Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Days break wide open in the mornings here lately.

A few years ago I dreamed about the end of human civilization. While this is nothing new, this particular dream was so incredibly vivid, so surreal in its visceral nature, that waking up I was flooded with an immense gratitude for another chance to live well. That is what every morning is like now. A chance to keep working, keep training, keep writing. A chance to not waste.

From Max Cooper's recent interview of photography icon Sam Abell: "When I do these books, I put out the book—someone asked me, when I came out with The Photographic Life book, “Who is your ideal audience, who are you aiming this book at?” And my answer was, “Myself, when I was 23 years old.""

There is certainly something to be said for using your own eyes, past or otherwise, as the authority of judgment on your work. And since nothing is great or small except by comparison, and the only thing under your control is your own behavior, it is illogical to compare yourself to anyone other than...you. "There's nothing noble in being superior to your fellow men. True nobility lies in being superior to your former self." (Hemingway)

Having invested a great deal of time feeling superior or otherwise towards my fellow men, this is important and a relief for me remember.

Myself at 23 was still bound fast in a comfortable nest of denial and distraction. The girl I want to please is myself at age 7. If I showed my life to myself at 23 she'd say something like, "you make me tired just lookin at you. Got any liquor?"

Age seven: "Well yes, naturally that is what we would be doing. Wait, we're not published?"

Tough bird to impress.

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