You know the kind of week. The where you think that you couldn’t get busier, you couldn’t get more stressed and then that one extra thing gets asked of you. You sit in your pool of unfinished projects, empty pizza boxes and discarded purple jelly beans and wonder where the extra 12 hours a day will come from to complete your 7000 page list of unfinished projects. Thoughts of a world where things were simple and stress free seem a distant memory away as you guzzle your 37th cup of coffee for the day in a vain attempt to fuel your barely your functional brain to fire that one one last operating neuron to produce at least a mild attempt at resolving the Mount Everest of unfinished projects.
So what the heck has this got to with anything other than having a good whinge about a situation we all find ourselves in? I am glad you asked, hang in there and you will yet again be regaled with a whimsical, mildly insightful solution that, as always involves a sultry brunette and some pithy commentary.
When faced with this monumental task I did what any fare minded person should do. I ignored it. Yep I simply walked away and spend a beautifully distracting weekend in the wilds of said brunette. The result. Did any of the massive workload get done? No. Do I care? Hell No, because the mountain aint so big no more (pardon the hill billy speak it was the time in the country that did it) when you have a smile on your face.
Sometimes when you look out to the world arrayed in front of you do you ponder all the activities, all the emotions and the all choices the people are making at that moment? Displayed in front of you is not only a scene but moments that will change the course of peoples lives.
What if all those souls going about their daily lives, made choices other than those that had decided upon? The result would be different world, a different life for them all.
So as is usual with my blog posts I have to drag the random assembly of words towards something relevant to something and of course, somehow involve that sultry brunette that frequents the cotton sheets of my imagination. Well here goes.
When you are photographing a cityscape you are capturing far more than an assembly of buildings and electric lights, you are capturing a moment of decision or indecision in the world. You capturing the moment when one decides the sultry brunette of your dreams becomes the one you wish to greet every day in the half light. You are capturing the beginning and ends of thousands of things, moments caught behind the concrete, steel and glass. Moments unique and unrepeatable. That for me is the joy of photography capturing things that are gone forever once they have been.
You know the kind of day, where you wake up not enthused by anything. You roll over, kick the rubbery eggs and soggy toast of the plate sitting on the end of your badly rumpled bed and crankily utter “its all been done before, there is nothing new to explore, why am I ever bothering”. Arising to the slate grey skies makes it no better, placing your moth eaten burgundy tartan slippers on your frostbitten feet doesn’t make navarna appear before your eyes, bloodshot from another failed attempt at gargling vodka as means to finding contentment. It aint exactly the stuff of fairy-tales is it.
So in the style of all my blog pieces, two things must occur, a reference to a sultry brunette and some pithy commentary mildly relevant treatise at the end to wrap it all up into something loosely resembling a logical conclusion. So here goes…
Recently the opportunity to revisit a life landmark place I hadn’t been to for many years presented itself. I had thought about going back there several times over the years but I couldn’t see how I would do things differently – I was still carrying the same perspectives, the same preconceptions as what I would see, do and photograph ( I told you I would make it relevant !). I was still seeing with the perspective of all those years ago, I couldn’t see how all these years later would be any different. However it appears I was an idiot, some things are always magnificent no matter how long its been – like the sultry brunette lying on the morning sunlight drenched cotton sheets in a pensione in Naples – and I had seemed to have missed one vital point. All the things I loved all those years ago were still fantastic with new layers, complexities, experiences to discover. My perspective had changed and with it the range of things I could appreciate. The older me had reconnected in a way that utterly surprised me.
So in I marched, prepared for a nice visit to former days and almost immediately I realised it wasn’t at all like going back to the familiar, it was like rediscovering it all again – a new perspective not only made it great again it had made it even better – I will even say truly fantastic. So don’t ignore your previous work, go back and see it with different eyes and you will be amazed how the yesterday can become your new tomorrow.
Another gift to the New South Wales people bites the dust. In 1879 The Garden Palace was built as gift to the people of Sydney – burnt to a crisp, The Manufactures and Commemorative Pavilion Moore Park built as gift to the people of NSW to celebrate 150 years of European Settlement, now inaccessible to the public and used as Fox film studios. The Darling Harbour Exhibition and Convention Centre built as a gift to the people of Sydney to celebrate 200 years of government Indian giving – now slowly descending into a pile rubble. All paid for with public money. NSW Government thanks for all the pressies.
Everyday I open the page of some newspaper or news website to read the words of some journalistic website technician availing the tale of some “hero” or “heroic” act. Frequently these tales involve some neckless wonder, charging through a group of equally neckless men in an attempt to place an inflated piece of pig skin over line. Words such as “beyond all odds”, ” in a great act of courgae” and “Jimmy Kafoops hero to children everywhere”. Now while the actions of the steriod fuelled, lump of protein requires strength and determination, the concept of being a hero is rolled up and cast from the stadium roof by viewing the video of the post match interview. The world didn’t change, the starving weren’t fed, the homeless weren’t given shelter and as is demonstrated command of the English language certainly hasn’t been raised. . Nope this 120kg bipedal miniature bison was merely doing his job.
Frequently those with significant mustaches and elderly Japanese saloons in their driveway, spit their earl grey in excitement when talking about the heroism of the Dragoons, Lancers and Huasars looking fantastic in their splendid uniforms, ignoring their malaria and dysentery as they rode headlong into the withering Russian canon fire at Balaclava. Armed with nothing more than enlarged kitchen implements these fantastically dressed men rode across the rocky ground not because of heroism. They rode to their Byron glorified demise because someone cocked up the orders. Yep, that famous Charge of the Little Brigade was the military equivalent of sending an email to the wrong person. The highly polished horsemen had no idea what they were racing off into and boy were they surprised. Those that didn’t promptly get blown to pieces, aired a loud explanation of the birthright of their officers and promptly turned around and left.
My heros are a different breed. My heros are those that publicly and without apology try to change the world. I am not talking about some TED aired diatribe that takes one highly questionable scientific concept, adds a equal parts of bullshit, charts and showmanship, leaveing the unthinking audience gasping in the whole world saving significance of only eating roadkill. No, my heros are flawed. My heros generally are certain and arrogant. Sure in themselves of the correctness of their opinions and are not afraid to air it. No forum can escape from their pontificating opinion. They make you feel like an idiot and that all you hold true about their particular opinion is just broken. However they are frequently correct.
These people are annoying but they have passion and conviction, free from focus group and courageous in the face of “Today Tonight”. Contentious yes, annoying yes, heroic certainly. So next someone bangs on endlessly about a their pet topic and how they can save the world, don’t write them off because they froth a little when they speak. Take the time to listen because withstanding your judgement makes them my hero.