Confidence…or the lack thereof

My favourite part of Christmas is when it’s over. When the chaos of the big day and, in Canada, the next-to-big-day – Boxing Day, is done. I am making a dent into the leftovers, appreciating that the efforts of the big day brought enough gastronomic bounty to leave us enjoying turkey in every imaginable fashion between now and the New Year. My feet are up, cats curled not far from my comfy blankie that drapes me while I type. The tree is lit. It is at this moment that I am feeling truly festive. I feel blessed that my table was surrounded by loved ones – family and friends – that gifts were opened and found agreeable, the turkey wasn’t dry, and I had peeled enough potatoes (and then some). Cups of tea accompanied the shortbread and Captain Morgan attended with the big bags of chips and assorted cheeses, meats, and crackers. Some family attended and some intended but ended up with alternative plans. There are no more obligations to be fulfilled…no more expectations to attempt to meet. Hubby is out at the ski hill and I am enjoying the peace and my tree. I have been taking photos for a few years now and it is a fairly recent development  (yes, I meant it) that I am selling my wares. It is almost as recent an act that I even considered printing photos for my own walls, never mind gifting them to friends. A couple of years ago, I printed and framed photos for several family members – counting on the fact they would be kind. Then I moved on to printing and framing some for close friends. Then I took the big chance on using them as gifts for auspicious occasions like weddings where hypothetically my photo could end up as part of a divorce settlement – either fighting over who would get to keep or fighting over who should take – with the potential the city dump might be the ultimate recipient. Confidence was not my strong suit. It still isn’t, but it’s getting better. I no longer break out in a sweat just thinking of standing in a market stall. I look forward to the day I get my first internet order from a stranger but I know I will fret, when the day comes, that I am not worthy (channeling my inner Wayne and Garth). It still feels weird to accept money for my photos while it feels good to watch people walk away with them in their arms. I love the feeling I get when I realize someone is experiencing the same sense of wonder that I felt while standing in the middle of nowhere, alone with my camera and the Lady dancing. This year, for the first time, I sold photos that would ultimately become Christmas presents. They would be taken home, wrapped with care, posted through the mail or carried to friends and family – perhaps packed up in a sack like Santa. They would be placed lovingly under a Christmas tree to be pondered by the intended recipient (and others) until the time for gift opening began. I know that one was meant for a Chinese gift opening and the customer felt it would be a great hit. Photos went as far as Australia, England, Texas, and Ontario. A young man was excited about the photo he was planning on gifting to his grandmother. They don’t come nicer than that. Friends who purchased photos have already assured me the gifts were well received. But I can’t help imagining the faces of strangers seeing my photos peer out to them from behind colourful wrappings. Joy? Wonder? Puzzlement? Effusive thanks or perhaps the kind more reserved for finding a pair of socks under the tree? I’m hoping they brought joy and wonder. It is my deepest wish that these recipients will be inspired to visit their gift giver in an attempt see the Lady dance for themselves. To think that my decision to chase the Lady Aurora at any particular moment has brought some faceless stranger joy is far more precious than any coins changing hands. Christmas Day was busy with much to attend to, conversations to be had, people to be present with. It is today, December 27th, that I have the privilege of sitting and reflecting and feeling content – pondering the joy of people I will never meet. Perhaps my confidence is developing…one photo at a time. 

The View from Here…tree glowing, cat purring

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