The loneliness…

paradox.


The sky is one whole, the water another; and between those two infinities the soul of man is in loneliness.

Henryk Sienkiewicz

Loneliness is an interesting paradox that doesn’t always look like we imagine it would look when observing it from the outside.

It’s an all too common experience that isn’t alleviated by merely living with someone. Findings by neuroscientist John T Cacioppo in Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection indicate that long term loneliness can be as harmful to your health as smoking and obesity. Some of the side effects? Impairment of thinking, willpower, and perseverance which only serve to reinforce the feelings of rejection and isolation.

Not to be confused with solitude, something that I personally value as a time for reflection and recharging, loneliness can often feel worse when it occurs with-in a relationship.

The complexity of this subject begs for more exploration but until then, if you’re feeling lonely, please reach out to someone and let them know.

Scars…

from a different viewpoint.


All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.

Anatole France

On a recent flight my seatmate was a woman slightly older than myself but as you do in close quarters, we began to chat. Summing up your life history in a few short sentences is somewhat freeing. Each time you share your story, even if it’s with someone you’re likely never to see again, it opens the door to healing scars that may not be visible from the outside.

Gazing out over the mountains below she spoke with regret of the place where she had gotten married, a place that I have been to on several occasions and each time have been seduced by its beauty.

You see it burned in the fall of 2017, 19,303 hectares in the park itself. She said it was now ugly, it would never be the same, and she likely would not return. I was surprised by that reaction, so at odds with my own. I shared some images with her that I had taken over the last two years but where I saw signs of strength and survival she saw only haunting scars.

She’s a breast cancer survivor and I couldn’t help but wonder what she feels about herself when she confronts a mirror. When I see scars, especially devastating ones, I always think of the strength that it must have taken to push beyond that and to survive.

Change is a good thing. It gives us the opportunity to create a new narrative and to perhaps do a better job when we tell the next story.

Be optimistic, be brave, and most of all be kind.


Falling…

through cracks.

DSC_2661-EditThe cradle rocks above an abyss, and common sense tells us that our existence is but a brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness.

Vladimir Nabokov

I look down from the 3rd floor in the early morning hours as the big city begins to stir. It has a life of its own, a rhythm, a pulse, this city that I am but a guest in.

I watch a man, perhaps younger than myself, push a cart laden with bottles and cans. He stops to check the dumpster and makes a selection of a handful of items.

I wonder if anyone misses him. I can’t imagine what his life is like compared to mine.

What happened that made him fall through the cracks…

 

Rare…

and fleeting.

kelvin helmholtz clouds breaking overtop of snowy peak blue sky

Nature is a mutable cloud which is always and never the same.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

I remember as a child one of my favorite posters was of a cloud identification chart. It made such an impact that many years later I can still picture it in my mind.

Much like the ocean, the sky is like a huge canvas just waiting for the first brushstrokes to be laid and on this day there was something special planned!

These clouds are created in part by instability when wind is moving at different speeds in the upper and lower layers of a cloud resulting in a wave like appearance. They were named after physicists Lord Kelvin and Hermann von Helmholtz.

A special note that often appears in discussions about the rare and fleeting clouds is that they are believed to have inspired the cloud formations in Van Gogh’s Starry Night oil on canvas.

A reminder to take time every day to enjoy the beauty found in our natural world. These disappeared in a moment but for me, they will live on forever.

Truer words…

if there is magic.

looking into a river and seeing the patterns emerge as water flows over rocks blue green palette


If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.

Loren Eiseley

Eiseley was quoted as being a scholar and writer of imagination and grace. His reverence for the natural world and his eloquent and poetic way of writing about it is nothing short of inspirational.

I share his thoughts on water. It compels in me a strong desire to record its transient nature and its variant forms.

The image above is part of a series that I have some special plans for and I hope that it in turns inspires people to look, really look, at the beauty of our natural world.

Note: Those of you signed up to receive my blog by e-mail received a link that was not functioning correctly. My apologies, I will post that when it is corrected.

Delusion…

a better state of mind?

snow covered peak is on a rooflineIt is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.

Carl Sagan

I’m reminded of something that my optometrist once said to me as she marveled, you really don’t like your vision to be fully corrected do you?

Today I still find a lot of truth in that, I don’t want to see things as they are but as they could be and my cameras allow me that luxury.

It’s a constant struggle between the optimist in me and the voice of reality that roots for people to change and to somehow become what they’re really not.

But people don’t change do they? They are exactly who they are when the mask slips and you see what lies behind.

And no matter how much I would like it to be different, that beautiful snow-covered peak will always just be a roofline.

 

The disconnect…

that keeps you from being a better artist…

dsc_2437-editLearning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow.

William Pollard

So many of my blog posts lately stem from some great conversations that start out having nothing to do with photography. Like this one about how we learn and how the ability to see ourselves or our artwork with any degree of objectivity molds our progress, dictates whether our work evolves or stays stagnant. Weighty stuff over a morning coffee perhaps but that’s exactly the kind of spark that ignites my creativity.

It’s easy to get lulled into a false sense of security when you have supportive friends and family “liking” and “commenting” on your latest work. For me that’s an essential part of a supportive journey and greatly appreciated, but it has little to do with reality. The reality part is my responsibility.

This time of year I really like to take a hard look at my body of work and see how it’s grown over the year or even better, decade or more. That gives me the information that I need to continue to grow, to see the nuances in my work, and to be a better artist.

Some images still hold the test of time and can be pulled into current work easily while others show the importance of being able to turn a critical eye on your own work. We all have them, those ones from years ago that make you wonder what you were thinking. It’s good to have those reminders that hopefully show you how far you’ve come.

And that’s why some people move forward and create better work, while others stay exactly where they are. That disconnect in the ability to recognize what you do know and more importantly what you don’t because it’s recognizing that that propels your work forward and keeps you from stagnating in a pool of murky pond water.

Because you know…it’s (almost always) about the water.