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.

Monday, March 9, 2015

A Little Bird

Kestrel on Sign
San Rafael Valley
Patagonia, AZ

There wasn't much according to my mother that she didn't know she claimed. You see she had a very wise bird an omniscient omnipresent bird who told her everything. For years as a child I dared not take my chances against such a formidable foe. Why challenge him? In fact I had no intention of taking such risks.

As time passed I got more gutsy and ultimately through down my gauntlet. My mother had predicted that my first born would be a son. The early morning birth came shortly after midnight. The doctor announced that my "son" was a girl and I responded in disbelief. "Are you sure?" My mother's bird had never been wrong according to my stats.

Apparently the doctor must have had a similar mother and encouraged me to look for myself and corroborate his fact. From that day forward, my poor mother lost her staunchest believer and from that day forward on most things I became a sceptic.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

You Must Not Quit

San Rafael View
Patagonia, AZ

The most difficult part of post processing in photography is quitting to soon; quitting before the actual reasons or motivations for capturing the image develop before your eyes. If you quit you will never realize the potential. You work the image until each pixel speaks to you, its modern day digital pointillism. Seurat would be quite proud.

Zona Hereford
Patagonia, AZ
Each time that I've ventured out into the San Rafael Valley, I am awakened and my spirit renews. It seems that each time I find something new, another piece of the puzzle. It always a fresh discovery but its not until I spend time with my digital tools that I get to paint with my imagination as I try to recall what I felt and witnessed. It's at that point that creativity and reality fuse.

No you must not quit. Don't stop before the end of the line. If you do you will truly miss out and so will your viewers.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

My Shoes

Rancho De Vacas
San Rafael Valley
Patagonia, AZ

A few years ago my father noticed a pair of Allen Edmond shoes that I was wearing. He went on to not only comment about them and how nice they were but he also guessed spot on how much the pair cost. Knowing well that my father probably had never owned a pair as expensive, I inquired how he knew their value. He looked at me and smiled and said: "I know good shoes."

We take many things for granted not the least each others' experiences. We assume a lot but actually know very little about the shoes others may have walked in. Today I wonder about all the assumptions made and judgements rendered and I wonder how much do I really know and how much perhaps I've missed. Put yourself in my shoes.

Monday, February 16, 2015


Just have been thinking about the many times I've walked this same path; each time finding something different. Usually it's because I open my senses and allow myself to enjoy curious momentos. It may be a new sound I hear perhaps heralding spring or its a greying sky prognosticating the onset of inclement weather or it might be sunbathing turtles or blue herons fishing or a lone middle aged lady sitting on a park bench morning the loss of a pet dog and reminiscing of walks together around a pond or sounds of children laughing and squealing while being swung by young mothers. I choose to experience it all. I'm open to it all regardless of its source: information, comfort, and guidance. I'm awake. 

Saturday, February 7, 2015


Pensive Heron
Keller, TX
“Men do not quit playing because they grow old; 
they grow old because they quit playing.” 
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr

It's seems that life and work have taken me over for now. For the past eight weeks, I've done pretty much nothing more than study and prepare for both my series 7 and now my series 66 exam.  Right after I finish, I head to Tempe, AZ for a week long training session. Then it will be on to pass my state insurance exam.

Photographer and Apprentice
If you get the picture, I have very little time for doing what I love best which is photography and writing about life experiences and its lessons. However tragic as this might sound, I do have to pay the piper. For slightly over half of the past five years, I've been plagued with episodes of unemployment and under employment. During that time my lifelines were photography and writing. So I truly am grateful for my new opportunity. It's just that I want to be headed confidently towards my goal of photographing and archiving experiences from my point of view. The clock is ticking away.

It didn't help any that I watched Gordon Parks: "Half Past Autumn" on my iPhone last night. Balancing wants and needs is a lifelong dilemma for creative types. Responsibilities and obligations get in the way I suppose.

So I have to figure out how and I will find the time for play and balance so that I can achieve what my creative side requires and satiate its needs too.  In a way, I'm apologizing for having to deviate and defer but survival is an important thing to me as well. Wish I had more time today to write, but I don't. Have to study and prepare.

For those of you who know me, I will be a fully licensed financial advisor with Edward Jones. If you know me really well,  you can attest that I've made my funds last during an extremely difficult time. Hope to help others to in tough times and in good. All this so I can eventually play more. It seems that play is what I have to look forward to.