Shooting For Myself…

Jessica and Mark Byerley in Jessica Byerley's home at 43 Cromwell Road, Glenwood, durban.

Jessica on a red sofa. Photo John Robinson

“There is nothing new in this world” – Ecclesiastes, the preacher, son of David, King in Jerusalem.

When I first got a camera in my hands it was personal; at this point in my life I work well with leather and have started again to make a financial way for myself. Photography has always been a personal thing, now as ever it has always been…

Max and Jason gave me a day job as a leather smith, it’s been a game changer for me I am good at this leather thing and I can get much better too. I feel that where there is leather there is a way forward for me also. I say the following to Max and Jason, “we have a long way together still”.

I have written about perception in the past and it’s personal, now with leather in my picture I am freed to shoot personal, for myself and the best is still to come on all fronts…

 

 

 

 

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WHAT IS JRP DOT WORDPRESS

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johnrobinsonphotography.wordpress.com is no longer just a blog, it’s become more of an ideas hub on wordpress.com A DIGITAL MOLESKINE DIARY or DMD is a pathway to other sites of culteral interest that gets new content added as and when I come across it. ANOTHER’S STORY is a space that gets given to a photographic peer each week. None of us exist in a vacuum and we all live in a world where the hate of other is an ugly reality of our daily life, jrp dot wordpress is never going to be a place just about me.

Across the top of my website page there is a horizontal box with a list of multimedia stories and photographic galleries, these are not static and their spot is not permanent on this site. As I move forward in life these galleries reflect this momentum the old sometimes gives way to the new too…

Below the gallery box is a scrolling multimedia column of thoughts, links and ideas going back over the years with the freshest at the top. While I have studied at post graduate level I believe that this critical way of thought has to be couched in everyday language to be generally useful.

Narrative photogs have to be more then just lens people, we have to be broad based communicators looking for our own stories, persepting these ideas and working with other people for a common good… JR

…WHILE WALKING DOWN DR PIXLEY KASEME STREET

Hate, fear and love are also 4 letter words; and by another 4 letter word, if I don’t grapple with their out working each and every day of my life.

H is now a friend of mine; she lives just off South Beach with her husband and works in her brother’s restaurant at the top end of Dr Pixley KaSeme Street across from the old grave yard. She makes a petite Ethiopian coffee that my homeopath should never know about, and with its clove infusion is my favorite shot of down town coffee. Her brother’s restaurant is a scent filled alcove, without a menu he serves meat and salad on a plate of injera; a sour flatbread from their home in Ethiopia. H’s coffee is roasted and brewed on charcoal in front of me, she serves it in fine porcelain that her friend G sells alongside the coffee beans from the highlands of their homeland. It is because of local ‘hate of other’ that the brother has said no to photos of H here, it is out of respect for him that H quietly shook her head to me when I took out the M6 just off this road in down town Durban.

F is fearful and is still the victim of a brutal hijacking about 3 years ago. F can’t go out at night alone, and has panic attacks in dark places.

Fear is so debilitating, it’s a part of the psyche of many people who I know around me. As an age we are preoccupied with the concept of ‘safety’, America has a department devoted to the safety of their homeland. South Africa is devoted to the issue of their ‘crime’. For all our other advances we are not a people of can do but a people of can’t do due to our fear. I would like to be able to take F for a walk along a down town street, to sample coffee with clove, I feel that it will be awhile yet before F is ready to browse for porcelain on Dr Pixley KaSeme Street. F’s fear is real, I can see it; there is nothing put on about it.

I will always love X, L and Y. But I lost my temper with L a long time ago, I did apologise and I am so sorry for what I did.

L is deeply hurt and I have to love from a distance. I live with these consequences and now know that love is not a fluffy thing. Love is deep like a river, it has a power of its own, and I have to love for all of us for now.

I will never stop loving and doing what I can for X, L and Y. I will continue to walk along side F and maybe one day we will go browse for porcelain together. I will be a friend to H and all others in little Addis Ababa on the top end of Dr Pixley KaSeme Street.

Names have been changed to protect all those involved in this down town walk of mine.

JR

XENOPHOBIA

Fear of the other took the United Kingdom out of the European Union; this takes me back to the Roman Empire and the Huns on it’s eastern frontier, and the ongoing mistrust between the sedentary and the nomad.

Both peoples have a thirst for land, and we all live in the same village now, it’s called Earth.

Understanding is a good antidote for fear-of-other or xenophobia. No country is really an island in the end. Humankind will have to live together, and just get to understand each other in our midst…

ONE CHALK LINE AT A TIME…

It’s a part of my existence, only having in-the-ball-park words to work with, having to get used to the idea that the fear of stress makes fluid conversation only a partly achievable goal, when once they just rolled off my tongue.

