A life sometimes lived via the senses ...

I love people.  Each person I meet seems like an interesting, richly-textured book and I do adore reading. 

I love the parties we give at our house, enjoy bringing all the people we know together in one place but one of my ongoing works of fiction is about a woman who lives alone in the mountains with her dog. In the second storyline, she lives alone in Italy ... with her dog.

When I wandered out into the world, I was surprised to have people describe me as 'empathetic and sympathetic' ... immediately upon meeting me.  I didn't recall that happening back in New Zealand.  Obviously not everyone out here feels this way but it happens often enough to startle me.

Recently my psychological boundaries were described as porous which fascinated me because yes ...  The definition was a relief, in a way, because it could be said I don't come from a culture that is famous for its sensitivity.  It was mock or be mocked while I was growing up.  You had to learn to be fast to avoid the witty verbal slapping that is the affectionate norm.

I learned to laugh off my sensitivity, excusing it as a writer's imagination however when it comes to photography, I am finally learning to be grateful.  Those same senses I wish I could dull down a little in my everyday life come into their own during a photography session.

Photography, for me, is all about being completely and utterly engaged and present.  You need to be able to sense your client's needs.  If you're on a documentary photo-shoot it's more about disappearing completely while working but in portraiture, it is all about the attempt to capture the relationship between the photographer and the subject.  It's about trust and respect.  And there is that magical moment when you just know that they're with you.

I photographed these guys as part of the 24 hour family photo-shoot I recently completed and I think this was 'that moment' ... the moment when they relaxed into the shoot.  When they saw my respect and decided to trust me as their photographer.

This morning, I emerged from a nightmare at 5am and I fell straight into one of my anxiety attacks.  I've been under a lot of a pressure these last few days.  So many stories that don't get told here but that weave their way into my life and bite me anyway. 

To come back from one feels like making my way back down from Mt Everest without oxygen ... everytime.  I know the way down but, quietly, I'm never sure I will find my way because lordy ... I'm having an anxiety attack.

I love this sensitivity.  I don't ever want to lose it because my work needs it but I'm learning to recognise and manage these funny little traits of mine.  Let's see how it goes. 

It's 10.46am and I'm back from the mountain ... ready for the day now.