This in the first in the series in my real life adventure. After my other columns, the life column and the large format photography column, you would think a third is too many. Not on your life. This one is a pure and simple personal column for me to express ideas of life and being. It will probably anger you or make you think, "What the f*** is going on here?" Well, that's not the point, and remember it's just my personal expression, and like everyone else's it just mine, and not better or worse, just different.
So to start, I was drawn to the above image by Elena Getzieh. Isn't that sometimes how we see life? It feels like a balancing act on a small beam with hurt on both sides, the goal at the far end we feel we can't make without falling off. And then either having to start over or scramble back up, rebalance ourselves and continue on as best we can. All the meanwhile the world swirls around us, tearing at us from everywhere day and night. And we're pushed from behind by the pressures we create to go on and from others invisibly pushing from all sides saying we're crazy, wrong, stupid or something hurtful.
And the beam is narrow, cold, slippery and full of sharp objects to inflict physical and mental harm at the slightest mis-step. We're naked in our minds. All the while we're afraid and fearless. It's the ying-yang of ourselves. And so, you're sitting there, if you've read this far, asking why? Well, as the old adage goes... Haven't heard that one?
Well, my plan in retirement had several goals. The first was to get my large format camera, and that's still a thing to come, as it's still in production. The second was to get back in shape, and that's hits some rough spots, as my body is rebelling against the exercise program. Right now I'm better than last year and the years before, but not near what I was when I was 48-50 years old. The new plan is get ready for hiking next spring.
The third was to get back into life from work, and find new passions and curiousities in life, as I've had a bout of mild secondary depression on top of my Dysthymia this summer, such as photography. That's progressing as I've done more than the previous years. The plan there is to add a digital camera system this winter for some high volume photography, such as events, festivals, street, etc. I still prefer film but a full-frame DSLR is a good addition.
The fourth is travel. On the list is Point Reyes National Seashore, north of San Francisco where I used to go in the 1970's and want to take my 4x5 camera; Chaco Canyon National Historic Monument in New Mexico where I went with Janet Collins in the early 1980's, during a cold December; Washington D.C. where I was a week in 1971. I want to see the Wall, for I served during the Vietnam-era and know some of the names on the wall, and to visit friends in Virginia; and last is to just wander the West.
The last is the real thing as they say, and if you know what the series title is about you already know. But for now I'll leave it a mystery, to reveal bits and pieces until the right moment to arrive.
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