March Muse

Many years ago, in another life, I was a musician. Music consumed my entire being and looking back I now know that music, and especially song writing was my way of communicating something of my real self to the outside world, an expression of things I could never quite articulate with words alone. Strangely, I was always most productive when I’d been hurt or was feeling lost and dissatisfied with life.
20 years on, I still need a way of channelling my emotional responses to life’s ups and downs, only now, I do it through photographing the mountains of Snowdonia. The past 11 months since I upped sticks and moved to Snowdonia have been in turn incredibly difficult and very rewarding. In February I was probably the happiest I have been in a very long time and everything was going right for me. In most areas of my life it still is, but at the beginning of March I received some news that really upset me and threatened to drown me in a pool of despair. It still hurts and will continue to do so but I need to fight back and the past month has reminded me of those dark days of many years ago when I would pour myself into songs.
Rather than let my sadness cripple me, I have taken to the mountains and coast obsessively in an attempt to find solace and perspective. Upon reviewing my work from the last few weeks I have noticed that my mood and emotional state is palpable in the images I have captured. They talk of the bitter-sweet contradiction of beautiful, peaceful moments spent alone in amazing places and the dull, gnawing ache that comes with yearning for a certain someone to share them with.
The mountains and sea are timeless. They remind me of how little time we have on this planet and the massive conflict I feel between seizing today and the bitter regret of missed opportunities and broken dreams.
Unless you are emotionally numb or unwilling to listen, the landscapes of North Wales will tell you everything there is to know about the human condition even if their message is sometimes a hard one to swallow.
Yesterday I was on Rhinog Fawr, looking over to Y Llethr where almost a year ago this chapter of my life began. I couldn’t look for long as I was with a friend and in me it generated a sorrow that shook me to the core.
Tomorrow, I will go back there alone and let the landscape, my inner turmoil and my hopes for the future fight it out. When the dust settles I hope to come home with an image that is symbolic of closing the circle, an exorcism that for me, only the mountains can perform.
Reflecting on Solitude - The Padarn Tree




Shivering Dawn - Winter returns to Snowdonia




Where mountains meet the sea - The Rivals from Dinas Dinlle




Llyn Dywarchen




Wish you were here...




Winter's retreat




On Heartbreak Ridge




On the Beach




Contemplation - Llyn y Cwn




Snowdon Glow


~ by nicklivesey on March 31, 2014.

4 Responses to “March Muse”

  1. This post really resonates with me as I’ve made many solo trips into North Wales during the last few difficult years. Even when I’m not able to get away I think about places I’ve been and have yet to discover. Your photographs are breathtaking as always. I’ve recently bought a Lumix G3 but I mostly take pictures for my artwork.

    • Thanks for reading Janine, I really appreciate it. I’m not all doom and gloom but my work is driven by emotion as I think all good art should be. I do hope that your art provides comfort in difficult times…When next you up this way do give me a shout 🙂

      • Thanks Nick, will do. The days are getting longer now and I love setting out early for days wandering who knows where 🙂

  2. Beautiful post Nick, sorry to hear things have been painful for you recently – but wonderful that you know how to express yourself and care for yourself within that pain – I know what you mean about the landscapes here really supporting and healing us.

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