How does a physically-challenged, retired scientist find contentment in life? Family, friends, Nature and music are the keys. Getting outdoors to go for a walk in the woods is a favorite pastime. We're fortunate to live with woods in the backyard, and just minutes from peaceful State Forest Preserve, where quite a few photographs can be made in an hour’s time before having to go home to recuperate (which unfortunately can last many days or weeks). Pain makes life difficult at best. Multiple physical disabilities, including severe myofascial spasm pain in my back and hips, an old leg injury, and Depuytren's Contracture in both hands, are factors, but photography is more than a hobby to me. Though I can only do it sporadically, it's a lot of fun, and brings meaning to my life, especially when my photographs are appreciated by others.
Music recordings haven't happened for a many years. Hopefully music will emanate from this house again one day, by recording short bits at a time and using a custom boom-arm keyboard rig in bed. A reconfigured music studio is slowly manifesting itself in the basement, with recordings planned for sometime within the next few years. We’ll see. It takes an awfully long time to compose, record, mix and master pieces lying flat on your back in bed, and I can only stay on my back for a short time before my back spasms end it quickly.
I am a natural scientist. Picture a toddler spending hours alone, doing stuff like lying on the sidewalk or in the dirt, watching insects, spellbound by Nature's intricacies. You can see this in the photographs.
"We could have been rocks flying through cold, empty space ... instead we're conscious, meta-cognitive beings."
9 years of college and years spent as a scientist, environmentalist and educator were very rewarding and satisfying. My college years were among the best of my life, and I had a rich and rewarding professional career. Losing that, and losing my identity and ego because of disability, was the most difficult thing I’ve ever experienced - worse than spending a year in a hospital as a kid after being hit by a drunk driver. But only after my disabilities caught up with me in my 50’s did I realize that creativity brings me the greatest joy. Photography, like music, is expressive, communicating things that words cannot, and brings special meaning to my life. Especially since I can no longer sit down and play my keyboards, photography kinda saved my life.
How precious life is! Why does anything exist at all? We could have been rocks flying through cold, empty space ... instead we're conscious, meta-cognitive beings. The odds must be incalculably slim.