Thursday, January 8, 2009
If you really want to live and drink the sweetness out of what this life has to offer, you have to be willing to put yourself out there... to take some risks and to put your heart into it. I am a river guide. To many people, that means... I'm crazy... an adventurous risk taker. I can easily look around me and see those far "crazier" than I. There are always those on either side of you, on the spectrum. Each of us has our own point of balance or "optimal level."
And you aren't always in the driver's seat... sometimes it's better to trust and relinquish control to a driver who knows the road better than you.
(So, no, I did not sprout a red beard, I'm front-left, in the blue top).
And there are so many different kinds of "risk." I've come to a point in life when I question which is scarier-- physical risks (like adventure activities) or really putting your heart into something (like a relationship or trying to succeed at something you feel passionate about).
...or releasing a piece of yourself to the world, as an artist or a musician does.
This particular photograph is a very personal one for me-- it holds a special place in my heart. I took this photograph for my Mother, and as a tribute to my Mother. Along the way, it came to represent my mission in photography and in life: a mission to appreciate the gift we're given- to behold the stunning displays our natural world offers us, and a mission to give back to nature. I feel such gratitude for nature as to be indebted... truly I am, Beholden to Nature.
This is the photograph I give the most back from (30% of my profits from "For Mother" go to ILCP and Project W.I.L.D.). www.wild.org
This is the photograph I've won awards for. I recently received an Honorable Mention for it in the International Photography Awards 2008 Photographer of the Year Competition. As far as putting heart in it, this one definitely has some of my heart in it.
This is also the photograph that was recently stolen from a gallery at an "Art Can Heal" exhibit at a hospital. Wow. Aside from the obvious shock of the program from which this was stolen, there was some real personal shock for me. That isn't quite the response one hopes for when putting their heart into their work and releasing it to the world. I have to admit, my initial response was to wish some bad ju-ju on the person who would do such a thing.
But, after giving it more thought, that's not quite what I want to do or be. I don't know the circumstances of it all. Perhaps someone facing an overwhelming mountain of medical bills has an ill or dying loved one, to whom this picture would have special meaning. Perhaps he or she felt terribly doing it, but had some reason for taking it that was bigger than their guilt. Perhaps one day this will move them to do something great and giving for someone who really needs it. I have no way of knowing. I only know my story... what is real to me. Mind you, it was painful to me that someone would steal my work (not to mention the money it cost me to create it). So, while I am working to forgive and let go of negative thoughts, I certainly am NOT encouraging future theft... obviously.
I had intended to update my blog much sooner than now but needed to withdraw; I had to go "inside" for a while and do some soul-searching. Emerging once more, heart in-tow, I am still going to put it out there. I am going to live and to try. And I am going to trust that somehow, someday it will accomplish the good I intend when I put it into my work and offer it to the world.