This year’s dry season has felt long – in more ways than one. Here in Zambia it hasn’t rained since April and in Blogland I haven’t posted anything for more than two months. The creative well has felt empty.
I was talking to a friend last week, moaning about lack of inspiration. When I confessed that I hadn’t been out with my camera for several weeks, Lawrence sympathized, made no further comment, then smiled as he went to catch his bus. It was about 4.30pm, when Lusaka grows cooler and the light gets warmer.
Taking the long way home, I stumbled on a pair of wheelbarrows, one stacked on top of the other. The scene appealed to me, but I only had my phone with me. I took a few snaps, intending to come back later with my ‘real’ camera. Not surprisingly, when I did return, the barrows had gone and the light had changed. Real or not, I’m grateful for the camera in my phone.
In the middle of the day, the light in Zambia can be harsh and uninviting. And as Noel Coward famously sang, only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun. Why am I telling you this? Because it’s one of my excuses for leaving the camera at home. Of course I know that it’s not a real excuse – I can always get up and go out early. At around 7am, the light is gorgeous. Warm and directional, it casts shadows for the delight of anyone who cares to notice.
So, for me, it’s going to be ‘early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, creative and wise’. By going public on my intention, I’m hoping to galvanize myself.
How are your creative juices at the moment – stagnant or flowing? If you have any advice or tips on how to get them flowing, please share them in a comment.