am i still here?

my work life remains in disarray. supplemental to whatever comes, i will very likely reopen my photographic business in some form, more than likely as a side venture, seeing that the marketplace is still quite over-saturated around here. i have been studying and practicing several new techniques, embracing new software and workflows, and generally expanding myself, all while continuing to find a new work-home. i spent too long being too picky about where i wanted to land, and now i’ve been out of the landing zone for far too long. bravo, me.

i have been rebuilding my portfolio so that these dark days pass not quite so darkly, while adding the occasional new thing as well. i may not be the best about posting to this place, but i am not entirely idle, either. the creative coils still turn. 

Luminary Crimson (Metal Core) © 2018 Jered Dawnne
Luminary Crimson (Metal Core) © 2018 Jered Dawnne
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Friday Musings

Arcane Shores (Strata of the Untold) © 2018 Jered Dawnne

Arcane Shores (Strata of the Untold) © 2018 Jered Dawnne

It’s Friday. This week was one of those, “hey, that didn’t go as planned” weeks; this panorama was one of those “hey that didn’t go as planned” panoramas; and the post-production on it as I experimented with monochrome effects was a collection of “happy accidents”; so I figured that today was an auspicious day for sharing. I’ve deliberately merged the horizon with the sky a bit, here. It’s somewhat representative of my life: One just never quite knows what’s coming, even if it’s silhouetted on a ridge line or standing alone on the horizon.

I’m hoping to re-shoot this ridge in mid-August from the trail down on the verge. It would be a better composition with a wider angle, and more dramatic. From this vantage, though, you can see across the plains, and in monochrome, one can almost lead the eye into seeing what it was like when these formations were being formed by the river which flowed between them, and the lake upon which they bordered. Thus the name for this one, “Arcane Shores”.

Nikon D500, Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR @200mm, PTGui, Adobe Lightroom Classic CC, DxO Nik Color Efex Pro 4 & Silver Efex Pro 2.
9 pieces, hand-held.

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A Requiem for the Undecided

A Requiem for the Undecided: Copyright © 2018 Jered Dawnne

A Requiem for the Undecided: Copyright © 2018 Jered Dawnne

It was while standing here, back in the fall of 2015, that I realized something, which was in turn the beginning of the end of a certain indecisiveness. And it was while standing here again a week and a day ago, hand-holding the camera for this panorama, knowing it wasn’t the right way to do it and knowing that no matter how careful I was it was going to be a bit of a process to post-produce, that I silently vowed to myself that this was the last time I would do this without some sort of temporal or situational need that prevented me from using the right equipment. But I couldn’t help but to think back to the last time I was here as well; that’s why I mentioned it. This is a place which engenders realistic thought in me. It’s just dirt and scrub brush, and the dirt is eroding away; but that’s really all it is out here: dirt and scrub brush…and the occasional snake, but I’m going to skip that particular metaphor today. Sometimes, it’s all pleasantly arranged, and often times, it’s layered in ways that remind you that we’re little more than the same. So, it’s worth visiting, and it’s worth spending some time here. Because it’s worth being reminded that our dreams, our hopes, our decisions are merely vapors which pour from a wetware which has an extremely finite lifespan. Dirt lasts longer than our aspirations.

To wit: How many times have I set out to revive my creativity? A cursory scan through the contents of this blog will reveal that it’s about every couple of years, and this incarnation of it doesn’t even include all the original writings or imagery which would drive that reality home all the way back to 1998 or so (before which time my creativity simply….flowed). It’s hard to do with working and refereeing, yes, but that’s not really much of an excuse. “Hard” isn’t impossible. It’s a matter of priorities. I keep stacking up all these things as more important than myself. And many of them actually are more important than me, because they’re genuine responsibilities to the people I love, but not all of them meet that measure. And more to the point, I keep layering these things above myself until another couple of years rolls around and I wake up feeling like it’s been a long time. Of course, two years is a long time in some ways, but it’s barely a whistle in so many others, and I need to quit getting caught up in the time-that-was-lost and immerse myself instead in the time-to-be-spent. I look at the layers in these formations and I think about the layers of my life, and the comparison annoys me.

