Tag Archives: mental health

Film connection.

I know, months ago I had promised not to make a post about photography here, but what can I do?, it’s part of my life.

Before the very tough end of December and almost all January I had some chance to load some film on a camera I had just acquired. Why film?, being used to shooting only digital for almost 12 years, getting back to film requires more attention from my mind, focusing more on what I want to include in the frame and what not, composing better, being more aware of light, being more in the present moment, something that is so refreshing for mind and soul, so good for mental health.

These few images are from the roll I used to test the camera so I was even more concentrated on the things I was doing to get consistent results and to use the most of the camera’s features. Since I haven’t had the chance to travel for several months now, I like to share with you this brief selection, most in line with the theme that gives more joy to my soul, little details of the closest to Nature I have at hand close to home.

If you want to see more of my photography, film or digital, please go to my photography blog.

Kodak Pro Img100 Test F28a_FuzzJuegaKodak Pro Img100 Test F26a_FuzzNmesaKodak Pro Img100 Test F18a_PapayoKodak Pro Img100 Test F17a_Mano&chilesKodak Pro Img100 Test F16a_HueFritos

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Sparks igniting the warmth of the Holiday season.

Among darkness the light shines brighter. During the past few weeks I didn’t make much connection with the Christmas spirit, inside some of the bitter cold that have left the hard times I went through several weeks repeatedly along the year was still very much present in my soul and, though feeling that way is something I don’t like at all, it was a fact, and not a lot to do about it.

A few days ago a really dearest person invited me to go to a Mexican posada, a festive gathering to celebrate the journey of Virgin Mary and Jose to Bethlehem for the birth of Jesus. The songs, the breaking of the piñata, the lights, those bright and sparkling lights burning… I started to feel some very nice joy, a very warm, enjoyable joy. All of that united to get myself , my soul, my heart, into the vibe of the season.

May this holiday season, whatever you believe in, bring a lot of warmth to you and your beloved ones’s lives.

Best wishes, and Merry Christmas!!!

Un espinoso lugar…

No, no subo hasta el cielo, ni se ha roto la jaula…

Eslabones de infames cadenas aglutinados por sangre y pellejo en algo que se parece a un cuerpo mantienen el soplo vital de millones de células tercas, soplo que ancla mi existencia a lo terreno, a lo no sublime, a las miserias humanas… ja!, “humanas”…

…las horas, los minutos, cada uno una disyuntiva entre dos planos…

Pesados andrajos de carne y sombras, dilúyanse , evapórense en pencas de maguey, transmuten en vapores de savia y dejen atrás las espinas de ese espinoso lugar…

…ese lugar llamado vida…

A foot in front of the other 

Is it possible to see the light after being crawling into darkness?

It’s been about a year since a mind collapse struck me the hardest in November 2016 after almost another previous year the symptoms that something wrong was about to happen were arising. I’ve learnt so many things, I’ve been through several ups and downs, feeling better and then relapsing… at times I’ve felt as if I could fly, at times I remember that even placing one foot in front of the other is like hauling around a ton of iron chains…

Photography has been a translator of my mind and soul during the hardest times, in the following days I will be sharing here and on my personal instagram account a sort of photo essay which includes many of the images that tell my journey.

Still some of winter remains in August

EMP_20160708_015-2

Now the summer is full on. Greens are everywhere, rainy nights, beautiful mornings, still inspired by a music album by great icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds, from whom I’ve come to know and listen his great music in the recent months, I have the ability to realise that there is some of the past Winter roaming in my bones, in my thoughts…

At times, the colours are not so bright, the Sun shines outside, but my skin filters some of its light and warmth…

An hour and a half for feet fixing.

How long can it take to take care of a few toe nails?

No, my blog has not turned into a fashion-lifestyle kind of blog!!!

Simple life events can take on a new level in the mind and heart when seen in context. In a recent article I paid homage to my brother’s endurance and everyday strength coping with the sequels of his motorcycle accident long ago with a series of images from I think 2006 until the recent months. In a way, this is a follow up of 27 later.

