August 2, 2020


Boats at Sunrise 09/30/2010 — Stonington Harbor, Deer Isle, Maine, September 30, 2010
"It's not for everybody."
Nothing is.
Well, maybe, breathing.
But, we are not here
to be guided by "everybody."
What's your shtick?
Whatever it is,
"It's not for everybody."

We can't let that become a factor
in whether we stick with our shtick.
Being true to ourselves
means being true to that
which sets us apart.
Fitting in cannot be so important
that we sacrifice our gifts, 
our genius,
our knacks and our fancies
in order to have a place in the crowd.

What do you do best?
What do you enjoy doing the most?
How often do you do it?
How long has it been since you've done it?

Take care of your shtick.
Allow it to guide you along the way.



Clouds 07/26/2020 — Andrew Jackson State Park, Lancaster County, South Carolina, July 26, 2020
The photographer's burden
is wanting to take the best photograph ever.
Ever meaning past and future.

It is a burden because it is impossible.
For one thing,
it is impossible because every photograph
is limited to this here, this now.
This time.
This place.

Photographs are snatches,
of time and place.

Photographs are moments captured between shutters.
1/225th of  second, say.
or 1/30th of  second.
or 10 seconds.
It doesn't matter.
However long it is,
it comes and goes like that.
And that's that.

And then, it is a different scene.
And the longer between scenes,
the more different is the scene.

Even the best photograph at that time in that place
is problematic.
The best we can hope for
is a good-enough photograph
of a particular scene
at a particular time.

Change the time, we change the scene.

A good-enough photograph is the best we can do.
A good-enough photograph is the best photograph.
Improving it is taking a different photograph
that we like better.
Doing that with a landscape photograph
is iffy at best.

We can never go back to the same scene.
It's like stepping into the same river twice.
It's always changing. 
The weather.
The lighting.
The tourists-- 
or other photographers--
in the way...

Taking another photograph
that we like better
is a never-ending quest for satisfaction.
At some point,
we have to be satisfied enough.

We have to lay aside the idea of the best,
and come to terms with the idea
of being satisfied enough
to sleep well at night,
and to stop thinking about going back again
and making it better.

We will only make it different.
Better is a matter of finally being satisfied enough
to let it go.

The only thing photographers ever really want
is to be in all of the right places
at all of the right times.

That is the photographers real burden--
being unable to have what we really want.

Everybody carries that burden.



Lake Andrew Jackson 07/26/2020 07 — Andrew Jackson State Park, Lancaster County, South Carolina, July 26, 2020
Contrivance is the foundation 
of the world as we know it.
Everybody is contriving to have
their best possible future.

The future is "where it's at."
The present is where we contrive
to get to the future
where we all will have it made
(On our terms, of course).

The present is no place to be!
Ask anybody.
Everyone hates their life in the present!
Everyone is contriving 
to get as far away from the present
as it is possible to be.

(We have people seriously dreaming
of colonizing space
because that is where new life begins!
New life always begins somewhere else.
And we have to get there to have it made.

Having it made is where all our dreams come true.
The Elysian Fields.
The moons of Jupiter, perhaps.
Somewhere as far away from here and now
as we can get.)

Boy oh boy, do I have bad news for you,
and you,
and you,
and, yes, you!

You. Are. Dreaming.
You are drowning in denial.
You are dead to the world,
hanging out,
until you actually die
and  some undertaker
makes it official.

Life is nowhere other than here. Now.


You have to stop contriving to have something better,
and start being where you are.


Everybody (Ask them) hates where they are.

There you are.

Contrivance and denial are "all we got"
here, now.

When you get to the end of your
contrivance/denial rope,
come sit down.
We'll talk.
I'll wait (winks).

Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters and five granddaughters within about twenty minutes from where we live--and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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