I got really thrown off back in 2014, or at least that’s when it came to a head. I’ve said repeatedly that the (now temporary) resignation from refereeing was the right thing to have done, but in retrospect, it was the other major stressor in my life which should have been removed at the time. That’s what I pretty much came to realize back when I was here in 2015, and what for some reason I could only really come to admit to myself last week. I wasn’t being true to myself, even when I thought I was taking courses of action which protected my center. A lot of things, really from 2010 forward, were the result of me foundering in the Realm of the Undecided. It hasn’t been healthy, and it certainly wasn’t beneficial when I was standing here that fall of 2015. I’ve come a long way since then, but there’s still a ways to go. There are lighter layers to be cast down upon those darker ones, yet. Layers which will hopefully be fruitful soil for something more than scrub brush and weeds.

While standing here back in the fall of 2015, there came a fairly minor realization about a relationship that was already showing itself out the door, and had been damaging me for over a year. That relationship didn’t end for another several months, it took me until January of 2017 to come back to refereeing, and it still took until this summer for me to start taking myself seriously again. I may not have managed to prove it to myself as we stopped through the Badlands on our way back to Sioux Falls from a long weekend of youth baseball in Rapid City that weekend, but I’ve finally begun approaching my photography with the deference and the passion that it deserves (that *I* deserve), even if I might not always have the equipment I need on-hand, nor the time to use it properly. To be fair, that’s something that’s been churning from the events that led to the closing of my business back in 2008, but the visit here back in 2015 was supposed to be an exercise in creativity, and it wound up becoming another spiral into self-doubt. But that was then, and this is now. The making time for it, the moving towards it, the study, the preparation, the expansion it requires? These things are being done already, and no longer slowly, and no longer bound by the All That Never Was.

More to follow.

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quantum dislocation

quantum dislocation © 2006, 2017 Jered Dawnne

quantum dislocation © 2006, 2017 Jered Dawnne

unsurprisingly, although with some admitted chagrin, another year has passed in silence in this space: another dozen months spent focused on other things, and hopefully to my benefit. i’m not certain that i can guarantee that hope. while the year has mostly been good to me in several ways, it ends on the sour note endearingly referred to as “workforce reduction”, so i’m about to embark upon another period of searching for where to invest myself on a day-to-day basis.

i might wish that it could be here, where “here” is an analog for creative endeavors, but such would put too much else at risk. i knew when i re-entered Corporate America™ eight years ago, that such might happen, but i have become too skeptical—too jaded, too aware of the necessities of the mundane—to pretend that i could just break out as an artist, suddenly become so popular that i could support myself doing what i actually want in this regard. i’ll be keeping my options open, and that includes a willingness to depart from software development, but it’s what I know the deepest.

this image is “ancient”, and is really just a random shot that i’m not sure i care all that much for. it’s over eleven years old, but since i haven’t managed to shoot for myself over the past year, and since for some personal reasons, i had no desire to return to the photographs from northwestern Iowa of last year, i figured a really old one from Albuquerque would suffice. i miss everything and everywhere i’ve been; i don’t like where i’m at, and have a while to wait before i can move on from here.

earlier this week, i had expressed my dissatisfaction to a few people, that it had been a year since i had put my heart in a better place and determine to move on in a positive way. there’s an irony, albeit appropriate, that “the all that might become” is still bound with “the waiting for it bleeds”, and while i’m more than happy in several aspects of my life right now, having to shift my focus even more studiously to the day-to-day…well, let’s just say i’m not prepared to bleed myself out over this. i’m not happy with it, but i’ll work through it. it’s a new challenge which i hope to carry forward under the sense of “the all that might become”—to make it a good thing for myself and everyone who depends upon me.