The event that triggered the idea, well, what really put it in motion, ’cause the idea has been rolling in my mind for years, is the minutes I spent with him in one of his frequent visits to my parents’s house, where he spends one or two nights almost every week when his work implies him to visit some clients in Mexico City (my brother lives in Cuernavaca’s suburbs ) or further ahead to the north of the country, and in that way he can spend some time with us. On a morning at the beginning of last December he was taking the time needed to take care of his feet in order to still be able to walk, and get them rid of hard skin and calluses from certain areas, and mainly from his toe tips that are a consequence of some deformations caused by the way he walks since he had that awful accident 27 years ago. The task is by no means easy, and it takes time, he even has to be answering calls from his office and clients in the meantime!!

Feet fixing 4

For the majority going through feet care is nothing extraordinary, and what really struck me the deepest that morning (not that I don’t think about it every time I watch my brother struggling harder) is the extra effort and time that takes for him something most people take so easily for granted, something so easy as walking.

As I said  before, my brother’s spirit for life is a great inspiration for me, and when he comes and stays here it seems that days are clearer! When I made those pictures that day I was really deep into darkness, in a state of constant fear and confusion because of depression and anxiety even though I was already under the watch of a psychiatrist and a psychologist working in therapy. And again, he was here with his everyday life, so I was a little better, and to complement that, since one of my best therapies is photography I was carrying my camera here and there, and when I contemplated the scene, my brother’s actions, the light entering his room and falling on him, reflecting on what was going on at those moments, being more sensitive as I am, especially in times of mental crisis like that one, I grabbed some slices of that reality, from those I made a selection, which I’m really glad to share here.

Feet fixing 2

Feet fixing 3

Feet fixing 1

I’m so fortunate to make use of camera and images to deal with the world around me!!

Feet fixing 5

MHAM in the spotlight!

How I really think days should have 240 hours!!

I guess you are scratching your head wondering about the meaning of MHAM, just a minute!!!

Will to Live MHAM

Recently the days are passing by so fast, and with so many things to do!! Half of May is already gone! May is Mental Health Awareness Month (MHAM) in the US, with lots going on, and the movement spreading around, still, there’s still so much to do!!

Raising awareness about mental health issues is of trascendental importance. The lack of understanding and the stigmas around the topic still make a lot harder already very hard lives, resulting in segregation, isolation, and even discrimination of those who live in darkness, making it so much more difficult to look forward recovery and healing. Many of the people who struggle with mental health disorders keep for themselves the suffering because of fear, fear of being misjudged, rejected and stigmatised, so they hide the pain and desolation inside until its no longer bearable and it becomes a dark monster so huge and uncontrollable that it devours the persons life, or takes it completely away, making it impossible to hide. Raising awareness also means helping society understand that mental health disorders, are just like diabetes, like cancer, like obesity, like allergic reactions…

During my last fall into darkness several months ago, I tied a green ribbon around my wrist, representing my will to live, to keep fighting, every day. A couple of weeks ago I learned that the green ribbon represents the mental health awareness movement (could it be coincidence?). I want this image to be a symbol of hope, of limitless endurance, of the importance of not living with pain in a silent loneliness and of the right we have of sharing our story and being embraced and understood, of the strength needed to fight everyday… a symbol of Life! With this image I want to raise my voice towards ending the stigmas around mental health disorders, in favor of a better comprehension, in favor of spreading the knowledge among the society so everyone finds that they are able to aid those living in pain and despair recover better and sooner, to live better lives, with empathy, love and compassion.

Less than the half of May left, and still so much to do!!!

27 later

Feet fix

On may the third its been 27 years that our family was deeply shaken. My brother, Octavio, had a motorcycle accident ironically a couple of blocks from home and ironically, he wasn’t driving fast that day. Since the first moment I found him lying on the ground he was not able to move any part of his body anymore but his eyes and mouth… he had simply broken his neck.

At the hospital they said he was going to die, there was nothing to do, however, he was taken into surgery on May 11th, eight days later!!! The odds were to dark, the procedure could result in 80% to 90% of chance of death, if not, a vegetative life, and at best, living but only able to move from the neck and upwards, for a time…

His case is archived as a miracle in the hospital, they are not sure how he was able to move his body again with some time, and even walk and lead a relatively normal life!!! His life and ours here at home was for months and months a tough struggle but it was for sure so worthy! Some muscle and organ sequels remained but really a piece of cake compared to the drawing that future gave us that May of 1990.

