Is this me I’m looking at?

Today I made a walk round the block with my daughter. On just an ordinary Sunday late afternoon with the intention to visit a garden in the neighborhood and after that drink a beer at the café where I spend some of my days while researching and writing on my new novel. I seem to run on one café per novel.

I took my photo camera with me as I do quite often these days. I knew the garden was beautiful and when I’m together with Eva I also know that inspiration might start flowing. The pictures simply get better with the right company and I just love it when she comes along taking her sketchbook with her to work on some sketches. I see her work improving when allow ourselves to discuss it.

photo © Eva Verheij 2012

And sometimes we take photos of each other. So she made a couple of photos of me and one of these surprised me when I saw the result. Because of the neutrality of it. Many thoughts went through my head and I couldn’t get a grip on what it is that brings emotion to me while looking at my own photo.

At the cafe it did some post production editing on some of the photos and I am quite happy with a few of them. There is a series of water drops on leaves with amazing colors and some surprises in them that I will publish on Facebook as a series. The title will be ‘Emma’s Tears’ because I associate the drops on the leaves with tears and the photos were taken at ‘Emma’s Hof’ (Emma’s Court) close by.

‘Naked’ photo © Alice Verheij 2012

And while looking at the result of this photo escapade in the early hours of the night one photo drew my attention. It took a while but then all of a sudden it hit me. It’s a photo of a tulip in the wind unveiling it’s inner parts through the gaps in between the flowers leaves and through the sunlight that falls on the flower. For some reason I felt a parallel between the photo Eva made of me and the photo I made of the flower. The words describing that parallel is: fragility and vulnerability.

Because that is what I see when looking at myself on the photo made by my daughter. I can see that I have aged over the past few years. Quite rapidly. I can see that I’ve lost so much of all the layers encapsulating me. Looking at this photo I see myself emotionally naked. All the non relevant things have gone and what’s left is a face that shows vulnerability. A fragile face with traces on it of experiences that have been difficult. An when I look into my own eyes I see pain and a kind of softness that does not connect with the image I had of myself. The image of a strong woman who can do it all and who cannot be brought down.

The past evening Eva and I watched the movie ‘Untouchables’ and I realized that it must be easy to get hurt in the situation of both main characters and that it must be just as easy for me to get hurt. Because I lack the defense against bad times. Maybe that’s the reason why my next book is about a young and beautiful woman who was a great model in Victorian times but who had to face the reality of life, the reality of growing old in a difficult situation.

Things seem so much connected these days. What I do and make, how I write, the photos I take and even the music I listen to and the films I watch. I feel like that tulip, vulnerable and visible. I guess that’s what happens to some people at a certain moment in their life. And I feel tired of the fight for my existence in the past decade.

Alice © 2012