Stories from the Road: New Beginnings

Stories from the Road is a collection of stories about my own photographic adventures in South Asia. Sometimes the stories are exciting and sometimes mundane and at times emotional. This section deals with vernacular photography and the way we all experience the photographs we see. What they meant when we took them and what they mean over time.

I have been thinking about last year and this New Year a lot these past few weeks. It is a complicated matter for me. Not only am I thinking about my personal life but the larger implications of the United States getting a new president in a few days. It is incredible. So for this week’s Stories from the Road, I chose a photograph I took this photograph right before I went back to the States in October. The situation then is similar to now.

The photograph you see above is of multiple lotus flowers. I have read that lotus flowers symbolize new beginnings. I was on the precipice of a new situation when I took this photograph. I knew I was going back to the States but I was not 100% sure when I would be coming back to India. The year had not been going according to plan, I was stressed out and I could not stand being in the situation I was in for another minute.

Before I left, Meropi and I decided to go to the new zoo here in Udaipur. First off, do not go. We only saw a few animals. It was not so great. At the end of our tour through the park, we sat down beside this small man-made pond with the lotuses in it. I decided to take some photographs. I needed a distraction, I did not want to sit and chat. There were too many things in my mind, too many things that would have to be left unsaid. I guess this is a natural part of life’s journey. It is also a part of life when you travel. Things were being left unsaid between me and me, as well as, me and others. But what to do? I was not sure where life was going to take me next.

I am feeling that way now. Where will life go next? I have motivations to stay here in India and continue down this path. I also have some strong urges to go back to the States and be an advocate and try to improve the situation there. As a girl from Texas, I feel like the State is trying to take away many of my civil liberties. I also feel that the impending administration will lessen most people’s civil liberties. Furthermore, it is my opinion that the current federal congress is reckless. The country I know and love is headed into a mini dark ages.

Staying is another path all together. I can continue to pursue my photographic projects. I can work on this blog (but that I can also do from the States). I do know one thing, if I am staying here; I have to find a way to travel more. For one, I have not seen much of the country. Two, I would have more material for blog posts. I am running low on material for these Stories from the Road posts.  I might have to come up with a new post idea to write instead of this one. Let’s face it; what I am writing here is only loosely from the road. I guess it expresses more of an emotional challenge found on the road or living in a foreign place.

Thus, I have been facing new beginnings in every aspect of life since last April. This will continue throughout this year. I need those pretty lotus flowers to keep my spirit high and my mind focused on my goals. For now, I will be here until May. From May I do not know where life will take me which is not exactly how I like to live my life. I really like have a plan. I like to have a schedule. So, I will keep you all posted.

One of my main goals for the year is to improve blog readership, so please share my posts and visit the blog often.

Also, I would love to hear about your recent life changes and art goals!

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Photo Focus: Anushree Fadnavis
Stories from the Road: Qibla Wall, Qutab Minar Complex, Delhi, India

By |2018-10-13T16:32:01-05:00January 17th, 2017|India|0 Comments

About the Author:

Betsy Williamson is an assistant professor of art in the state of New Mexico. Before coming to New Mexico for this job she was an adjunct professor throughout Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, teaching photography and art appreciation. Between September 2015 and May 2017, she took a break from teaching to pursue art, research and life in India. Now she is back to teaching and part-timing it in India.

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