My brother has lived with the physiological and anatomical sequels really bravely, a true fighter all in all! Here I feel honoured to pay this homage to his endurance and strength, an acknowledgement from my part for being such an inspiration in my life, for keeping up with life with such a burden in his back. Those who have read this blog lately know that I have recently discovered I’ve carried my own burden for so long, one that is invisible, but real. My own struggle continues and sometimes almost unbearable, for those times watching at my brother’s spirit is the number one anchor to keep myself linked to life.

This homage made of images is born from becoming sensitive and reflecting about the essence of things taking into account the life my brother leads and a moment in his daily activities that happened here at home in one of his frequent visits, this idea came to me a few months ago, when I was at the bottom of my place in darkness, struggling with depression and anxiety, and even from there I was able to be struck by what was evident in my own images. From that day here I show only the image of the foot fixing, the others were made in previous years since 2006 (the ones from the days of the accident are somewhere else) trying to compile moments that show my brother’s quality as a life warrior.

Now, why after 27 years, why not wait for, let’s say the 30th anniversary?, what happened to him, and from my own experience, I surely know life can not be taken for granted, it can slip away in a fraction of second, and not me neither anyone else can be sure when our time here is over.

Duel of Fates

I’m my life there has almost always been the prescence of some sort of fatality. My dreams have been obscured by something that has gotten in the way, the causes are several and not completely clear to me, yet… Since my fall into darkness last November, when despair and desolation began to fade a little my mind and soul have had the chance to untie some knots in the deep, now I’m on the process of coming back to life and I’m working on finding the strength to build a different and much better future for myself. My fate until now, an almost continuum of failures, deceptions, broken projects and promises, that’s a fact, the dark branches of a twisted tree, against this fate, there’s another fate yet uncertain and somewhat diffused like leaves disappearing in the mist, but a fate that my will to live will shape solid and strong nonetheless! The duel between these two is soon about to begin…

The Right to reach for the Sky.

I’ll say it once again! Is anyone capable or with the right to judge someone else as “not normal” or “not worthy”?!

Calakmul, Mexico. Kingdom of the Divine Lords of the Snake.

Amazed by the inmense lushness of the forest surrounding the ancient Maya constructions and more than anything the trees growing on top, a special encounter inspired me the following thoughts:

Sitting, waiting, a turn of the head and there he was, twisted…

Awkwardly extending his trunk and branches upwards and sideways,

A messy and hairy cover that played with the clouds…


Weird he might seem to many, there by himself, with roots deep,

Below what human hands built centuries ago.

For sure I know, for my soul tells me, one of the special ones he is,

Different he is, and wise too, a lot he has been through,

And the right to reach for the Sky he has too.

Music, art for soothing and nourishing the mind and the soul.

Trying to find some solace from a stressful week, an unpleasant state of mind or even dealing with complex emotions?

I’ve liked classical music since I was a young child thanks to my father who used to play very nice recordings in vinyl (before its comeback) of Holst’s The Planets, Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, and many more pieces that inspired me and made grow feelings into myself. Along my life I’ve learned to appreciate the work of many other composers and pieces not always so easy to unveil for the ears and the mind, and I feel music specifically composed for cello fits into this box precisely, with some exceptions for sure. 

Some of you already know I’ve been dealing with a lot of confusion, that I’ve gone through a serious sensory overload for several weeks since last September, becoming worse in October and November, and that I’m working hard on my recovery from those and other health issues. In the days I’ve felt the worst I haven’t even been able to watch TV, listen to the radio or just any music but some easy and relaxing classical music and some recordings made for deep soothing of the brain, to help get some sleep, and counteract anxiety.

A few days ago I was fortunate enough to attend a cello live performance that was held at a museum that is really close to home so there was no need to go far using public transport, for which I still don’t feel ready to do yet. The experience was very rewarding and enjoyable, listening to Johan Sebastian Bach and other composers through the cellist skillful performance, the vibrating air motivated by the sound of the cello, those moments really help me feel a lot better, more alive, reaching some beautiful moments of peace at least for a while. I hope there will be more opportunities like that soon!

If you have a chance, you really should go and try it!