The three difficulties: “The first is seeing neurosis as neurosis, and the second is being willing to do something different. The third difficulty is the aspiration to make this a way of life.” Pema Chodron
Ask yourself if you really want to stand in a corn field on a 90° day, waiting. Second, try your best not to get run over by the train. Third, if you blow the highlights on the headlight pretend you meant to do that and lie like a dog. 🐶
It seemed like a perfect day to go back to bed and fantasize about winning the Powerball. An hour after that thought I was standing on the tracks in thirty degree weather waiting for the steam engine in Strasburg.
I saw it in the distance and got out of my car to find that the wind was twenty miles an hour blowing directly into my face. But since I like a challenge I set my camera to speed priority and gave it a shot (26).
Tears were streaming down my face, I was almost shooting blind, and the only other photographer probably figured they were tears of joy. Maybe some of them were, but at that point I was once again thinking about taking up golf.
While the composition could be better I was surprised that the image was sharp and was glad that I forced myself to go out. To be honest my obsessive compulsive photography disorder got me out but it didn’t matter.
I probably won’t win the lottery tonight and if I do I have a feeling I’ll be doing the same things in the same way. Maybe I’ll pull up to this spot on a brand new motorcycle, but I’ll still be standing there with a camera, waiting.
“All photographs are memento mori. To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s mortality, vulnerability, mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time’s relentless melt.” Susan Sontag
“There’s a metal train that’s a mile long and at the very back end a lightning bolt struck her. How long till it reaches and kills the driver, provided that he’s a good conductor?” Bo Burnham, New Math
I went down to the railroad this morning to try to get an image that was different than just a train. Even these beautiful old engines blowing steam out in a huge cloud is less exciting the more you see and photograph it.
I missed the blowouts anyway so I was talking to this man who was working with oil and grease and what impressed me was that his clothes were as clean as in a Tide commercial. All I could think of was that he probably embraces clean living unlike the characters in the cult classic Trainspotting.
As one of the junkies in the movie said: “We start off with high hopes, then we bottle it. We realise that we’re all going to die, without really finding out the big answers. Basically, we live a short disappointing life; and then we die. We fill up our lives with shite, things like careers and relationships to delude ourselves that it isn’t all totally pointless.”
If only they did less heroin and ate more vegetables their attitudes would probably be completely different. Or not.
The famous little engine that could, inspiring millions of other little engines is known for saying: “I think I can. I think I can. I think I can. I know I can.” But in this case, even with the Herculean effort of the pit crew his brakes could not be fixed and the little engine went home to practice his positive affirmations.
So basically, take it easy, take it easy, don’t let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy. Lighten up while you still can, don’t even try to understand. Just find a place to make your stand and take it easy.