January’s Light

My thoughts for the New Year?  Continue to take care of myself physically, mentally and spiritually and avoid people and things that don’t add anything to my quality of life…which I graciously extend to you and yours throughout the New Year…

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Fade-free nostalgia…

What is it about nostalgia that some of us cannot jettison? A valid concern is that the yearning makes a mess of being-in-the-moment.  That same yearning can deny future possibilities when it turns to ruminating.  For some, nostalgia can magnify preoccupation.  Not good.

Kodachrome~Epson Scanner

Yet there are fragments of nostalgia that remain fade-free. Like writing/journaling and photography, riding a sport bike can be solitary, well, a choice by many, including myself. Certainly some of my own experience aboard two wheels can be marked as memorable [and mostly positive].

Kodachrome~Epson Scanner

As is fitting this time of year, nostalgia tends to swell, though more specifically with auld lang syne, those days of fond remembrance, of days spent from far-off times or even those more recent. It matters none because an experience that generates a fondness or even a light-hearted sense of joy is timeless. The decades can sometimes feel “like only yesterday.”

The distinction I’m trying to make is that auld lang syne speaks of a heart-felt time devoid of regret and rumination. Isn’t that what probes our memory at year’s end?  What have we forgotten? Whom have we forgotten?

My school of thought is that these fade-free capsules of nostalgia are not containers of events that could’ve or should’ve been. No, auld lang syne is more about preserving good things which matter: lessons learned, people who’ve made a difference, the unconditional, enduring quality of gratitude and love.

Before I make a mess of this post, I’ll let the poet Robert Burns weigh in. He’s the Scot who made this poem, this inimitable song, about as timeless as anything found in life. Click here.

 

 

Planning Overload

Okay, the end of the year, the last month of the calendar if you will, is chock full of messages hitting us from all kinds of channels.  I’m referring to advertising & marketing messages. I’m overwhelmed with it all.

“For a limited time, you can own this…..enjoy the 10 for only 1 dollar/euro at your local…..make this the holiday to remember with special offers from….common reactions are allergies to the active ingredient, cramps, blurred vision, moodiness, sleepiness and in some cases, death….”  WTF!?

However, what I find even more overwhelming is the myriad of marketing tactics, strategies, resources, research et al, that are available to each of us [the marketing professionals]. Ms. Cook’s comment, naturally, is taken with a grain of salt, but it makes you stop and think about “planning.”  And for the most part, I’m convinced that we’re all over planned. Coupled to the planning are the actions deemed necessary for said plan to be successful. I translate that to, being “overscheduled” and thus feeling more overwhelmed.

Whether it’s marketing communications and strategies,  or making plans for your children’s activities, a vacation, an addition to a home, etc. etc., I’m convinced that there’s much to champion in the less-is-more school of thought. To wit:

  • I’ll stick with Plan A because creating a Plan B or C is going to take even more time, more minutiae, workbooks, versions, hotlinks, B-rolls, post-production, trips to the copier, make more PDFs….OMG!
  • Regarding Plan A, I prefer to make smaller mods to line and action items. My options are: edit or delete. So what I have is still my original plan, but with tweaks
  • When my daughters were growing up, after-school activities were encouraged, but within reason. There was none of the practice/games after school followed by Key Club, music lessons, etc. that seem to be the norm for each school day, week in/week out
  • Less is more when it comes to time on hand. I didn’t drive to the ends-of-the-earth just to get them from one activity to another, then back home
  • Less is more: I pull into the garage with more gas in the tank; we eat dinner together; limit perfunctory questions and remarks wherever possible [what was the most interesting thing that happened today? vs. so, how was your day?]
  • Less is more: a lot less time in front of a screen [TV, computer, vid game, e.g.] and more reading, you know, a book

The end game is something I relish. I envision a plan not to plan anything at all.

[Really] Low Tide

The claim is that “over 160 billion tonnes of seawater flow in and out of the Bay of Fundy twice a day.”

I would be grateful if I could purge my mind of all the thoughts and sentiments that don’t add to my quality of life. If I could do that twice a day, I wouldn’t be sure if I’d be a more genuine version of myself. Hence, perhaps once a day would be sufficient. Let’s not get greedy now…!

Somnambulism + Camera

There are 2 places where solitude, a camera and myself synchronize: the ocean and the woods. Maybe it’s a condition borne of meditation and yoga though the common denominator in all of this remains to be solitude.

These are the places that help me roam without getting lost in the all-too-many distractions of work, deadlines, demands, expectations and disappointments. The same places also help me acknowledge my fortunate standing in life and when I do recognize it, a lot of negativity bias dissipates more easily.

Light Chaser-2

Because I’m more of a “night-owl” it’s somewhat easier for me to take photos towards the end of the day. Actually, the later part of a day is when my brain starts to ramp up. Most of my images are serendipitous, which by the way is, how a lot of photographs become interesting.

The space between me and the street below stands 25 floors. All the views I see are through a thick piece of window glass. None of our windows open, not even a crack. That’s a good thing because if these large windows were to open, I suspect we would see more bugs and some birds in our work space.

Dealing with glass not quite crystal clear and uniform is far better than trying to deal with insects and pigeons…well, for me anyway.

 

Light Chaser

Am I the only one–if not one of the very few–that doesn’t object to the return of “Eastern Standard Time” in New England?

I refer to this change as back to “real time” much to the chagrin of most everyone around me. There are plusses and minuses–like everything else–but for me, this is not a big deal and I for one like that extra hour of sleep.

Chasing the light with a camera in hand is very therapeutic for me.  The time of day, whether early or late, contains a salve that takes the edge off my depression.

Light can be a fantastic muse. It’s never exactly the same yet it can provide similar if not familiar feelings for one person to the next.  I love chasing the light…