Friday, May 27, 2016

Catching UP

Woman Trapped in Cactus Body
Sabino Canyon
Tucson, AZ

Life has gotten in the way. Have had to earn my keep and have had little time for me and the outlets that provide balance for me. Those outlets include self expression both with the written word and my visual perceptions of the world seasoned by my version of the truth. (Let's face it, we all have a version of the truth filtered and distorted by our own reality perception. No one is innocent.)

Took liberties with an image I captured several years ago in Arizona. My claim then was that I had spent too much time in the solitude of desert and with lack of companionship. Today I look back at the same image and see a politically incorrect woman trapped in a cactus body. It's hard for me to see it any other way.

Lighten up and laugh. It's an election year and there's plenty to laugh about. We should all be disgusted  enough to throw all of these pandering politicians out. I stand by my woman trapped in a cactus body. That's reality. I can almost hear: "What's a nice cactus like you doing in a place like this?"

Thursday, December 10, 2015

That time of year.

Keller Christmas
Keller, TX

Happened to look down at my calendar which happens to be my iPhone only to notice that its now the second week of December. What happened to this year? All I see on my way home now are tree lights and homes silhouetted by lights. When did the year escape me?

All I recall was preparing for the three exams earlier this year: Series 7, 66, and my Texas Insurance License. The next thing I knew I was in Tempe preparing to start my financial advisory business and knocking on doors like a hybrid Jehovah's Witness with Mormon parents.

Had to set aside my photography to earn money in earnest. However, I miss my doing my landscapes but I don't miss trying to earn commercial assignments. There are simply too many people giving it away and with negligible skills calling themselves photographers. A camera doesn't make you one nor does a license really make you a financial advisor.

It boils down to more: talent, skill, a calling. Two things I've always been my entire life: creative and financially oriented. If you stop by my office, in addition to my financial advice and guidance, if you are lucky you might also get a 5x7 card from me, a sample of my passion and creativity.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Playing in My Creative Attic

Aspens Ablaze
Near Kebler Pass
Crested  Butte, Colorado

The last of human freedoms -
the ability to choose one's attitude
in a given set of circumstances.
Viktor Frankl 

When I was a child I remember the countless hours spent at my neighbors house on rainy days playing in a makeshift playroom in a very dusty attic on 75 Prospect St, in Winsted, CT. The dreary rain did not bother us. It provided us with an opportunity to play and to entertain ourselves. It was always worthwhile.

For those of you tracking the weather here in North Texas we have been afflicted with large amounts of rain since Thanksgiving eve and into the long weekend. Its not been pretty and the wind chill has turned 39 into 20. I've no attic to play in so I've chosen to search my photographic archives and find images that I could breathe life into. Images that I've not had time to interpret to my liking. 

Today's image was shot while on an excursion with a friend on our way to Kebler Pass. The friend was someone we had met ironically in Colorado one year prior. We met as strangers on a journey with a common interest. Thank you Adam for inviting me to come out and play.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Wanted: Inspiration

Inspiration Lost
Hunter, NY

"Don't aim at success.
The more you aim at it
and make it a target,
the more you are going to miss it."
Viktor Frankl
Success has always driven me. It has driven my crazy. It's been fleeting and illusive. It has taken me to dark places in the absence of its financial definition. Viktor Frankl implied that success was the "unintended side effect to a cause greater than oneself or as the by product of one's surrender to a person other than oneself." You have to not care about it and let it happen.

If this sounds odd to you, you are in good company. It's totally foreign to me. However, when I am in my creative space not only am I happy but I find that I am also successful because I let go of all the conventions and simply work at something until I am satisfied with my creation.

This morning, on the tail end of a deluge of rain from a weather pattern I refer to as "el gringo" (unlike its cousin el Niño, it takes over the country and lingers), I had trouble getting inspired. I chose to find an image which would force me to communicate my mood on this dreary day. 

In doing this, I was able to feel both happiness and success on this dreary damp day. Find your inspiration even on the darkest days. That is truly a successful way to live. 

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Midlife Crisis or Self Discovery

Photographer at Work
Zabriskie Point
Death Valley, CA

"I celebrate myself, and sing myself, 
And what I assume you shall assume, 
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you."
--Walt Whitman

It's been a while since I started my journey in earnest. The catalyst was a combination of job loss and midlife crisis seasoned by financial and human loss. The crisis in time became a realization of self-discovery, a long journey. Its now that I can look back and say that it lead to an incredible metamorphosis. Irony for someone who abhorred change.

My bitterness and pain was assuaged by my priceless experiences and by the people I met; sojourners, slobs on the bus, traveling through life just like me.

There's so much more wisdom now to share with you. Things ultimately do get better. After the excruciating pain of birth there's is a complete life to enjoy. Suffering is not needless but an avenue paved by the realization of good times and the uncomplicated. Life and the breaths you have are worth celebrating.

Today, again, I renew my vows with myself and to the life I have, not to the one I dream of. I celebrate myself with all my foibles and what goodness might be within me. I am grateful to be alive and even more grateful to have you as my audience. Learn from my hardship and celebrate with me my metamorphosis.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Desert Epiphany

Peson de Pima
Pima Canyon
Tucson, AZ

My best creative work came to me whilst in the midst of a very dark period of personal turmoil. A few of you know about my personal job travails and self doubt. I very much felt lost and rudderless. The isolation of the desert and my seclusion from friends and family forced me to open my eyes. I witnessed my own my own metamorphosis and in that space the barren took on its own meaning.

My discovery was simply this that I was surrounded by life and meaning and that to enjoy it all I had to do was simply pay the admission of being awake. It was the unforeseen and unanticipated that forced me to enjoy my journey. Yes hardship forced me to have adventure at a time that I thought my life was dead and over. I felt forsaken by the source of my identity: work.

In the absence of verdant vegetation, shapes and solitude, and my imagination created new pixels of images that I otherwise would not have seen or witnessed. No longer did I simply watch a movie, but I became its director, cinematographer, and audience of one. I experienced life. I experienced the euphoria of the mountain top.

Don't let others tell you that its a midlife crisis. Don't listen to that noise. It's not a crisis at all, it's self-discovery.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

A Thought on Global Warming

Summer View
Estes Park, CO

Most folks blue and red alike share a love for clean air and water. At least, I presume so. A friend of mine and I are having a debate over over global warming. He pointed out that an article written in 1922 shared the same concern and that my argument was nothing new. That's ok, but since then the world has become vastly industrialized with China, India, and Brazil emerging onto the scene.
Go to China and stay for a week or Bombay, India and you will understand the severity and enormity of the problem. It's a global issue and taking away the tax incentives for polluters to transfer jobs and pollute elsewhere is a great beginning towards remedying the situation. It's not sufficient to say that a few hydrocarbons won't hurt anyone. We felt that way towards lead based paint, asbestos, and thalidomide. In time all were deemed harmful to our well being. There is a balance to be found and we must either find it or evolve further and wean ourselves from both clean air and water.
I love my grandkids and my children. I wish them healthy lives.