We all need some means or another to relieve stress in our lives. Employment or lack of it can be a heavy burden on our minds. Spouses and children sometimes get on our nerves more than bosses or coworkers. Throw in the bills, needed home repairs, car problems, appliances breaking down, and poor performances by a favorite sports team (Liverpool, why can’t you win the premiership?) and one can easily slip into a depressed state. My stress is as bad as some and worse than others. An ill wife, and working two jobs that I love, but don’t pay very much can really kick a guy. When life kicks me, I need only to click the “on” switch on my Pentax K200D on an outdoor adventure.
Some may boast in “Retail Therapy.” In this economy, I don’t see how that is possible anymore. Consumerism is one of the great failures of our society. Those who think they can purchase their way out of the blues are only kidding themselves and will wind up broke and blue.
Professional therapist and clergy are helpful in many cases. There are situations where mental illnesses are diagnosed and someone should work in conjunction with a psychiatrist. People of faith can be pointed into scriptures and prayer that give comfort and healing to worried souls. My wife is bipolar (and has multiple sclerosis) and relies on someone who is well-educated and trained. I hit up a fellow minister whom I trust and will let me vent my frustrations.
But, there is something so satisfying about capturing an interesting image of the natural world. It is a pleasure enough to admire the rush of a waterfall, an eagle’s expert fishing skills, or a gorgeous sunset along a beach. There is no way to collect such grandeur in a mere 10 megapixles. And yet, those 10 megs possess the ability to stir up the memory of what was seen, heard, and felt at that moment. I can take them back to show others how beautiful the world is outside of our satellite TV and off of our Blackberries.
I don’t claim to be great at the craft. I enjoy the pursuit of collecting beautiful images. Over the years, my persistence has paid off in employment and meeting other photographers. But, I cannot forget the healing power of preserving a portion of a magic moment.