The Process of Becoming
Far out in the seemingly endless forests and marshes of Maryland, along the wild shores of New Jersey, Delaware, and Virginia I slowly came to understand that I was an artist.
The moment I picked up a camera for the first time, it was for practical reasons only. This was about science, and I promised myself that my relationship with nature would never change. I would never allow myself to become an artist.
But it was already too late. Through the lens of the camera, I saw the nature in context of humanity: as subject and master, as cause and effect, as other, and as one and the same. I lost my analytical coldness in the enormity of the untouched wilderness, in the vast expanses of night filled with millions of stars in places far from city lights. I was free in ways I never had been before. I became bold and self aware in ways I never imagined possible.
That process of becoming--that becoming I had promised myself I would never allow--had taken hold. I not only allowed it, I chose it. And I accepted the pain that came with it.
As time passed, I found myself looking back with longing at an innocent and hopeful version of myself who did not know so much about the world. I wondered if I could have been happier if I had continued in my earlier naivete. I wondered what could have been different for me if I had not allowed the artist to emerge.
Now again I find that I becoming, and looking back. I see the last version of myself as a wide-eyed young one who fell in love with nature and for a brief time could truly believe it was that simple.