Discover more from Sundays with Stella
Picturing The Pause
Photographs from a Voice Recital + Thoughts on Courage
“If you plan to take a photo during the recital, please snap a shot during the applause--not during the performance.”
This sentence in the voice recital program caught my attention. As I glanced up to hear Chad, the instructor, deliver his welcome remarks, an alternative thought came to me. What if I photographed the students before they sang? The instructions didn't explicitly forbid it as long as I didn’t press the shutter before the pianist played the first note. Besides, I could relate to that pause between standing in front of the audience and singing the opening lines. I’m not a singer but public speaking makes me nervous. I tapped into this energy while making these photographs.
The students' body language told the story: stiff postures, hands at their sides or on their stomachs, taking deep breaths, eyes darting downward, to the side, or remaining closed as they mentally prepare themselves for their performance.
It takes courage to finish the song, let alone, without a hitch.
Creating art and writing takes courage. Even more so when we decide to share it with others. We feel nervous and/or doubt ourselves at certain points in the creative process. Both attack our minds and emotions. I always have to remind myself of this quote:
Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage you can't practice any other virtue consistently.
There’s never a guarantee that our creations will produce the fruitful outcome we desire. Sometimes, we are met with silence from our audience and we don’t quite know what it means. Failure is part of it too. Nevertheless, let this be an invitation to work on developing courage alongside our creative practices. It’s probably the most sustainable path as we travel through our creative journeys.
Nervousness creeps in as I embark on the second year of Sundays with Stella. To be honest, crafting another 50 + posts is intimidating. I find myself in that moment of pause like the students before their perfomance. So, I am reminding myself to let this be an opportunity to exercise courage. Resist the urge to succumb to doubt and nervousness. Instead, lean in, one post at a time.
Your turn, dear ones. Share your thoughts on the photographs, doubts about creativity, or your views on courage. Did anything else resonate with you? Let's connect in the comments section below.
See you all next Sunday!
Thank you for inviting me to join you every Sunday in your inbox. I am grateful and appreciative for spending a small part of your day with me. If you have the means to support Sundays with Stella, please consider becoming a paid subscriber. Those who contribute financially will ensure that this place of inspiration, creativity and meaning remains free and open to all.