So while much of the world was still asleep, my head was awake trying to figure out something. It was 3:30 in the morning and the darkness in my room wasn’t enough to keep me in sleep mode.
I had already been awake about an hour at that stage and it was becoming blatantly clear that my mind was not going to let me get back to sleep.
It was too early to get up and let the cats out. And I wasn’t in a rush to read any more news about what the dotard did yesterday. So I began to wonder if there might be sunrise worth looking at later today.
Before I went to sleep, the weather app on the phone said it was going to be a cloudy start, but now when I checked, it was clear skies in Lakeland.
That was all I needed for my brain to switch into creative mode. I wanted to bring the glass world with me again to shoot it, but this time I wanted to find a way to hold it in place other than my hand.
The huge difficulty the other evening for sunset was trying to hold it in one hand while trying to manipulate the camera and get focus with the other.
So I imagined all sorts of things to hold it in place; pins, nails, sticky something or others. But as is often the case, when you actually step out of bed and try to implement any of your amazingly wonderful ideas, reality sets in and they all come crashing down.
The sphere is made of solid glass, so it is quite heavy. None of the flimsy approaches were going to work. And even if they did momentarily work, was I ok with the risk of the world falling and breaking into bits or even rolling into the water?
Imagine me being responsible for losing the whole world, while you folks were in bed asleep? No, that would definitely have lost me a “fan” or two.
I decided there was nothing for it, but I needed to look down in my office for inspiration. Which meant the cats had to be fed and let out.
It was only four something as I opened the door and the cats looked at me as if to say “hey man, have you any idea what time it is?” In truth though, they happily ran off into the darkness before I even got the door fully open.
I found a couple of things that might work easily enough … a tripod-mounted clamp and the empty spindle of a stack of DVDs. Even grabbed a couple of record-printed CDs that I thought might give an interesting base if the glass had to be rested on the ground.
It was just after five when I got to my planned location … that boat dock with the pier down on Lake Parker. But there must have been at least a dozen pick-up trucks with boats down there already. Lights and noise everywhere.
So that was no good.
Went down by the side of the lake and found a spot where I could be alone. I say “alone” but there was actually millions of us there. Me and ten million mosquitoes.
I sprayed myself before getting out of the car but they still managed to feast on my back and shoulders through my shirt. Bastards! I hate mosquitoes.
Anyway, pain be damned … I set myself up and went about my project and was delighted with some of the end shots. I have them here at the end of this blog.
The spindle turned out to be very cool but the risk was very severe as even the slightest touch was going to make me lose my world. But by now, I was committed. So I took the risk. The clamp worked well too. I used it to hold a DVD and then the sphere rested comfortable in the center. Not very elegant and caused the DVD to bend a bit, but it was acceptable. And the Record printed CD was the safest as it lay on the ground without threat of losing anything.
So I laid and crawled around in the darkness on god-knows-what, getting feasted upon by the hordes of little flying bastards.
But I got my shots. Hope you enjoy!
Anyway, as I drove away I felt accomplished and that the early morning efforts were worth it. I am getting closer to be where I want to be in working with a glass sphere.
And so the thought that played around in my head while I drove home was based on the old saying that “necessity is the mother of all inventions”.
Whatever ability I have to come up with problem-fixes, I definitely acquired from my father. No matter the challenge, he would always figure out an answer. And he taught me over the years that there is always a solution to whatever is put in front of us.
We just have to be willing to use trial and error sometimes.
With all trial and error there is an element of risk, of course, and in this instance the real risk was losing my world into the waters below or even shattering it on the concrete edge.
Having it rest delicately on top of that spindle was a bit of a balancing act and I would be a liar to say that I didn’t have reservations. But along with the greatest risk, it brought the greatest reward. It gave me the most unencumbered shots of the session.
In fairness, I was happy with all three “inventions” that I came up with and I would pat myself on the back if it wasn’t so sore from all those damn bites!
Finding solutions to problems that come up in our lives is a big part of being an adult. As a child, our parents were our fixers and some of us were fortunate enough to have really good fixers that loved us enough to help.
But when they are gone and you have to find your own answers in life, decision making processes can be one of life’s more difficult challenges.
There is a real sense of achievement in finding your own solution and I strongly believe that it can be a real source of personal growth for each of us.
Yes, some people live their lives where they continually look to others for the answers. On the surface, it sounds like an easier path to take. But,in doing so, these people forego the growth experience and ultimately it renders them useless when their children or dependents turn to them for a solution.
For every right answer I have come up with in life, there is probably several wrong answers. But I have always had answers.
Fear of being wrong can be paralyzing so don’t let that stop you.
And laziness is equally paralyzing …. you have a mind, use it!
Oh wait … Republicans are exempt from that above instruction.
But the rest of us need to flex our mental muscle and try to figure out our own answers. As with every muscle, they get stronger the more you use them. Your brain and your inner-fixer will also grow stronger each time you figure out an answer to something.
At the end of the day, your life will become more “your life” and those you love will have their own fixer to help them, as indeed I did up to a short few years ago.