Flavia Fontana Giusti © 2023
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life . Portrait . street
WINTER WALKS, TO RESIST THE DREADED ANXIETY ATTACKS
I went to Brazil for two weeks from January 8 to January 22, and the reason I went was that my anxiety was peaking. So much so, that it was becoming difficult to perform regular day-to-day life. One of the ways I was managing it in the first week of January, was going on long walks. And when I write long, I mean long: with no other responsibility that to make myself feel better, after months of depriving myself of the restorative benefits of sunlight and physical activity, I wandered around for 3 or 5 hours. I’d simply stay out until I felt I could breathe again, and every day I avoided a full blown attack felt like an epic victory.
Mental health is something I treat as a chore, I feel perfectly happy with myself as long as it’s sunny, I’m doing my things, and there’s nobody interrupting me. But I’m a mom, and I live in one of the northernmost States in the US, not to mention the previous 4 years living in Canada, so winters are bound to be long and hard. And as I write these lines that have nothing to do with street photography, I cannot help but feel that I need to commit very publicly that starting next year I will see this coming, and I will be proactive about vitamin D deficiency and other joys of winter. So right here and right now, I’m pledging to be better at preventing crisis like the one I had this year, or like the one I had last year (though that one ended up getting me diagnosed with ADHD, so ultimately it was a good thing, I now take care of that).
That being said, these walks were also a way to force myself to get back on my horse, after a season so intense I’m still recovering from the succession of viruses I caught and brought home at the beginning of December (yes, I’m still clogged in the nose and the ears despite my two weeks under the tropics!).
So even if these images are not my best work (though I really like the first one, of the kids with the baloons), they represent some form of hope to me, but not just a sterile hope, it’s a hope grounded in personal work, on myself, on my health, and on getting myself out of a funk and regaining confidence in myself by doing what makes me feel alive.
They were shot on Ilford’s HP5+ (rated at 640) and FP4+ (rated at box speed) with my lovely little Kodak Retina IIIc.
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