I find that a key element to self-motivation is making lists. If I put something in writing, and keep it visible, I am more prone to get things done. By the looks of it, I'm setting myself up for a couple of busy months. I guess its like they say "Get busy living, or get busy dying." I'm looking forward to showing the fruits of my labor here as the summer progresses. Stay tuned.
I'll skip the pleasantries and the patriotic banter this year. "United We Stand, Divided We Fall"?
We live in desperate times. But haven't we always? Are we more aware of the world's problems now because we have this incessant, 24 hour a day internet torrent of bad news washing over us? Or are things really worse now than ever before? Global warming, terrorism, economic disparity, people being dragged out of their cars and beaten by the police, or shot at the slightest provocation for no reason at all, millions of war refugees, political leaders who don't represent the good of all their constituents, people on almost every street corner holding signs begging for some change (monetary or otherwise.) Some days it's just harder to keep going. And to look in the mirror and ask "what am I doing?" to make the world a better place. To help others. To have empathy. To give a shit. To keep my feet firmly on the side of the positive. To stay where I am and keep fighting. To put my art in the world. To not let negativity win. To not let the fuckers get me down. To not let the darkness of the evil doers win. My mind goes to the artists, the writers, the film makers, the poets, the singers, the comedians...those who are the light in the darkness. Like Robert Frank, who has been a creative inspiration for me for well over 30 years, and whose photograph I sat and pondered this morning. "Look Out For Hope." When I first saw that image in college, I didn't know exactly what it meant. Or what Frank's work really meant. I was still in school and thought that Ansel Adams was the pinnacle of photographic expression (oh, youth...) Little did I know that Frank's daughter had died in a plane crash. Or that years later, his son would suffer mental breakdowns and eventually die. Or that we all fucking suffer in our own way. As he said in another photograph "The wind will blow the fire of pain across everyone in time." Death, divorce, physical pain, loneliness, alienation, bankruptcy, homelessness, substance abuse and addiction, random violence. And various other losses both great and small. But what do we do? Give up? Or find a way to fight, every fucking day. To awaken, still breathing and still looking out for hope.