I went to bed and woke up pondering my new website configuration. I was very distracted during my walk this morning. There are many decisions to make, it will be a major reconfiguration and a lot of work. I feel, on the one hand, daunted, and on the other, excited, to the point where I will lose sleep and let other important things slide because I won't be able to let go of it.
Strangely, I had been thinking about how to combine writing and photography. I had been thinking it would require some kind of web reconfiguration. And then BOOM! I fired up the editing panel of my Behance Pro website and was confronted with Adobe's decision to kick it to the curb in favor of a new (and, I hope, improved) alternative. I have until spring to migrate to the new format. There was no indication of whether that would be early, mid or late spring.
Uggh! was my first reaction. Alright then, it's time anyway, was the second.
My writing and picture making have evolved into a project with the working title "Days, Weeks, Months, Years." The project flows from daily walking and writing excursions. I have charged myself with the task of intentional and thoughtful observation of my surroundings and through them, as it turns out, I am looking deeply into myself.
Sometimes I worry that I have become a navel-gazing and useless-to-society “artist.” That I have taken refuge in art because I have failed at things more useful. There might be some truth in that, I don't know. What I do know is that this exploration compels me to the point where it has taken over and there is little I can do but sink my whole self into the enterprise and hope that something useful and resonant comes out of it.
My sole New Year resolution is to diligently and unflinchingly pursue my writing and picture making and to share my discoveries openly and honestly.
I am convinced that making art has value to society though society often fails to value its artists enough. Some number of its members must travel beyond the perimeter to search for and retrieve truths that are useful to the whole. The hard part is that no artist can be the judge of whether their production is valuable to anyone but themselves. They can only do what they do.
The best artists are visionaries. Like all visionaries, they risk much. Society defines and manages its perimeter, providing powerful incentives and disincentives to stay within an acceptable-to-it territory and offers little to no support to individuals who venture outside the walls.
To state what we witness, what we think about what we witness and what we long for within what we witness, in an honest way, is to be human, is to be relevant, is to be useful.
Not many people do this, or are even interested in trying. The way of the visionary is a hard way. Harder than anyone can imagine because visionaries who succeed and are lauded for their efforts are the tiniest fraction of those who embarked for the frontier. Most of them perish on the journey, swallowed by the darkness of obscurity for all time.