Radiohead references aside, I’ve gone through a number of life changes, both professionally and with respect to lifestyle since I last updated this blog. I posted last from the coast of Washington as I was in the middle of some significant soul-searching. I was at a crossroads both professionally and personally. Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting images from the last six months–what I have to show for them, that is. There have been moments that I considered packing up all of my gear and selling it off, closing the shutters on a dream. Summer, my partner who has seen me through this transition in my life, has expressed at numerous points a concern that she has somehow negatively influenced by passion for photography. I’m taking stock of life as I recognize that I’m emerging from a state of prolonged shell-shock at the fallout from the end of long and complicated relationship. She certainly has not stifled my desire to make images of the world. If anything, she inspires me.
I have a backlog of images I would like to share with the world, but first I wanted to share this amazing woman. I want to be a better person, a better partner, a better photographer, a better communicator, a better citizen of the Earth because I know that my own life is better for having her as such a central part of it. She shares with me a deep respect for this planet. A visceral connection to the landscape and the flora and fauna that color it in.
Early in our relationship we spoke of partners creating space for the other to grow. I don’t think either of us had any idea just how much space that would mean as my life changed dramatically. I have a new appreciation for intentional family (to say nothing of my biological family, whom I love dearly). In many ways, I feel like my vision has been fogged for a months now but it’s beginning to burn off. Confidence is slowly being restored to my heart, my head, and pumping in my veins.
This remarkable woman is the reason that, come August, I can append two letters to my name. In March she traveled with me to Columbia to defend my M.A. project at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. That project, “A River in Reverse: Asian carp and The Great Lakes” was the result of hours of blood, sweat, and tears over the last two years, but especially the month of February and into March of 2012. She helped me to reframe some of my darker experiences in graduate school. She helps me to realize just how amazing life can be. How fortunate I am to be on this path together. How blessed I am with the talents I have.
I don’t have a crystal ball. I don’t know with certainty what my future holds. What I do know is that as I take stock of my life, I cannot help but to feel fortunate and loved at this moment in time. We’re planning to hand-fast so that we might share the joy we feel about the the peregrinations that we will share over the course of our life together.