Don't Wait Till March - Tanja Kuic

This photo essay is the result of an online class with photography master, David Alan Harvey. Over a six month period, a group of photographers from all over the globe shared the roller coaster process of completing a photo essay. Some of us were accomplished photographers, some just getting our feet wet. All of us, in the end, emerged with a project that portrayed our individual style.

Also take a moment to see the talent displayed in this compilation of diverse artists that were brought together through this unique mentoring class.



Don't Wait Till March

ARTIST STATEMENT

I was in a class when the teacher told a parable that sparked a string of thoughts in me. The lesson began, “Remember when you were in high school and there was the quiet kid that sat at the back of the room. The kid didn’t say much. He was kind of weird and everyone just ignored him. Then, come March, you discovered that this kid was actually pretty cool and you only had a short time to enjoy his friendship because school was basically over.”

How many ‘kids’ have I never gotten to know? How many opportunities have passed me by because I thought them weird or stupid or scary or boring?

With the help of an Internal Family Therapist and lots of self-reflection, I’m getting to know aspects of myself that I once ignored; an understanding of these parts holds the potential to enrich my life in ways I’ve never before considered. This approach to psychotherapy involves looking at thoughts and feelings as different ’parts’ of ourselves. This perspective helps us separate our conditioning from our Self. Through this process, access to Self grows and we begin to live our lives from a more centered, confident, compassionate place.

This self examination inspired me to begin a series of self-portraits, giving each ‘part’ an opportunity to communicate their story through an image, providing insight where words may fall short. When personified in this way, the gap between Self and Part seems to expand, allowing a more objective view of my behavior and deepening my understanding of how I move through this world.

This project is one I hope will never end as I continue to explore the nuances of my inner landscape.

I feel heavy<br />
Dense.<br />
<br />
I need to be light<br />
Light enough to drift<br />
Drift through the chaos<br />
	the people<br />
	the responsibilities.<br />
<br />
Maybe noone will notice me.

I feel heavy
Dense.

I need to be light
Light enough to drift
Drift through the chaos
the people
the responsibilities.

Maybe noone will notice me.


I use to dance.  It was my life. It was all I knew. <br />
I loved ballet class.<br />
Sweating, working hard, the feeling of accomplishment.  <br />
In class I didn’t have to think of anything else. <br />
I was told what to do and I did it. <br />
<br />
Easy.<br />
<br />
Bun Head mentality.  <br />
Don’t think, just do. <br />
Pointe your toes, do the laundry, pay the bills, port de bras back, <br />
feed the kids, grande jeté, smile.<br />
<br />
So comfortable. So confining. <br />
It does what needs to be done. <br />
And does it well.<br />
<br />
I’m exhausted with the monotony of putting one foot in front of the other <br />
Without a thought of how my feet actually feel.

I use to dance. It was my life. It was all I knew.
I loved ballet class.
Sweating, working hard, the feeling of accomplishment.
In class I didn’t have to think of anything else.
I was told what to do and I did it.

Easy.

Bun Head mentality.
Don’t think, just do.
Pointe your toes, do the laundry, pay the bills, port de bras back,
feed the kids, grande jeté, smile.

So comfortable. So confining.
It does what needs to be done.
And does it well.

I’m exhausted with the monotony of putting one foot in front of the other
Without a thought of how my feet actually feel.


Time is short <br />
Emotions high. <br />
Denial swoops in to save the day.<br />
<br />
Awareness is shut down by justification. <br />
My kid stopped eating. <br />
             She’s going through a phase. <br />
My husband is having an affair. <br />
                            I have trust issues. <br />
<br />
Denial buys me time.<br />
Time to find a hole to bury my head.

Time is short
Emotions high.
Denial swoops in to save the day.

Awareness is shut down by justification.
My kid stopped eating.
She’s going through a phase.
My husband is having an affair.
I have trust issues.

Denial buys me time.
Time to find a hole to bury my head.


Fuck you <br />
And the horse you rode in on.<br />
I don’t need you.<br />
I don’t need anyone. <br />
<br />
I am <br />
Untouchable <br />
Impenetrable.<br />
<br />
Leave<br />
Leave me to myself.<br />
Leave me before the veneer cracks <br />
and all that is underneath is exposed.

