Ok, Jordan, hold on. You can do this.
I just exhausted myself picking a theme and header image for this. I haven’t even arrived at any sort of meaningful content yet.
You can do this.
Four years ago, I fancied myself artistic. I was idealistic, single, and had lots of time on my hands. Why not write some poetry, take some pictures, write creatively? Why not call myself good at these things, and glow in the adoration of those who thought my pictures looked neat and that my words were, well, maybe not poetic, but at least somewhat honest?
Then, I moved into the Downtown East Side of Vancouver. I promise not to talk about this often, but I think it is important. And it’s on my mind right now. Self-editing has never been a strong suit of mine.
When I moved into the DTES, something snapped. It became harder and harder to pick up the camera. It felt like work rather than pleasure. It was so strange. The same thing began to happen with my writing. I was seeing so much, experiencing such a unique slice of life, and yet I seemed to be utterly incapable of capturing it with either words or pictures. It was if God was saying ‘No. This is for you. Watch, listen, participate, but don’t record. This is for you.’ And I suppose he was right. He almost always is.
After spending a year in the DTES, being transformed by the addicts and criminals that I now call friends, meeting my wife, and having my life completely changed, I returned to my home on the west coast of Vancouver Island. I expected that my creative juice would come rushing back the moment I left the DTES. It never happened.
And so I waited.
It has been two full years since I left the DTES, and three since I felt really ‘creative’. I am slowly realizing that what I had before was perhaps not true creativity, but rather the energetic buzz of a man in his 20’s trying to prove himself on an artsy college campus. During the past four years I have discovered other passions – husband, advocate, organizer, scholar. ‘Artist’ slowly slipped to the bottom of an ever-growing pile. Every time the opportunity arose to do some creative writing, or to take my camera out, it just felt like too much work.
I have often battled with self-doubt, as well. I often feel that I have nothing to contribute to the conversation, that my pictures couldn’t possibly compare with those photographers that I truly admire. And so, online at least, I keep to myself mostly, commenting only on a few blogs or facebook posts, but rarely authoring anything myself.
I have tried to change this in the past. I have tried to set a schedule, to force myself to write, but up until now it simply hasn’t worked. I’m hoping that this time things will be different. The bedrock of this blog will be what I decided on last year, but never followed up on – I will blog through the Bible, as I read it. I think the way I will do this is that every other day I will switch from New Testament and Old Testament. By the time I’m finished, I wil have gone through the NT at least a couple times, I suppose. The amount I tackle each day will depend on the energy I have, and on how much I have to say about the passage.
Interspersed with this I will have some pictures, some other thoughts, some rambles, and some rants. I’m actually excited about this, and I hoe you will join me. I’ll keep going this time.
You can do this.