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  • Writer's pictureChicken or The Egg

A Quarantine Life.

What do you create when you don't know what to create? Do you take a break? Do you exercise the creation muscles even if there is nothing creative? I heard this line recently, "What do writers do when they're in writers block? They write." This is so true. We humans spend so much time trying to organize our thoughts, clothes, foods, dishes, abilities, talents, facts of matter, opinions, assertions, and so on that when we're finally done organizing we're often too tired to do anything of importance to put into action what we just spent minutes, hours, days, weeks, maybe even years organizing. If the goal was to organize, then you're done. If the goal was to organize and make actionable steps towards the finished product, then don't stop at 99%. Until you have your 1% finished, you're not done. Don't pretend like you are. Ruminate, yes, and do NOT walk away at the 1% damnit. It's easy to walk away when you feel you're close to being done, citing "ok, I need a break and I will come back to it." It's hard to finish the task. That's the POINT. The pain and frustration is worth it. It has to be. I've watched a few movies throughout the quarantine week, and the common theme was "We're going until the bitter end. No matter the ending. No matter the consequences. We will fight until every last drop of blood has been spilled. We will go down in history as the ones who didn't give up." And oddly, this last week I spent organizing my website that I haven't touched in 2 years despite having a plethora of new images and experiences. I had old photos, I had old content. I had no organization. However what I did see was a common theme of getting better. I saw errors in my old photos and content that I was able to fix with better photos and better content and better presentation. It took me 2 years to organize a muddy pit. It took me a week of destruction, creation, sharing, coda; destruction, creation, sharing to discover that what I wanted out of my photography career wasn't just a single topic. It's a multitude of topics. It's a litany of ideas. It's a conceptual method of thinking. It's letting the definition of "this" be the definition of "that" simultaneously. Learning that being different is ok. Notice how they never tell you what to put in the lines, just stay within the lines. It's a desire to be an ambassador for Planet Earth, nature, animals, trees, environments while also being able to be an ambassador for the other part of my life: music, bands, musicians, artists and the like.

At the end of it, to be an ambassador for those who don't have a voice. Not to be their voice, rather to give them the platform they need to reason and act for change. Whatever that change is. I want to be a change agent.

I discovered my goal in a twitter sized quote, "Tell your story with an image." Now don't get me wrong, I've had this goal for a while, however, it always felt like a chore to define.

What have I learned? What matters more is that you don't think so hard. Think as much as you need to, and not more. Write, rewrite, and only hold onto the gold. Not the dirt. Don't get sucked into "thoughtful thought for the sake of being present" because that's an endless abyss. Rather become the thought that you think, and let it exist, and let it go if it does not continue to be you. Absorb like a sponge and let the excess drip out. And when you have to dry out to allow more experiences to define your current reality, do it. Squeeze your soul, let out the old. Let go of others telling you what to do and how to do it, you control the flow and rate of water filling you up.

Wequiock Falls, Green Bay, Wisconsin, Door County Peninsula. Shot with Canon 6D Mark ii, Canon EF 24-105mm Lens
You control the flow. Not the other way around.
Long exposure of Merry Go Round at a Park. Shot with Canon 6d Mark ii, Tamron 15-30mm Ultra Wide Angle Lens
You are the stationary object. Everything else around you is a moving object.

Milky Way Galaxy, Northwoods, Wisconsin Summertime, Shot with Canon 6d Mark ii, Tamron 15-30mm Ultra Wide Angle Lens
Remember you control the exposure time. You are responsible for what you let in.

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