Ok maybe it wasn’t an accident.
Perhaps some deity, some movement of the cosmos, some alien race from a billion years back planned it all out and I'm just playing my part in the big puppet show called Existence starring humanity (well, at least we like to think
we are the stars).
For me, it all happened very simply. I grew up as an introspective child with a love for (and deep appreciation of) the natural world around me. I spent my younger years camping, hiking, exploring and learning about the forests, hills, mountains and fields around me. I was a member of the Boy Scouts and had a subscription to Ranger Rick. I wanted to be a Forest Ranger when I “grew up”, when the time was right.At 28, it appears the time still isn’t right.
By my early twenties I was in need of some serious direction. I lived in a small town with my parents and had the typical small town conundrum of “find something to do with your life before you “accidentally” get someone pregnant”. So, I applied at the local technical college and enrolled in the Photography department. It went well and I soon discovered a natural ability to turn the lens on subjects in a way that was not only interesting to me but apparently interesting to others as well.I enjoyed photography.
Then came a very intense phase of Christianity. I was a freak, somewhat brainwashed and very into what I believed “god” was wanting me to do. This phase led me to become a missionary for some years. I lived in various parts of the world volunteering my energy to help humanity and teach others about the “god” I believed could change their life. In all of this religious fervor I never lost that introspective part of me, that part of me that still would wander into the woods, fields and mountains of whatever city, town or village I found myself in to ask the deeper questions of life and what my purpose in it was.Fast forward.
Fast forward past the collapse of my religious belief system (it happened slowly and consistently, like a mountain being eroded by wind and rain), past the spiritual crisis I suddenly found myself in, past years of lonely wandering (an ongoing part of the story) and deep disappointment of the world around me. Much of my disappointment stemmed from the fact that I grew up in a somewhat sheltered environment. I was taught many things about the world that held less and less water the further I journeyed out into the world. Expectations met reality and, well, reality won.
I don’t pick up the camera much these days. I'm just not that enamored by what I see around me. This is a sad realization to come too, especially for one who was once so enthralled by the world around him. Writing was once a safe place I could retreat to, a place I could write down all that was consuming me. Now writing seems more like an act of great mental duress then a calm harbor to shelter in. My thoughts come out sounding boring and redundant. I sometimes want to write but most often don’t due to the fact that I find myself unable to express what I need to say in any kind of creative or interesting way. Simply put, I don’t want to subject others to my drivel (and by writing this entry I am doing exactly that!).I can almost visualize the kind of life
I think I want (or more appropriately put, “the kind of fantasy I want to be living within”) but have no energy left to try and make it happen.
This is a severely tough spot to be along the river that is my life.