"Nothing worth having was ever achieved
~ Theodore Roosevelt
Challenge yourself creatively, until you're on the raggedy edge.
Not all the time. But most definitely some of the time.
I suspect you know as well as I that life's greatest discoveries are found walking a tightrope line between, "This is fantastic!" and "What the hell was I thinking?!"
I was reminded of this central truth, walking the dunes and surf line over the the last four days.
Each morning, we where up hours before dawn to catch a sunrise that might or might not be spectacular. Wandering, searching, exploring. Being "intentionally" creative and open to line and curve and light and tone.
Hot, sandy, sticky, exhausted by mid-day, wondering often enough what the heck we were doing.
And then, "BAM!" a capture, a view, a dream of an image reminded us EXACTLY why we were working so hard to be where we were. What a moment, a crazy privileged!
Pushing yourself too far can burn a hole in desire.
Don't do that.
Yet we never know what we're capable of until we've flown over reason's edge and discovered who we are on the other side.
What we can do.
What's waiting there to change who we will become.
Our world is a magic within, calling to us, becoming us. Our job is to surrender.
Travel isn't required to achieve this essential work. Though I frequently exhaust myself doing just that.
Life, I believe, begins when familiarity dissolves into revelation. When what we know and expect becomes an "other," distant memory. When we simply are where we are, experiencing a moment out of time.
Sometimes that can take a bit of distance from our day-to-day.
Become fast friends with uncertainty and chaos.
Exhaust yourself hunting creativity. Feel it move you, when you think you have nothing left to see and learn and give.
Dedicate all the effort you have to whatever you see and create. And then some.
Dip into that well over and over, until you're numbed by the certainty that you've only just begun. You must try again and again and again some more.
There... Now you've arrived at something worth having.
I thought I'd experienced the coast, the ocean, the dunes. I thought I'd shot surrounding landscapes and shot them well.
One exhausting, four-day trip later...
I now know I've never truly "seen" a sand dune until I shot them on the Outer Banks.
Hard work, yes. But SO worth every exhausting, life-changing hour of it.
Now I'm limping my way back home... Dreaming of when I can make my way back!