About a week ago, the Manfrotto team asked me the question: What do you see from your window? It was an open brief, inviting me to challenge my creativity in this unique season of global isolation. So, I began to think about the question and break down the concept of ‘The Window’. How is this common structure influencing my current circumstance? The thoughts grew into a concept and the concept materialised into a script, and it’s only natural that a script would attract a storyline..
Another day has passed, I’m sitting at the same desk, working on my computer, outside, the world has shutdown, everything’s closed, everyones indoors, as the pandemic sweeps across the world. It seems like no one saw it coming. Keep moving, stay focused, stay productive, I keep telling myself, but the idea of adventure, keeps knockin’ on my heart.
The news is on, but I’ve, pretty much tuned out now, I’ve learned enough to know that things are not as they seem. The window draws my attention again, the outside world.. seems like a fond memory now, that lingers in my thoughts.
Photographers like me spend most of their lives in isolation, but when it’s not voluntary, it’s different. We can unknowingly become slaves to our pursuits, and we don’t even realise it unless we are forced to stop. We seem to just keep running, blissfully unaware that there’s no finish line in sight for the motive that is fuelled by, self-gain.
You see, the window has two sides to it, we always look at what’s on the other side, wanting more, dreaming of more, needing more, but such thoughts often lead to a mentality of, never having enough. As I look beyond the window, I’m reminded that the open skies cannot compare to an open heart, fresh air is not as necessary as a fresh perspective. We can chase ideas and gain the whole world but it means nothing if we cannot learn to appreciate what we already have, what already exists within the four walls of our apparent confinement.
There’s silver lining to every storm, and every storm will eventually pass, but I want to this to be a reminder, that while it’s dark we’re more able to identify what it is that gives us light, and there’s an opportunity to shift our focus onto the things that do. Our faith, our hope, and our love, I’ve been told that’s all that remains in the end.
As life slows down, I’m finding myself becoming, more grateful, grateful for the freedoms that I’ve known, for the opportunities I’ve been given, for the family and friends that I have, and for the love that I’ve received.
The mountains will wait, the waves will still be breaking, but when the window opens again, we’ll have a choice to see what’s outside differently. Life will be richer, our gratitude, deeper, our eyes brighter, and our hearts, more thankful.
This, is my isolation.
Depending on the lens in which you view something through, confinement, isolation, quarantine, whatever you call it, can mean one thing to someone, and an entirely different thing to another. Restricting my movements hasn’t really restricted my creativity, in fact, this time has been a blessing in many ways. As a creator, I’m always visualising the next thing, the next wave, the next shot, and rarely do I remind myself to stop, and prioritise some of the more precious things in life. “The mountains will wait, the waves will still be breaking”, the script says, essentially we are not ‘missing out’ on anything, except for the scenarios we manifest in our own sporadic head spaces. We can choose to take control of our thoughts and the language we use during this challenging time by directing our energy and focus onto what we can do, not what we can't do. We may not be able to do the 'normal' thing that we are used to, instead we are forced to choose an alternative way to fill our day, and that can be a very constructive thing, even a blessing if we choose to see it that way. Thoughts become things, so manifest ideas in your headspace that will create healthy patterns and routines to guide your days. If you begin to miss the other side of the window that was once a freedom, then stop looking out that window, feed your eyes and mental space with the things that are within reach, you may just find that they are the most precious things you have.
We can also start our day by counting our blessings, not our burdens. By doing this it inspires a feeling of gratitude, instead of restriction. We can come out of this season better than ever, the choice is ours.
I hope this short film inspires you and uplifts your spirit in this season. Enjoy and share with your friends and loved ones.
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