Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Wake Up! It's Almost Midnight! (on New Year's Eve)

Wake Up! It's Almost Midnight! (on New Year's Eve)
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

For some time now I have not taken or posted any photos because I have had to concentrate on other things like fatherly duties, finding a new flatmate and writing. However, tonight I started to feel the itch and got down to editing a few photos I took on New Year’s Eve.

I miss taking pictures of the people, the energy, the action on the streets of New York City. But then again I miss a lot of things these days: my boys, the comfort and security of a house you call home, the comfort and security of someone who loves you and provides you with a consistent source of affection. But then again I’ve made choices to sacrifice such comforts because at a certain point too much comfort becomes uncomfortable and the soul gets restless. And despite what or who or how much I miss, I am happy knowing that I will persevere.

Thus, I’ve also decided to spontaneously share a little of the work I have been focusing on over the last couple of weeks. Although, 25 Lessons is essentially finished, and has been for some time now, I am in editing mode and have the daunting task of deciding what to keep and not to keep. Writing the tome was the easy part, having to cut the work in half is entirely another story. Ultimately, we are looking to shore up a good 250 pages.

Nonetheless, following is a short excerpt of Lesson 12 from 25 Lessons, which will be published in Spring by Cyan Books. The enclosed verse may or may not stay, that is a discussion I have to have with my darling editor.


Lesson 12: Persevere

The greatest sign of strength is not when someone succeeds, but rather when one fails and has the will to pick her Self up to try again.

Despite the clouds that cluster above, the feeling of futility that overcomes, the palling pangs of depression, the super self-consciousness that ensues, and the supra sentiment others impose by watching, judging, laughing—The Willing One breaks through the solemn overcast and stands a little taller than before.

And in quiet reassessment she reflects upon the missteps and miscalculations, and moves on—sometimes to other things, sometimes to begin anew, sometimes to renew and patiently rebuild a better means, a better machine or mind or way of thinking about how to get to where she wants to go.

She accepts the errors not as signs that she should quit, give up, forfeit her dreams, but merely as the mistakes that will show her what not to do next time. It is the sublime difference between resigning to “reality” and the determination that manifests the truth just as we think and create it to be, for in reality—the mind makes all the difference.

And even though most others might wallow and woe after the fall, she knows it is better to see the falling as a trip forward, for she accepts that progress always comes at a price—sometimes a sacrifice, sometimes a compromise, and sometimes—it just means getting your knees a little dirty.

And sometimes—it also means wiping the blood off your lip, the mud off your shoes, shaking off the shudder, planting firm to feel the anchors in your soles one more time, to furrow the brow and focus and to take control of your fate again. Because sometimes in order to win the fight with the plight of life and the brooding bode of our common destiny, one has to be willing to take a punch or two—for in the pursuit of bliss, that idiosyncratic mode of happiness, the difference between the winners and the losers is often determined by the one willing
to get up again.

One Must Persevere

The art of knowing is knowing what to ignore.

Despite the obstacles, the naysayers, the players that will wile to get their way (and thus stifle yours), one must persevere.

One must keep the end-goal in mind regardless of all that might get in the way and discourage you from becoming a great photographer.

Ultimately, some of life’s greatest rewards come when we accomplish what others say could or should not be done, if only because it has never been done before.

To reap such rewards however, one must be willing to fall, to fail, to be assailed time and time again by others unwilling to try themselves. Don’t let them daunt you, haunt you and turn your dreams into nightmares.

Keep away from people who try to belittle
your ambitions. Small people always do that,
but the really great make you feel that you,
too, can become great.
-Mark Twain-

Small people are small because they are afraid. They are afraid of themselves, if only because they are afraid of what others might think of them should they reveal their true feelings, bare their souls and simply act based on their true idiosyncratic sentiments. Thus, they are apt to think small, to think within the limited mind frame of others because it is safest.

fate jeers

I should have said no
a long time ago,
but instead you said yes
now, alternatively blessed
as she would have me say
I am cursed in a way
that I would have
otherwise. Not so wise
was I, is so much easier
to see retrospectively.
not so dumb I am
if I can see a way
to defy a destiny
so depraved. Be brave
my self and persevere,
your fate is less worse
than you fear.

Great people however are truly open minded, not afraid to entertain new ideas, novel notions that may even be contrary to tradition, to the law, to the contemporary values of the society they live in. Many of them actively pursue opportunities to use their imagination, and are not afraid to employ their intuition as well, the latter being a very powerful tool that often gets a lot less credit than it deserves.

At the same time, intuition probably gets more credit than it deserves too, because intuition is merely each individual’s accumulated knowledge, experience and emotions, which boiled down over time are now and then drummed up at key moments when one needs to make a choice, pass judgment or decide which road to take or not be taken.

Those who pay attention to life and those around them, and who continually try make their own conclusions tend to be more aware than most. As a result, they hone their intuitions well enough so that they feel confident enough to assess individuals and situations immediately, without having to be slowed down by the fear of not knowing everything.

Successful people are willing to takes risks and make decisions about people based on minimal information because they understand that what lies at our core, what drives us, what is meaningful to us is often not represented by what most consider to represent who we are—the job, the degrees, the name, the status, the fame, the lack thereof.

Granted, these things do allow us to asses others more readily and thus facilitate easier interactions, more comfortable conversations and intimacy over time, but only because we consciously take these factors and try to find common ground with them.

However, when you share a common philosophy, when you are a free-thinker, when a pair are open to new experiences and engage circumstance creatively together, there is often no need for those things that so many other people must have or must know about others before they feel comfortable, before they make the first step, before they allow themselves to organically engage with another as basic, sentient, sensuous, and excitable human beings.

Unfortunately, I have known many people who are plagued by this need to feel safe in every way possible before anything new happens or anyone new comes into their life.

Fortunately, whenever I realized that I was in a relationship that I felt was stifling my own organic way of being because the other person was too timid, too fearful of the unknown, I have been bold enough to accept our differences, to see that we have two different world views, two radically different approaches to life and that instead of continuing to make life hard for each other, that I would just move on. This is not to say that either of us was right or wrong, better or worse, but it is merely to say that during those times I’ve accepted the difference and eventually decided to no longer fight or compromise, just to befit the orderly and predictable and safe world that they live in.

I have always thrived on risks, lived at the extremes of the spectrum and pushed myself to persevere regardless of the challenges, obstacles and forces opposing my individual will.

(edge) alone

edge, edge, edge,
This word edge has me edgy.
Is this the edge in ledge
or the edge as in the urge
to jump off of it?
Is it the cutting edge,
liable to slice those
who dare wield its blade?
or the one made to question
everything—and all things
stuck in the fusillade,
the barrage of all that matters?
Is it the edge that matters
when one must host
this provincial malaise
day after day
or is it the tedium
that pushes you towards it—
the edge that is.
and when this is its
most certain definition,
do we hoist a hammer
to sledge off a bit of contrition
or do we shatter
all the rules to confuse
all that live a life
less keen—more certain,
unobtrusive, coyly serene,
safe, pallid, in the drone—
where edge never ventures,
for it must wander,
always on the verge—

“Doubt is a thief that often makes us fear to tread where we might have won.”
-William Shakespeare -

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