Just a gentle nudge is all it takes to send a person off course, sending them at life speed towards an entirely different end point than the one they want. The longer it takes to recognize and correct the path, the longer it takes to get back on course. It's this waveform of nudge and correction that is the graph of our lives. The goal would be to have a long, wavy graph with as few spikes and as possible. Well, that's my goal at least.
Assuming you buy my idea of the graph, it seems it would be really smart to have a reliable way to get back on track when you realize you are off course. This is the reason it is so important to develop a strong creative facet of your life. With a strong creative core, you can focus your frustration into something tangible, all the while correcting your course.
Taking photos is my connection to my creative self. To me, photography is where the hard facts of science blend beautifully with the ethereal nature of human feelings and emotion. Like a guitar, you can only operate a camera within a range of very strict limits. There are only so many notes to be played on a guitar, and a camera is limited to the tonal range of the camera, set by nothing less than the immutable laws of physics. The beauty is there are infinite ways to express yourself inside that very strict set of rules. That's where the art is, that is where creativity lives for me. It is magic to take something as indefinable as a sunset and translate it via science into something that might move someone.
Why am I telling you all this you ask?
Because I had found myself drifting further from the centerline of my graph. I realized it a while ago, but it wasn't until last Saturday that I was able to make any headway in fixing it. It was a quite simple fix with an almost instantaneous effect.
I was standing there in a muddy field in front of an abandoned farmhouse in central Washington, the wind swirling around me, the branches of the dead trees rattling. The structure in front of me was in one of the later stages of decay, most of the roof had collapsed, the walls were leaning. The lathe from the old plaster work visible everywhere, like ribs. Almost all of the glass was gone, and the floors had all fallen into the basement. All at once these details came to me, and I was in my creative zone. I love taking photos, but I had not been in this zone in a long time. It hit me like a tornado and I spent the next three hours finding and photographing these wonderful old structures, each shutter click filling up that part of me that fights back against the boring parts of life. The fire was lit on Saturday, it's still with me as I write this. I am brimming with creative energy. I was able to find myself again in the middle of nowhere.