Seasonal Affective Disorder
Collaboration with Alisa Le
I’ve noticed a considerable change in my normally sunny disposition. It’s like I just turned the corner, flipped myself off, and I am now left to wonder who the ass is that just so rudely disrupted my day. I blame it on the weather.
In my hometown of Phoenix, the seasons are primarily marked by varying levels of heat; some tolerable and others downright deadly. There are not falling leaves, melting snow, blooming flowers, or misty mornings to differentiate the change of season. The nights get longer and the sun hides her weary face. Each year around this time I start to feel a bit uneasy with the changing climate in anticipation of the heat breaking and trading in my tanks for cozy sweaters and tall boots. It is a bit of a love-hate relationship. The sun feeds my spirit; it warms my face, and uplifts my senses. It is my comfort, kind of like the old ragged blanket I have carried around my whole life.
When I am stripped of that warm blanket, I am left naked and vulnerable. It is a confusing surge of excitement for the new and anxiety for what is gone. I have noticed a considerable change in my photographs and level of enthusiasm for creating them. It seems I go through waves where I can’t get my ideas out fast enough or it just feels forced. Lately, it is certainly the latter. I have started a number of pictures and then deleted them in sheer disgust and with slight resentment. Why is it that sometimes it is so easy and others it is like pulling teeth?
This is my first year being involved with Instagram, or any sort of artistic community for that matter. I have noticed over the past few weeks that maybe I am not alone in this. The pictures appearing in my feed have slowed down a bit. The ones that pop up for me to view are raw, emotional, and a bit heavier than those of the lighthearted summer weeks. When I mentioned in one of my posts that I was feeling uninspired and “blah” I found that others had the same feelings. Many of those that I follow have posted notes stating that they are taking some time off, reflecting or just plain unhappy with their images as of late.
Lately I have been thinking more about the scientific validity of the power that nature has over us. I don’t think it is any secret that with physical darkness brings feelings of sadness, self-reflection, and that dreary feeling. The change of season directly correlates with a change of mood. I am not any kind of scientist but this time of year, when the seasons are colliding, I can feel the tension in the air. It is like a heavy veil lying over the earth. Perhaps I feel it more this year because I am more connected with other “artsy” type folks.
I am in awe of how an image created by another person can resonate so deeply in my psyche. Fall arouses anticipation of pumpkin spice, delicate cashmere, neon leaves, and sepia skies. I am thrilled at the idea of seeing the shift in seasons through the eyes, or lens, of others.