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Upon entering the all that might become

paths crossed (what might become) © 2016 Jered Dawnne

paths crossed (what might become) © 2016 Jered Dawnne

For years—decades, actually—I have been haunted by a phrase, “the all that never was”. Some of you will have seen it crop up from time to time. It’s relatively self-explanatory, and has stood for many things. It has drifted in and out of my writings, both prose and poetry, for the vast majority of those creative endeavors. Technically, in my head, it meant one precise thing, but as such phrases are for me, it had a facility and use that expanded well beyond its original meaning. It’s the kind of thing which, for a writer who rarely sets down the words which rattle about within his skull, haunts a person. That’s why I phrased the first sentence the way that I did. By “haunting”, I don’t mean, “occasionally comes up whenever I’m feeling nostalgic”. “Haunting” for me means that is has been part-and-parcel with every day, woven into dreams, and wrapped around every meditation—for longer than I care to consider, because most of that has been anything but healthy.

Slowly, that concept is turning over in my head. I’m not sure why this image is caught up in that, really, but it is. There was something about that day when this photograph was taken, and it wasn’t just the nuances of being in a new-to-me place and meeting new-to-me people. It was something more than that, perhaps just the getting out and doing, and the departure from more static patterns.

“The all that might become” is a thing both attached to, and filtered by “the all that never was”, but it is a brighter thing, a needed thing, an internal separation from that tendency to keep looking over my shoulder at all the things that didn’t go as hoped and planned.

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patterns of the incomplete

patterns of the incomplete (verdant trance) © 2016 Jered Dawnne

patterns of the incomplete (verdant trance) © 2016 Jered Dawnne

the world revolves in an ever-present spiral, unremarkably smaller and larger, unnoticeably differential, but rarely deferential; just as time cascades in an ever-present deluge, unambiguously shallow and abyssal, acutely reverential, and obliquely referential.

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sentinels of the lost

sentinels of the lost © 2016 Jered Dawnne

sentinels of the lost © 2016 Jered Dawnne

and then like rain these fetters fall and crash upon the floor

windows on a world and pictures moving sway and tumble
come to me and sweet-surrounded water-torn love me
sing to me your songs of love and unity and peace and joy
and i shall sing to you and cling forever like the dawn’s sun rising warm

when winter comes and covers me in cold and blanket screaming
warm me with your heart and soul and spirit and your strength
and like these cracking windows melt and break the chains that bind me


of bluer skies and rain © 1988 Jered Dawnne, published 1993 in “The Sabre”

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cadence of the long silences

cadence of the long silences © 2016 Jered Dawnne

cadence of the long silences © 2016 Jered Dawnne: a portion of the facade of the Donohoe Building at the Cherokee Mental Institute

and the Tower, still
transfixed in winged progression
how a soul might fly

     had i known it then
     would i seek for misdirection
     would i yearn for something more
     than the sanctity of tears
     than the wisdom of darklight
     than the strength of unmended minds

no other vision grows
Star, and its quiescence
the pure and the strong
bereaved in Transformations
that Tower still enthroned
and the multiverse implodes

     had i known it then
     would any of this matter
     would this emptiness still cling
     to the relevance of fear
     to this constant wondering
     to the coldness of broken minds

Moon’s light
above the Tower burning
transfigured in procession
now a soul does fly

cadence of the long silences © 2016 Jered Dawnne
a variation of “Interim: A Requiem” © 1990.09.05 Jered Dawnne, published 1993 in “The Sabre”

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of moments lost within minds gone elsewhere

linear recursions (drained) © 2016 Jered Dawnne

linear recursions (drained) © 2016 Jered Dawnne

there is a pattern to our incarnations which we rarely perceive, let alone understand. we revolve around each other in sliding spirals, sometimes within each other’s view, but more often not. seldom do we understand what we see within our own reflections, and when those reflections are from within someone else’s eyes, there comes a type of hypnotism of the self. usually, there is only room for conjecture in the spaces between our lives, but sometimes, those interactions create a closeness that is difficult to explain.

and then, they happen in places like this.

it really isn’t that odd for something to begin to grow in a place where so much has been lost. but when it happens, it forms a certain type of unity that will be difficult to unravel.

not that you’d ever want it to.

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pensive stasis

pensive stasis (ordinal) © 2016 Jered Dawnne

pensive stasis (ordinal) © 2016 Jered Dawnne

i was on my way somewhere, the day i took this, and this was the last photo i took before i went there.

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