Focus: The Prequel

Focus is a gradual thing.

Obtained only by careful study of detail. Are the edges crisp? Are the points of interest clear and defined? What is sharp? Or perhaps more importantly, what is not?

Focus is a gradual thing.

In my own photography I’ve often been drawn to the blur. This beautiful manage of color. Shapes, patterns, lines and movement all in a weightless space. A place where all distraction of what is ceases to be. And instead I am free to explore possibility.

The problem comes in finding the balance. Because when the focus is too soft, it’s all mush. Fog. Density of murk that leads us nowhere.

And so often lately I find myself lost in the fog of life. A place where all I long for is clarity. Something sharp. Something clear. Something obvious that I can hold onto. Because curveballs come flying at me. Massive spheres of momentum that smash into a million little pieces when they hit the target, leaving me in a million pieces too. Someday soon I will write more. I will share the brokenness that is my existence right now.

But as I stare at the million pieces of myself, I find I miss focus. I miss the sharpness that once defined the edges and boundaries of my life. They melted away and left me leeching out like a puddle. Seeping, weeping, rippling in stagnancy, waiting to dry up in the sun that never wants to come out.

But yet I know that too much focus and life has no softness. No beauty. No cushion for interpretation or space for energy to flow.

And then there is no man’s land. A place between sharpness and blur where nothing makes sense. Shapes are too obvious to interpret and too chaotic to make any sense of. Too much. Too fast. Too close to reality but without anything real to grasp. And so we get stuck. We stop in the wild race of it and rack our brains in a search for sense. In search for meaning. Empty handed, we come up with nothing.

But I believe in the rest of the story. I believe that someday all that is unexplained will be made clear. And right now I’m just waiting for someday. The focus is shifting. Progressing, retreating, finding the balance between chaos and clarity.

And that space is beautiful. While I may not see things exactly as they are, I am able to perceive what it could be. I am able to name it. To call it as I see it. And appreciate that something simple might be miraculous if I can just find the right focus.


Author’s Note: This post is a prequel to three other posts I published over the course of a year detailing my story of depression and the healing process. I wrote this post years ago, and it has been sitting in my drafts folder for ages, mostly because at the time I wrote it, I was so confused and lost I felt the writing was too unfocused to share. As I worked through these issues, three posts evolved, which I have linked to above. But this post–this is the rest of the story. This is the beginning of my expression of pain, and also the conclusion I never realized I was writing. As I write this note years later and from a place of thriving emotional, mental, and spiritual health, I see now how raw and beautiful this piece is, and I share it now in hopes that someone out there who is drowning in the fogginess of their own sorrows will find encouragement and peace as they wait for the miracles that are yet to come.

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