutes and then laid flat on the ground muttering under my breath about settings and “can’t this stupid thing just focus faster?” I took about 20 pictures which was when I irritated the biggest bee. I’m not allergic to bees nor am I scared of them, but I’m also not looking to make a bee mad when he’s got a swarm of friends close by. So what did I do? Ever so ungracefully, I tried to get up and run away…while of course, digitally documenting it. I have to imagine I looked completely ridiculous falling over my flip flops trying to run up hill from three bees that the people driving by couldn’t even see. I laughed at myself the whole way back to my desk. That’s when my friend in her own funk called me about our editing project. After we talked about pagination and even signatures, I shared my bee story with her. I told her about the picture of the ground as I ran away and she laughed and said I need to post it and then said something that hit me. She said “some days you just have to show up.” And I realized she was right. It doesn’t matter if I take one picture or 500, or if I like any of them. What matters is that I show up and try. Does it matter that today I didn’t catch that perfect image of a bee perched on a tiny white flower with beautiful bokeh? No, because I tried, I had fun, and I didn’t get stung. Maybe tomorrow if I put on my 200mm lens and crawl really sneakily by them I’ll get it. I just need to show up and try.

So this picture of the sidewalk and the blurry bee trying to get me is dedicated to MT. Because it’s time both of us say later to Funkytown…we’ve got stuff to do.

“Gotta make a move to a town that’s right for me, town to keep me movin’, keep me groovin’ with some energy” – Funkytown (Lipps Inc)

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