“Life goes on, long after the thrill of livin’ is gone.”
-John Cougar Mellencamp
This is from a little ditty about Jack and Diane sung by John Cougar Melloncamp way back in 1982. Yes, it shows my age. I was on the downhill side of my twenties, right about the time the thrill of living was gone for the very first time.
It’s a quote that stuck with me and I’ve often thought of it when faced with the doldrums of life. It’s very profound and depending on your mood, or what you are going through in your life, it can have many different meanings at various times of your life.
What does this have to do with photography?
What in the world does this have to do with photography –and why is this being addressed on a photography blog?? Well, I’m about to tell you.
No matter what age you are, no matter what your stage of life, you will periodically be faced with life going on after the thrill of living is gone. Depressing? Yes. However, the trick is not getting stuck there. You need to get a little of that thrill of living back into your life. Think of it as a wakeup call. It’s a call to action; an opportunity to get some of that thrill of living back. The thrill may be gone today –but that doesn’t mean it’s gone forever!
Some people turn to drugs and alcohol to get that thrill. Some people might have an affair. Some people turn to volunteer work (healthier and much less self-destructive than the afore mentioned!). You need to do something to get that thrill of living back, or depression is likely.
Photography can fulfill that need to bring the thrill of living back in your life. Photography can give you a whole new way of seeing that mundane, thrill-less world around you. Looking at the complex colors of a flower you may have seen a million times before and capturing that color in just the right light can be thrilling. Capturing the bold sunset viewed from your own back yard can be thrilling. The smile on your significant other’s face as they see something that makes them happy; or the look of wonder on a child’s face as she learns something new. Perhaps it’s just the peaceful look of your cat or dog dozing in a patch of sunlight.
Use the camera to reflect your mood
Using the camera to reflect your own dark mood can be wonderfully cathartic. Take pictures of an abandoned building, a cracked sidewalk, or a wrecked car sitting forlornly in the junkyard, weeds growing around its crumpled fenders. Learning how to use your camera to capture these mundane, everyday scenes and turning them into beautiful pieces of art –what can be more thrilling than that?
So, life got you down? Are you tired and depressed just from the sheer exertion of living? We’ve all been there. And, yes, life goes on long after the thrill of living is gone. Thank you, John, for pointing that out to me at such a young age. That simple, but powerful message gave me the wherewithal to know this is a normal occurrence in everyone’s life. It gave me what I needed to guard against this and fight it when it happens to me. So, get some of that thrill back in your life! Give yourself a break. Take a break, and grab that camera that’s been collecting dust and take some pictures that will give you that thrill of livin’ again.
And then come back here and tell us all how you did it, what you took pictures of, and most importantly, how that made you feel.
You go. I’ll wait for you right here…