We only have a limited time here, so we damn well better examine the motivations for what we do.
Guy Tal

Art, life lessons, and guy tal

March 19 2017

Third beach, October 2016

Recently I had a conversation with a good friend (i hope it is a dialogue) about motivations, and even more recently while reading, I found the quote above. Maybe it was just a coincidence or my own unconscious anticipation, but the advice I gave to my friend was very similar. Side note: this is sort of an excuse to post some landscape images from a time when it wasn't either raining or snowing, since that's been the norm for the last five months. But no really, we're all gonna die one day.

I didn't use the word "motivation" when we talked, but I should have to make the point more clear: we only have a limited time here, so we damn well better examine the motivations for what we do.

This year I'll be 45. It was a few years ago that I came to my own conclusions about life and death and how I wanted to spend the rest of my time (partly how I started with photography). I came to my personal revelation on my own, a slow, hard process of trial and error about learning what was right and wrong for me. Unfortunately, when I think about that turning point now I feel like I am late, so if there is an occasion I like to take the opportunity to speak with younger folks who are close to me about what's coming for them. I wish someone had had a conversation with me a long time ago about living the life I want and being true to myself, but somehow that conversation gets overlooked in adult life because everyone seems more intent on ambition — or some sort of preoccupation.

It doesn't matter how rich you are or how talented you are or what you do for a living. We all come into this world the same way, and we all leave it the same way. The only thing that matters is right now, and the only thing to fear is that last moment of clarity when you look back upon your life and count your blessings and regrets, and wonder if you had truly lived.
Guy tal

You might ask, "what does this have to do with photography, or landscapes, or anything?" and that would be a good question. First of all, go read photographer guy tal's book "more than a rock" and you will understand. I've read it twice (now on a third go) because he lays it all out there from his own experience. If you still don't understand it's likely you're one of those people who hasn't made it to that turning point in life when you get the undeniable urge to correct your course. It's coming. No one is perfect, and very few of us do everything we want from day one of understanding so chances are when you have that personal moment of clarity there will be something to fix.

Just remember, it doesn't really matter what you do in your life, what's important is the doing. Well that and the motivation. Just figure out what you really want to do, and don't skimp. I hope my friend takes that unsolicited advice.

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