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, a canoe trip on a lake, or snowshoeing, are favorite pastimes. We're fortunate to live just minutes from peaceful woods and waters, where quite a few photographs can be made in a couple hours 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 trigger points 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 few years. Hopefully music will emanate from this house again soon, 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 in 2019.
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.
"I never wanted to make money with my creativity. I always felt that would ruin the fun."
Years spent as a scientist, environmentalist and educator were very rewarding and satisfying. But only recently I realized that I'm not as content with my life when I'm not being creative. Photography and music have always been about fun for me. I never wanted to make money with my creativity. I always felt that would ruin the fun. Not to mention the difficulty in making a living as an artist in America. Of course, money is necessary, and for most it's in short supply. But everything we do doesn't have to be about money. There are plenty of other, even better, reasons for doing things. Photography, like music, is expressive, communicating things that words cannot, and bringing meaning to our lives. Photography has sort of saved my life the last couple of years.
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.