Friday, July 10, 2015
If I stop to think about it I could easily become overwhelmed: 11 rolls of film to process, 6 rolls waiting to be edited and scanned, oops just bought another book before finishing the 5 I picked up last month, letters not yet written, 3 upcoming doctor appointments, sit the gallery for 6 hours, don't want to miss that poetry reading tomorrow night, dinner guests arriving in a half hour. But I don't think about it much. I just keep moving forward. Slowly of course, but forward.
I don't watch TV or go to movies and that totally baffles many people. I'd rather read or sit in a cafe with a cappuccino and a good friend. I'd rather photograph on the streets of North Beach than spend a day in the woods experiencing nature. I'd rather write a letter by hand with a fountain pen on good paper than send an e-mail.
Sure some things pile up, tasks are put off, I fall behind. But I pursue what's important to me and I find I have little or no desire to seek out diversions. I enjoy what I do despite the underlying threat of becoming overwhelmed.
Keeping busy doing the things that are important and fulfilling, creative and enlightening, that's great motivation. No I can't read it all or learn it all, but I can dive in and spend the rest of my life swimming in that vast sea of wonder and possibility.
It's a matter of perspective, sifting through all that human culture and society has heaped before us. Sure there's a lot of dreck out there, but there is no need to become mired in it.
Photographer Jay Maisel has had a long career honing his creative vision. He's never in a place or situation that leaves him unable to find a scene of visual harmony. He does a good job of sifting through that dreck. Maisel has talked a lot about the practice of being a photographer and once said, "Don't try to make diamonds out of crap." And he's right, there's no need.
Photo: ©2015 David W. Sumner