It’s like “I wouldn’t think you had a stroke”; What are we supposed to look like after one? I know what I look like after months of swimming, skipping and push ups… I know that I like my body more now then before. I don’t think a doctor will give me a grant based on the slight drag in my left leg, my core is solid, and my arms and legs are worked without being bulky as that of a body builder and now I don’t have a flabby bum. I wear a size 34/32 inch pair of old Levi 501s now; I once wore a 38/32 generous cut of the same. I don’t use my stick when walking around Durban anymore too.

It’s like “He didn’t get out of bed in the morning.” And it was the faeries who did the laundry for six and cooking and cleaning for the same… Yes I do go into neutral sometimes, it’s worse when I have to corral too many butterflies at any one time. I also have to pace myself more now then I did before that morning in the darkroom while at university when everything changed. When I am in neutral it’s my brain working through a detour. A stroke just damages a part of the brain; it then works out another way through like a track through the bush alongside what was once a flowing highway, this can take time, I don’t stay in neutral for long, it’s just long enough to get sorted out again. Yes I do get very tired but after a nap of about a hour I am normally good!

I don’t have a full time job, so I am doing 3 pro Deo murals for a local church in south Durban and it’s been a long and slow process. Starting with the scale sketches which have to be in end-colour and approved by the client, the boards have to be whitened in preparation for a yellow chalk grid that aids the outlines for the mural it’s self… I procrastinate with my e mails before carrying on with the job at hand, it seems just to much for me… But one chalk line is finished at a time; and with some lunch in me I get all the chalk work done. I was just in neutral, I was tired, but I now know the signs and know that I can still push through though maybe a bit slower at times then before but now with much more eye to detail which is also a slide over from the stroke too. Oops, there is another in-the-ball-park word that works quite well too…

 

COMING UP FOR BREATH

I pull my body through the sharp bright winter’s water,  I count down today’s 40 circuits of the swimming pool. As I come up for breath, I think over all the ‘already has beens’ and paranoid thought that float around in my head. My almost daily swims in the cold winter water have been as much a time for intense thought as it is for strengthening a post stroke body, I guess I can’t change what people may or may not think.

I can live my life as best as I can on a daily basis, I can get up again when ever I fail and I know that truth always comes out in the end. I am a little brain by design, God is my creator, he has the big brain, he knows all things by his own design; because of my perspective I cannot see all things all the time.

As I swim the pool, the water’s cold horizon dips and sways, my eyes sting from the same and I battle to know if I have done 38 or 39 circuits. I know that I am pushing through, one day at a time, through the stinging blur I come up to the edge of the pool; I have another 40 circuits to my credit with many more to come.

 

 

GLOBAL CLIMATE MARCH; HOWICK FALLS AREA SOUTH AFRICA

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Community members march together against the threat of fracking in the KwaZulu-Natal region of South Africa. South Africa is a water scarce region, there is not enough water for those who live here.

The community is afraid of what fracking will do the water table beneath their feet and want nothing to threaten their valuable resource.

I AM NOW STATINLESS FOR SURE…

I went ‘cold turkey’ on my statins, I have given statins the boot for ever.

In one sentence, statins are a group of drugs used for cholesterol control, I have been on a daily dose of 20 mg statins since my stroke in 2012 till about 6 weeks ago.

I went for a Cranio Sacral session with Felicity Fernandes RCST she got me reading up about the side effects of statins that I was on at the time. It seems to me that these are ‘bad for me’ drugs; while on statins I am anxious, cannot focus on the task at hand, when in a crisis I can not remember what I had said or did just the day before, I was also confused at times.  The added gastric problems and aches and pain were the least of my troubles, I have to declare too though that while on statins my cholesterol levels did come down to more acceptable levels.

My cholesterol levels are down to around 5.3, my homeopath Dr Bryan Long is now happy with the decision that I took on my own. Dr Long has put me on some ‘alternative’ cholesterol control measures, tissue salts, cardio aspirins and the like and we will review my situation as time goes by.

I feel more alive now then any time since when I emerged from Northdale Hospital into what I believe became a 3 year statin induced stupor. Satins should only be prescribed when dietary measures have not worked.

Off statins I feel more clear headed, I am a lot less anxious, can now remember those events from the day before, I dream again and I can remember them in the morning too, I am coping better in confrontations too.

I don’t want a life walking around in a stupor, I would rather be dead. I am hopeful regarding Dr Long’s control measures, plus passing through the bright white light via a stroke would not that bad to go in the end…

I have always been a little off the edge and I guess I will now always be.