To Walk Alone / by Hilary Hann

I wrote this piece about 18 months ago and forgot to post it at the time.  I found it this morning as I pondered what I would write next and decided that it still holds true, perhaps even more so.  The last year has been a long and lonely journey with no happy end, photographically.  Caught up in the dynamics of other people's journeys and successes it was too easy to lose sight of one's own direction.  The writing may be old but the sentiments hold true and perhaps they will help me to get back on track.

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Perhaps one of the hardest thing I’ve done as a photographer is to realise that where I thought I belonged is no place I want to be.  I can see the shadows of artists long dead move past me, reflecting back onto the living whose line reaches far out to the distance where success and acclaim shine brightly … but there is no shadow accompanying me.  The path I’ve chosen is rocky and unfamiliar, the sun is blanketed by clouds and throws no comforting and familiar shadow.   Truly alone, I searched and researched and clung to the living and the dead, looking for inspiration and guidance but I lingered too long in the shadows.  There is no tight knit community where I belong, no natural seat sitting empty waiting for me amongst friends.  To walk alone is no strange place to be.


In the words of Donagh Long ;


You may not always shine as you go barefoot over stone.  

You might be so long together or you might walk alone.          

And you won’t find that love comes easy but that love is always right.          

So even when the dark clouds gather you will be the light.


Finding the truth in the art no matter outside pressure; to tell the stories which are crying out to be told.  That is the truth and that is the darkness that swirls around in endless circles. Waiting for the light to shine.

To become the Storyteller, that is the challenge and that is the change that has to be made.  There is no other way.