Sunday, May 10, 2009

One year of publishing...

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of this bog. Really, it’s a little amazing to me, and almost every time I log in to my blog page, I wonder a little at myself. Being a person that loves to keep my life, and my doings, so private and secretive, it’s really weird that I would be publishing a blog with my thoughts, writings and photos.

I’m also surprised at the way that it has changed over the months that I have been publishing. I’ve had some people ask why I write a blog. They ask why I take pictures. I usually answer, "I don’t know", but that’s not entirely true.

It’s interesting to note the paths that life leads us into. The original reason that I even started this thing was a slightly ridicules childish fantasy. But it seems like things are larger then me, and it seems that even though I may have reasons for doing things at one point, they seem to sometimes end up as something much different then I might have imagined.

I don’t know what will become of this blog. I don’t know what will become of my photography. I suppose that everyone in life wants to make some sort of a difference in the world. I feel like it is a little pretentious for me to think that this blog is, "making a difference". But I can hope that somehow, my life and efforts can be used to somehow touch others, to somehow become a catalyst for comfort, hope and change.

We live in a world that is so full of pain, sorrow, and heartbreak. Just last week:
  • I went and watched The Soloist, and I left pondering about the 90,000 homeless people on the streets of LA, and the countless homeless people the world over. People dying from disease, hunger, and tragedy...
  • I talked to a friend of mine that had broken up with the guy that she had been seeing for eight months. She was heartbroken, and she said some line about things like that making you stronger. I told her I thought that line was BS...stronger for what? Harder? Colder?
  • I talked with a dear friend that was struggling with her marriage and was deeply hurt. It seemed that she didn’t know how to go on, or what to do. I knew not what to say...
  • I found out that someone that I had recently become acquainted with had lost her sister in death about a year ago, and she was having a hard time with the one year anniversary...
What can I say to these sorts of things? What can I do? I don't know. And yet, there are happy things. Last week on the flip side:
  • I talked with dear friend of mine, in her fifties, that was excited about the prospects of a new relationship that she is in, after having been single for about ten years..
  • I shot an engagement photo session for a young couple. Such an amazing experience it is, to watch a young couple, excited to embark on a journey through life together.
  • My sister gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. I visited her, and listened, as she recounted the love that she realized that she had for this little girl before she was born.
  • I watched a new mother with her little girl, as she held her, and talked to her. Her dad worked on something close by. I watched as the little girl watched her dad, her soft brown eyes intent on his every move.
  • I watched a friend that had been childless for 14 years of marriage, as she held her new little baby boy, and cooed at him...
Life happens. What can we say to it? What can we change about it? Really change? With our puny little arms? I don’t know that we really can. Not without the help of our dear Father in Heaven.

In short, I continue to publish this blog for the same reason that I continue to photograph.

I feel called to.

Plain and simple. I don’t know why. I don’t know what good it does. I just feel like right now, it is something that I am supposed to do. I trust that. It might just be practice for something that is yet to come. Maybe it does good, and maybe it does not. I don’t know.

And another reason. I love the creative process. I love it when I start with a blank sheet of paper and emerge with a written piece. I love it when I drive down the road, or when I walk across a park and words come into my head. I love it when I pick up my camera, and I loose myself in my surroundings. To where time and place almost don’t matter, and it is just me and the camera, the light, the scene. I love it when I look at a photograph later and it takes me back to that second, that moment in time, the things that I felt, the things that I thought, the things that I hoped for. Sometimes it is sad, and sometimes it is happy, but it is all real. I don't really get inspired by my own photographs. I simply remember...

Some artists start with an image in their head and create that. I don’t. I don’t see it until it is there in front of me. It is the evolution of the subject, the writing, the photograph, the drawing, the song, or the dance, that I love. The change, the design on the fly. The complete lack of planning and structure. A sort of free-flowing creation that creates an exhilaration in my soul, and my spirit.

I suppose it is something that you have to experience to appreciate...

This photo was taken at Martin’s Cove, Wyoming. I was deeply moved while I was there, and the area is very sacred to me. I was coming back from New York via Wounded Knee, South Dakota, and I drove right past it, quite on accident. I had no idea I was going to pass it.

The people of the Martin, Willie, and other companies that embarked on the journey that ended in the death and suffering of so many, were undoubtedly remarkable people. I believe that they were people of faith. People that cared, that believed, that trusted God.

My ancestors were among those that struggled with the Willie company in that area, so I stopped and hiked around. I got there at dark, so I couldn’t stay long, but I did make it back to the actual campsite of the Martin company and I took this photo. I like it because we all have a path in life, with shadows and bright spots, sorrow, pain, happiness, and joy. And we might not see the end of the road right now, but somewhere on the horizon, there are bright areas, and all things work to the good of those that love God.

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