I took a black and white photography class in college a bunch of years ago. Spent gobs of hours in a darkroom and loved every single second of it. My favorite part was watching the images slowly appear on the photographic paper as I swished the tray full of chemicals to and fro. I gotta tell you … magical stuff happens in a darkroom.
One of the photo projects assigned by the professor late in the semester was to produce a self-portrait. I know what you are thinking. That’s pretty darn difficult considering you can’t be in two places at once … being the subject of the photograph and holding the camera. For the kinda of photo the professor was looking for, it woulda been mighty tricky to go the route of tripod and timer. So basically, the assignment required setting up the shot of how you see yourself and then having someone else just push the camera’s button. Sounds simple enough until you actually have to look at yourself in the mirror and try to figure out just who the heck you are!
At the time, I was a non-traditional student. I started taking college classes when our youngest hit first grade, so I already looked pretty funny carrying around a backpack instead of a purse that resembled a diaper bag. I could play off that angle, but it sounded a little too simple … backpack over one shoulder and diaper bag over the other. But I was also a wife, mother of three, daughter, sister, aunt … all the awesome roles that go along with living the life. Nothing inspirational immediately came to mind for a photo.
Fortunately, the college project happened to be right around the time we decorate the house for Halloween. One of the things I recall pulling out of the closet was a Halloween quilt that had never quite made it to completion. The cute quilt top had been pieced years ago with a number of pumpkins and bats. It never made it to the final quilting/binding phase. So the closet was where it stayed folded neatly for many, many Halloweens.
It’s amazing what idea pops out when you rattle the rocks around in your head a little. I wound up taking the unfinished pumpkin/bat quilt and draping it over my head like a scarf. Just like the quilt, it was certain I was also an unfinished project. Heck, we all are! And the Halloween quilt … finished it … last year. I’m still working on me.