Photographic Phlebotomy

So I have a little bit of a streak going. Maybe it’s a smear. It started on New Year’s Day. I haven’t posted about it because I wasn’t sure I’d keep it going. If my annual November rituals have taught me anything, it’s that posting every single day about anything quickly becomes a drain. By the time November is over I’m usually just trying to get it over with so I don’t have to post about it every damn day. So why would I do it again in January?

Well, I wouldn’t. But I might modify a little. I might observe a daily ritual and then only post about it once a week. Or once very two weeks. Or once every 22 days, because on the 22nd day we got a Snow Day and I had a luxuriously long morning. Or maybe there will be even less structure than that, who knows? If all these years of writing about self-realization have led to any realizations, it’s that me and Structure are akin to frenemies. A little bit is good and productive and motivating but a lot is like, bitch get off me.

My long-time readers (My Assassans) know that I’m a past graduate and present advocate of the Be Your Own Beloved course hosted by Vivienne McMaster. Two years after my 30-day foray into self-portraiture as self-therapy, I’m still practicing. Usually it happens whenever I feel so moved but on average I self-love about once a week. No goal. No reward. And as you can tell, very little Structure. The week of the New Year I did seven days in a row. Then I did another seven days in a row. Then I did another. So now I’m thinking to myself, well I guess this is a thing now. Since it doesn’t (thus far) require a daily blog post, me and Structure are getting along. We’re both gettin’ some.

It’s pretty sassy. I click, I edit, I Insta-post, and once a week I make a collage and put it on Facebook to celebrate. No fuss, no muss, no problem. Well, there is one little problem. The weekly collages are satisfying but the original Insta-square images are better. They show the work. They represent the therapeutic process. Look at the collage and you get a collection of glimpses. Suggestions. Hints. Look at the individual images and you see the stories. The creativity. The feelings. The point of it all. But I’m still not inclined to fit in a daily writing ritual around every selfie I take. I know me–that’s the quickest way to turn it into a drudgerous chore. I will not do that every single day for a year. Structure can suck it.

But I’ve got these images coming into storage at a rate of at least one per day. They are meaningful. Poignant. Important to me. Worth saving. Worth showing. As the pics pile up I get stressed. Despite my love/hate fling with Structure I am very much an Organize-or-Purge kind of girl when it comes to stuff. I can’t have piles of things. Files of things. Unfinished projects make me bristle. Stockpiles grouch me out. After about 21 days I start looking for matches. (Note: I have to wonder how many cases of arson are really just folks like me who couldn’t look at their unorganized pile of crap for one more minute and resorted to burning the fucker down.) So I start kissing up to Structure to make all the crazy go away. And she usually does.

So this is her idea. A compromise. I’ll keep doing what I’m doing as long as it is bringing me joy and insight. As often as I want to or need to, I’ll come here and be bled. You guys remember bloodletting, right? Wellness has come a long way, my friends. Jeez, just imagine. They didn’t stop until the patient passed out. And then there were the leeches. Shiny black suck-snakes on your tender vascular bits to make the crazy go away. Not sassy. We can agree that pic-purging on a blog is a far lesser lunacy, can we not? I look brilliant and resourceful by comparison, do I not? ← I did anyway, did I not?

A petite disclaimer: Sometimes I took more than one a day because inspiration struck at a random time or place, or my mood changed, or the flow of the day put me in a place of opportunity. To keep the crazy in check I narrowed the presentation down to one selection per day, even if I took five per day.

I will come back and do this again when the need is great but I can promise no schedule or routine. If you need more structure than that you can get the dailies or weeklies as mentioned above by following me around the internet. It’s been a lovely three weeks. And now I get to empty the cache and do it again. Crazy banished. Wellness bolstered.

(Contented sigh.)

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