WILLKOMMEN II 2016 Melissa S Jeffrey

This post is gonna be long but short because I have some family stuff going on…

My grandma is in the hospital right now.  We are pretty sure everything is going to be ok, but still, my nerves are shot and I am waiting patiently to go up to the hospital with the family… sitting here and doing taxes was… well, not an option.  I needed something to keep my brain busy…

So… photos.

Let me tell you how much of a relief it is that my brain NEEDED to be doing something creative instead of shutting creativity down entirely like it usually does in times of high anxiety and crisis.  I think I am the only “artist” alive who can’t use their emotions to make art.  My emotions don’t work when they are emotioning.


Anyway, so I needed to be doing something creative.  Yesterday, when I found out she was being admitted, I was already happily shooting away at a still life project that I had a dream about the night before.  I had my camera out over the weekend, and I think that was giving me the creative mojos… I seem to dream up stuff I want to shoot shortly after having been out with the camera.  Over the weekend I realized that I love shooting goofy “around the house” kinds of things… I don’t know why.  So, that’s what I was doing.  I actually went a little ahead of the Dogwood week I am currently shooting for (High Key Portraits) and did “Metal” instead… just to get a head start on it.



WILLKOMMEN ©2016 Melissa S Jeffrey


A LIGHT ALOFT ©2016 Melissa S Jeffrey

So, metal began.  I shot a few shots, there were visitors over to Boyfriend’s house so I didn’t shoot many (as to not be rude of course), and I called it a day.

I don’t know why I dreamed of a bird cage.  All I can tell you is that I slept like crap and I kept seeing flashes of a bird cage even in between wake ups, kinda like a night terror, when you wake up but are still sort of “dreaming.”  I woke up Monday morning with one thing on my mind… procuring and shooting a bird cage.

The dream was eerie and surreal.  There was no actual bird involved, but I had an image in mind for what I wanted so I bought a plastic bird to put in the cage.  I got home, I set everything up, and I started to shoot… and then I got the text message that grandma was being admitted in to the hospital.


THE BIRD ©2016 Melissa S Jeffrey

I like the shot, but it was nowhere near as anxiety-inducing as the dream was.  It didn’t matter, I had to get to the hospital.

Fast forward to today, Grandma appears to be on the mend, though there are tests still to be done, so my anxiety level is basically off the charts.  I got in my car this morning to go home from Boyfriend’s house (who, by the way, has been incredibly supportive after all my insanities this week) and I happened to look out the window…


ABSTRACTION I ©2016 Melissa S Jeffrey

I am feeling very eerie today.  I have so much anxiety that the 2 coffees was probably a bad idea.

I was given a time to go to the hospital for the tests and such, and knowing I would lose my friggin mind sitting here doing my taxes, I decided to use the anxiety… to channel it.  FINALLY.  I broke out my bird cage and began again.


KEEPSAKE ©2016 Melissa S Jeffrey

This was originally supposed to go with the Dogwood “Transportation” challenge of last week.  I wanted to do feathers, but I wasn’t sure how I was going to incorporate them in to a pleasing photo.  I gave up on the feathers idea.  Well, then I had the bird cage dream, and I went and bought feathers.  I have been really eyeballing the hell out of the works of Man Ray, Dora Maar, Imogen Cunningham, and others, and I wanted this to translate in to a very “noir” type look, similar to something one of my heroes might have made.  Or Poe.  This is very Poe-y.  If Poe were a photographer, he would probably have photographed this.


ABASHED ©2016 Melissa S Jeffrey

I started to think about how my anxiety feels like a cage.  I started to think of how embarrassing it is to have this “unseen” malady.  I actually started to get a little weepy while I was shooting.  I felt bad for the little plastic bird.  Somehow, my brain had given a soul to the little guy, and the soul was caged and hurting and my heart broke for it.


WISHING FOR A HAPPY ENDING ©2016 Melissa S Jeffrey

So I gave him some hope.  We all need a little of that, right?


LIBERATION ©2016 Melissa S Jeffrey

I switched little plastic birds for this shot to one that I already had lying around the art box.  Yeah.  I have little plastic birds lying around.  *Don’t judge*

I actually felt really good letting the little guy out.  I kind of felt… relieved?  I don’t know. All I can tell you is that my anxiety was more controlled at this point and I was doing things that made me smile.

And then Mo came.


PREDATOR AND PREY ©2016 Melissa S Jeffrey

And saved the day.

I did what I set out to do yesterday, I shot my shoots and I posted my posts.  Now, I will get my buns over to the hospital and visit with Grandma until they take her in to get her tests done.  I hope she slept better than I did, or this is going to be a long day for her… hell, it already is, I am sure.

I will end this on the fact that I always thought WILLKOMMEN was spelled WILKOMMEN. Whatever.  I Googled it because I don’t speak German.  The only reason I used it is because my uncle Jim used to have a sign above his door that said it, and since we’ve all been at the hospital hanging out, it seemed fitting.  I don’t know… my brain is scattered.

Sending lots of good juju to my grandma would be much appreciated.

Until next time, friends of the Art Box,



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