More New Year’s ramblings…

Leica M8, Voigtlander 75mm lens, f/3.4, 1/125 sec, ISO 320

Leica M8, Voigtlander 75mm lens, f/3.4, 1/125 sec, ISO 320

It is bitter cold outside.  This morning the thermometer read -6F.  The sun is out and the snow is all but blinding as I look out the kitchen window at the frozen pond and the string of suet cages hanging in the still morning air.  The usual suspects are pecking away, probably using as much energy to fly back and forth from their nests as they are in the eating.

I depart America in about 3 weeks.  It has been a good visit so far and I have been reminded by its truncated duration of the decision I made a few months ago: to leave this place.  I am only a visitor now.  Yes, I have an office where I am typing this post, a bedroom where I sleep, a makeshift darkroom where I can develop film and even make prints if need be.  I even have a car.  While sitting at the table this morning, watching the birds and drinking my coffee, the thought went through my head that I had better get packing.  It is time to go.  Time to go home.  Time to go back to Paros and the home I am making for myself.  Everything is as it should be here, whether I like it or not.  I have a few tasks to take care of and my conscience will be clear.   Yet I am still in limbo.

And what is next…?  I really haven’t a clue.  I have some ideas, some concepts of the possibilities, but there is nothing firm, nothing definite in any of them.  Photography, painting, hiking…these aspects are in the mix.  Teaching?  I have no idea nor would I assume.  The Camino del Santiago in the autumn?  Moving to Athens, enrolling in language school…?  Once again, nothing to hang my hat on.  The only thing for sure is that that I have some airline tickets booked on certain dates and I have to be there to board the plane or I miss the flight.  Whatever happens in between is a crapshoot.

The 17th century philosopher and mathematician Blaise Pascal wrote, “We sail within a vast sphere, ever drifting in uncertainty, driven from end to end.”  I’ll write some more about uncertainty and not knowing later.  Hmmm…I just thought of something,  something I have been bitter about for a while.   Last summer I walked in a conversation and the subject was how sad it was that ‘he’ had not achieved self-actualization by the time ‘he’ was 35…I am just paranoid enough to think that those folks were talking about me.  If this is true I can only respond that I find it terribly boring that one would be “actualized” by the time they were 35.   What purpose then further growth?  I think this ‘actualized’ idea is just another post-modern trap perpetrated to help with the easy pigeon-holing of the human spirit.  Kind of like “finding your voice.”


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