I hadn’t walked in these woods before. It’s State land, not far from where we live, hundreds of acres of it. Being there, so far away from the sound of the road, houses and people, made me cry. I felt connected to the earth in a different way. Like the earth recognized me as a part of it.
It was the feeling of belonging.
As I leaned my back against a towering, straight pine and looked out into the wilderness then down at my feet planted on the ground, I had the urge to take a picture.
And it made me think of “selfies”. How this relatively new phenomenon is just a part of life now.
About 10 years ago I had a friend who had pictures of himself all round his house. He lived alone and the photos were of him by himself, at places he had visited or doing something special. At the time I thought it unusual. I had never seen anything quite like it.
But now most people have many pictures of themselves, most of them that they took. And they send them out into the world everyday.
It made me think of how some cultures believe that in taking a picture of them, they would lose their soul, that it would be held captive in the photo.
It seems to me, it’s just the opposite now.
That now, we are constantly taking pictures of ourselves not so much to say, “Look at me” (which is how I’ve always thought about it) but to say I am, I exist. Maybe what we’re really trying to do when we take those selfies, is hold onto our soul. To reaffirm our existence in the chaos of everyday life.
The more disconnected we feel from ourselves, the more necessary it feels to reclaim ourselves, by sending our images our into the world. Each picture shouting “This is me!”