Visit with Jim – Purpose, Passion, Joy

Today’s post walks through a challenging weekend and expands far beyond that short timeframe.  Work was very busy with a lot to complete which in turn took me away from my photography.  The greater good was to be found in helping my team clear the work at hand.  This conflicted with my desire to have my weekends devoted to my craftwork.  In the end I learned two things: 1) it was essential to serve the needs of my team in order to infuse and continue the pursuit of photography 2) that limitation in time compelled me to be more focused (pun intended) with the limited photography time.  As it is said in several forms – scarcity and necessity are the mothers of invention and innovation. 

As I moved through the immediate priority, it became apparent that my artisan priority was achievable.  What was needed was to simply reset on the amount of time that I could dedicate to it.  When would I find that contemplative time?  Could I still get the photographs that matter?   With time being a constraint, I opted for colors of calm and serenity – blues.  A palette of peace and flow.  I cleared out the work space, pulled out a range of blue colors and allowed them to move across the glass surface. 

When I went into the studio with more intentionality and focus than usual, the answer was Yes.  A Flow in Blues, seen above, was the result of some latter evening work.  Several additional photographs were also successful and will be shared on another day.

Pink Floyd – Time
And you run, and you run to catch up with the sun but it’s sinkingRacing around to come up behind you againThe sun is the same in a relative way but you’re olderShorter of breath and one day closer to death
Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the timePlans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled linesHanging on in quiet desperation is the English wayThe time is gone, the song is over, thought I’d something more to say

My camera was in a new perspective sitting on its tripod fully and directly straight above the objective glass and inks. White paints poured out to cover the plate glass.  A pouring cup was filled with several colors of blues, subtle amounts of yellows, pink and reds. 

My heat gun helped move the inks around and it was clear that this was going to be a fruitful session. The cells of color appear, the sinewy lines of blues, whites and yellow define two section of the photograph: one at the top left with swaths of dynamism, activity and movement with the lower right more crisply defined and evolving out of the contralateral corner. 

This led me to a very deep conversation with a dear friend – Bahar Sedarati.  She and I met on Monday and caught up.  While we were chatting, she shared the following from Arthur Brooks: ‘For example,  creatives are never more alive than when they are creating’ which was a dilemma for me to think through.  Searching for another quote helped to frame the paradox in a more meaningful manner “Remember that putting off creative tasks is useful because it allows you to interrogate the ideas in your mind”.  So there it is in plain sight.  It was ok to put off the creative work to support the broader good, which in turn generates resources to support the creative activity.  Selfish leaders might deny the need to step in and assist in order to remain focused on self.  While a servant leader would say yes and assist in order to support those they are leading.  The choice and decision became easy.  That decision and effort to serve others would pay dividends for me with the fewer precious creative moments available.  Both parties and activities benefit.  

As many of you are becoming aware, I have been actively pursuing photography as a passion and destination for me in a future where it becomes the creative output of my energies and efforts.  I am actively architecting a future for myself that brings me purpose, passion and joy while benefiting people in my various communities.  A few insights that I am gathering along this path are beginning to gather momentum.   This pair of roads that are under construction are going well.  

Every step that I take in during the next phase in life is intentionally considered.  A platform will materialize that it enjoyable and shareable.   While there are unknown unknowns, there is risk in working for 40 years and suddenly stopping with a plan for a bountiful life experience beside a war chest of investments.   Our work in the early years builds a portfolio of experiences, both missteps and successes, to relish and learn from.  They are all part of your unique arc and history.  They inform and shape your life story, yet they do not need to define you.  Our next two decades are commonly peak income years.  They crest at a perfect point in the arc of our lives.  One  that you get to define.  Surfing provides great lessons in entry points that allow for wonderful rides and wipeouts.  Beyond these years are the time to reinvest in yourself, narrate that arc of experience and share it for others to consider and reflect.  

One of Bahar’s reflections to me was that this passion of photography goes is far beyond my artwork.  It is all about re-examining purpose, passion and joy to further generate a future with sustainable and practical happiness.  A half century career of EMS and Physician journeys has a transition point ahead that is inescapable.  As the lyrics state above, time is the resource that always diminishes, never replenishes and yet is the most invisible in our early years.   When that transition occurs is not yet crystalized.  What is very clear are the priorities: 1) increased proportion of time with family, travel and friends,  2) further refinement and honing my photography 3) sharing my experiential arc with those around me.  The goal would be to allow you to reflect, consider and use my journey as a resource to improve your arc, your transition and ultimately shape your destiny. 

I am optimistic and look forward to this second act, the new arc, the next steps.  There are at least three scenarios to consider and play out.  The left one is exhilarating, yet seems to leave one with a bimodal outcome – survive or don’t.   The middle one is more level, with solid footing to find balance, but the water’s depth is unknown.  The latter meanders, is verdant and well lit.   Those who know me understand my very adventurous nature with a joie de vivre that leads to some gambles and novel experiences. It is an exciting adventure to plan out what the next two decades will look and feel like.  The key question will be how do I chart a course that engage in activities that enhance the life experiences of those around me.   What can I do to benefit you and add to your life’s arc?  

That is a fundamental question and answers lie ahead…

Join me in a fireside chat via Zoom in the evening to discuss any aspect of my artwork.  To qualify, and join a video conversation send your contact information here and let me know what you would want to talk about.  The selected participants will receive a 25% discount on any of my unlimited edition pieces of art.  I will personally sign the piece at printing.  Even more, the gallery is offering this purchase risk free for you. Free shipping, Free return, and no questions asked if you are unhappy with the art work.  You can keep the print for 30 days to enjoy the selection in your home or office. This risk free offer does not apply to metal, acrylic and other specialized media prints.





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