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  • Dee Lister

Surrender to shadow

14 June 2021

A few words on context

The words and images in the video were created earlier this year at a difficult time in March 2021.

Personal 'stuff' and seemingly unrelenting UK lockdowns weighed heavy on aching shoulders. For this reason the images and words aren't a feathered float across picturesque landscape typically seen in my blog posts. This piece is raw and far from easy to share.

We're now in June and facing new challenges. I'm finding the whole 'emerging from lockdown' situation has welcomed new anxieties (or indeed old ones) to the surface. It's a relief to be free again to wander to even more wild places. Walks in nature have such a precious place of healing and wonder in my everyday life, as perhaps is the case for you as well?

I'm blessed to have the time, space and resources to be able to explore concepts, ideas and experiences through art. No doubt this video is an attempt at that, as I expect all my creative work is. It's also my way of constructing meaningful personal stories, and doing this is not only cathartic but healing.

Telling stories of our lives can be difficult to do. When we're in the middle of living chaos and struggle this brings us to whatever we're experiencing in that moment. It's only with time to process do things start to make sense. As Margaret Atwood wrote in the book 'Alias Grace':

When you are in the middle of a story it isn’t a story at all, but only a confusion; a dark roaring, a blindness, a wreckage of shattered glass and splintered wood . . . It’s only afterwards that it becomes anything like a story at all.

Living our stories then can be a 'wreckage' or a murky 'splintered' mess like 'shattered glass' or 'splintered wood'. To put this another way, when in the middle of a story it's not a coherent tale but rather a whirlwind of thoughts, sensations and emotions that's most prescient and relevant.

This understanding could be applied to the 'story' told through the video about a day in March that I'm only now able to tell a coherent story about.

A few notes on method

I've crafted this blog as a video in order to explore new ways to bring you, the audience, along with me as I move through nature. I love the idea of creating multi-sensory works and using video shuffles my steps closer to combining photography with spoken word or performance art.

I hope you get better sense of movement and flow from this new method than in previous posts. I'm still learning how to put things like this together so please excuse the amateur nature of this video created in MS Powerpoint. Perhaps next time the quality will be better and I'll have acquired more knowledge so audio can be added.

I heartily welcome hearing about your response to this post if you feel drawn to share this.

Thank you for watching/reading.


Footnote: The images in the video were created with a Canon 200D + Canon EFS 18-135mm f3-5.6 IS STM lens. Edits in Lightroom.


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