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.