Fuck you
And the horse you rode in on.
I don’t need you.
I don’t need anyone.

I am
Untouchable
Impenetrable.

Leave
Leave me to myself.
Leave me before the veneer cracks
and all that is underneath is exposed.


When am I going to land?

When am I going to land?


Thoughts pulling me under.<br />
Instinct holding me up.<br />
<br />
Stranded in purgatory<br />
	between living and dying <br />
	submerging and breathing<br />
	going away and staying.

Thoughts pulling me under.
Instinct holding me up.

Stranded in purgatory
between living and dying
submerging and breathing
going away and staying.


Who am I in a world full of super heroes?

Who am I in a world full of super heroes?


Incoming attack!<br />
What to do! Where to go? <br />
<br />
Summoned by a barrage of criticism<br />
real or perceived<br />
Brain Freeze emerges to paralyze the nervous system. <br />
<br />
Complete Shutdown. <br />
   No decision can be made <br />
   No feeling can be had<br />
   No curiosity can roam<br />
   No engagement can be made.<br />
<br />
There will be little memory of what truly happened<br />
Convenient intellectual justification will be made<br />
An overlay of story barricading shame from consciousness.<br />
<br />
Protector of worthiness<br />
Defender against humiliation <br />
Always there to preserve some semblance of dignity.

Incoming attack!
What to do! Where to go?

Summoned by a barrage of criticism
real or perceived
Brain Freeze emerges to paralyze the nervous system.

Complete Shutdown.
No decision can be made
No feeling can be had
No curiosity can roam
No engagement can be made.

There will be little memory of what truly happened
Convenient intellectual justification will be made
An overlay of story barricading shame from consciousness.

Protector of worthiness
Defender against humiliation
Always there to preserve some semblance of dignity.


Sometimes peace washes over me <br />
   a summer night’s breeze<br />
   fresh cut grass <br />
   a silk blanket.<br />
<br />
It doesn’t take much<br />
It doesn’t last long<br />
But, oh! the sweetness.

Sometimes peace washes over me
a summer night’s breeze
fresh cut grass
a silk blanket.

It doesn’t take much
It doesn’t last long
But, oh! the sweetness.


Thoughts turn my brain into a million millipedes.<br />
Riddled with judgement and criticism<br />
Each tiny foot explodes a new minefield of shame.<br />
<br />
Manifesting in the murkiness of darkness<br />
Their power lies in secrecy.<br />
<br />
When daylight ascends<br />
The creatures evaporate<br />
And it’s all a silly dream.

Thoughts turn my brain into a million millipedes.
Riddled with judgement and criticism
Each tiny foot explodes a new minefield of shame.

Manifesting in the murkiness of darkness
Their power lies in secrecy.

When daylight ascends
The creatures evaporate
And it’s all a silly dream.


No regrets.<br />
I call bullshit!<br />
<br />
I regret things every day.<br />
<br />
I regret that third glass of wine.<br />
I regret blowing that career because I was too thin-skinned to deal with it.<br />
I regret getting married.<br />
I regret saying no to that party.<br />
I regret saying yes to that party.<br />
I regret yelling at my kid.<br />
I regret selling my motorcycle.<br />
I regret being a shitty friend.<br />
I regret leaving New York City. <br />
I regret not finishing college. <br />
I regret losing that swim meet when I was 10 years old. <br />
I regret every cigarette I’ve smoked<br />
	every mean thing I’ve said<br />
	every lie I’ve told.<br />
	<br />
So, sure, I’ve learned from my mistakes.  <br />
I still wish I didn’t have to live with them.

No regrets.
I call bullshit!

I regret things every day.

I regret that third glass of wine.
I regret blowing that career because I was too thin-skinned to deal with it.
I regret getting married.
I regret saying no to that party.
I regret saying yes to that party.
I regret yelling at my kid.
I regret selling my motorcycle.
I regret being a shitty friend.
I regret leaving New York City.
I regret not finishing college.
I regret losing that swim meet when I was 10 years old.
I regret every cigarette I’ve smoked
every mean thing I’ve said
every lie I’ve told.

So, sure, I’ve learned from my mistakes.
I still wish I didn’t have to live with them.


Can anyone tell that I have lost my ability to breathe?

Can anyone tell that I have lost my ability to breathe?

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