Friday, July 06, 2007


Tonight I've been listening to what I used to call my darkroom music - music I used to listen to while I was making my black and white prints of children. And I'm feeling somewhat sad that those times seem to be past for me. The darkroom for sure is in the past, and I don't feel too sorry about that. I now use Photoshop. But the whole child photography thing, and making enlargements of the very best, I have had no time for in a long while...and I'm not sure I'll ever have time least not to do it as seriously as I used to.

I supposedly have a candid child photography business. I even have a website: But the work I've been doing in the field of mental health has taken over. It seems so much more important than taking pictures. And yet tonight, as I listen to Cat Stevens and Roger Whittaker, I feel sad. I feel that I've left something behind that was always important to me.

I was so serious about this candid photography that I wrote a book about it - at least it was about 2/3 done. I even had a big New York publisher interested. The only catch was that we had to try to package it for the professional market since those were the only photo books that were making money for them. We couldn't at the time think of a way to do it. But this publisher was seriously interested in my work.

Now I console myself by thinking that at least photography is something I could do when I get to heaven. I sometimes think about heaven and hope that there would be challenges there - good things to do. I wouldn't want to get bored. Heaven would be no fun without work to do. I'm not very good at doing nothing.

Taking care of the stigma of mental illness would not be necessary in heaven. Heaven would be the most splendid place to be creative, with no strings attached. I wouldn't have to make money at it. I wouldn't have to please judges in photo competitions. There would be time galore to play at making beautiful pictures, pictures that tell stories about who I am and who I was. And I would paint. Perhaps I could paint alongside my father, a man who made many paintings while he was alive. He could give me some lessons. I could get to know him better than I did while he lived. We had never talked much, though I loved him very much.

But I must stop this now. It WAS good to share this stuff with you though, whoever might be reading this. And I hope in the next while to share some of my photographs with you. Because photographs hidden in drawers or in computer hard drives don't do anyone any good. I hope what I show you will give you some pleasure.


Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

What a wonderful post! I, too, have always thought that heaven is a wonderful place where there's lots to do.

Also, I believe I'll see my father and grandparents again. I sometimes write letters to my father in my diary and have asked him whether he's playing in any good tennis games in heaven.

But doing photography sounds great too!


Mel Avila Alarilla said...

You were really reminiscing. That's good stuff for our minds.

It's true. we could never fully devote our time to so many things at the same time. Some part of our routine will have to take a backseat as we attend to the more pressing matters, like calling the atention of society to the problem of bipolar sufferers and the unChristianlike attitudes of some Christians towards sickness and sufferings. Some self righteous Christians always see sin at the back of all these problems. God have mercy on them.

I'm sure the Lord will grant you more spare time to pursue your other csllings in life.

Thanks for the usual poignant and interesting post. God bless you more and more for all your selfless efforts to reach out to others.

shebee said...

awww, Marja that was a wonderful post. I'm sorry that you are feeling sad about things of the past (it's kinda funny, I've been feeling that way today too!) You don't have to give up on photography though - you can still enjoy the gift that God has given you...just do it less often. Unless you feel overwhelmed by the thought, I think you should give it a shot again. It seems to have helped you heal in a lot of ways. You are still young! Live your dreams! Love you!