During my absence much has occurred and though it was a difficult decision, I felt compelled to share this with you, so that you might understand that being away has been due to circumstances over which I have had little control.
The second half of last year proved challenging. I found myself going over some digital photographs taken back in 2005, photographs that allowed me to go public and tell my story of abuse and that I am a survivor of child abuse.
I had chosen to rework these images and post them to The Artist Within Us website, but this time in color, since the first showing in 2005 was as a set of duo-tones. What I did not realize, was that I would relive these memories and go through emotional turmoil and general withdrawal for several months. The result of that period produced notebooks full of words, expressing a gambit of emotions and feelings.
What made this even different from 2005, was that now I focused on writing down these memories and feeling, while—for the first time—being more objective, looking at the events from those of my abuser, also of my father, his job and affairs and how children were raised in Germany back in the nineteen-thirties. The shift in the approached my abuse, allowed for a different perspective and also a better understanding, while not excusing the abuser.
With memories striped bare, stolen innocence still cannot forget
I even began drafting a website Family Secrets Revisited for the purpose of posting from the notebooks and more images in the near future. When I, with fortitude shall return to the notebooks, including the many other photographs take in 2005 and which were never part of any previous exhibition, bringing it all to a conclusion in the form of a book.
Once November rolled about I briefly went into high gear, as I love to entertain for Thanksgiving. I was able to mask from family and friends even now what had been going on the previous ten weeks and when the month came to a close, I began to take a downward spiral, however it had nothing to do with the holidays.
I have been suffering from deep depression on and off since my emergency open-heart surgery in 2006, with depression in the first year of recovery being especially sever. However this time, the depths of depression were the worst with feeling of suicide and the medical treatment received this January for the depression, unfortunately made things worst.
After a little over a week I decided to remove myself off from treatment and as January came to a close, I began my slow recovery back to reality. Though things are steadily improving, I remain cautious. What has helped is that for more that a month I have been preoccupied with the neighborhood council, developing a web presence for our neighborhood.
Ms K being awakened from sleep - photographed using an iPhone
As the weather improves, I find myself going more outside, thinking about photography, especially since my son, Armont gave me an iPhone 4S for Christmas and just last week I started to explore the camera’s potential in creating iPhoneography images. What has also helped these last few weeks is that I have re-connected with a few photographers back in Germany who now had a new website, Foto-Live and invited me to join and share my work with a European audience.
Yet I am aware this increase in activity is only a diversion and does not address the issue of depression. I know there is no quick fix to my situation and I can only take one step at a time, while moving forward.
Finally, back in late January, I began making plans to retrace some of my previous steps that were taken back in 1956 when my parents immigrated to the US. We first settled in New York for a few months, then in a deep-burgundy colored Chevrolet to Los Angeles, part of the trip was on Route 66.
Though things will certainly have dramatically changed on Route 66 since 1957, I still have vague memories of New Mexico and Arizona, memories which have left an impact upon me all these years. Now I simply wish to go back and look at the relics before time and the elements take them completely.
Sadly due to the sudden and radical increase in fuel prices, I have reluctantly decided to table the trip. So I am settling for spending time exploring more closely the neighborhood and dismantling the last thirty years of boxes stored in my garage—unburdening my belongings and saving only that which has purpose or meaning.
Ms K sleeping deeply - photographed using an iPhone
I cannot foretell the future, nor make promises. All I can do is take each day one step at a time and try to keep myself busy with projects. Hopefully there will be also the inspiration and urge to create art and paint again.
So for now I thank you for having stuck by me and my faithful companion Ms K, who has helped me through these months of struggle. I know it will not be easy to reply to such a post as this, for one may not know what to say.
PS: I apologize for the earlier upload of this post. It was in error, since not all images were in place.