Last night I drove over to Jax where, she, Maria, and I played with a new fog machine to see what kind of images we could make.
We didn’t really have any pre-planned notions other than to try so once the machine itself started to work, we just looked at each other wondering what poses we could make.
It was definitely an experimentation 101 class and the three of us had no prior experience.
We had to make several adjustments along the way but we got the Lume Cube lights positioned correctly from the outset. The evening breeze was the true mischief-maker as each change in direction caused us to restart from a different position.
When you are experimenting in the company of fellow experimenters, failure never happens. No one gets impatient. Everyone throws ideas into the mix and if you are lucky, as I was, some of the ideas work out.
Here are five of my favorites from the evening (at the end of the blog) and I hope you like them.
As Jax said this morning, when I sent them to her, the images have spawned further ideas in her head for our next attempt. And so the learning process has taken root.
Fog is in many ways a challenging element to work with but great fun once you figure it out. And once you emerge from the fog, it is amazing how clear things can become.
From an evening shrouded in fog, immersed in memories of the last time we did an experimental shoot with Brittany, I awoke this morning to a stunningly clear sky.
And the metaphor struck home on such a strong level.
Fog is a medium of confusion and when we live through fog it is difficult to move forward in a defined path. Things appear suddenly as obstacles or impediments to our plans and we often have to detour to get around them.
Fog can engulf us and linger for an undefined period of time. It can blow in from nowhere and suddenly dominate our life.
Some fog is natural and just falls into the “shit happens” category. Other is man-made and in many ways the latter is the worst.
I don’t mean worst in intensity, because life can serve us up some pretty confusing scenarios to work through. No. I mean worse in the sense that it is unnecessary and often doesn’t accommodate rational thinking.
We like to think of ourselves as rational beings, with the ability to reason but man-made fog often defies reason and therefore cannot be rationally worked through.
For example (skip the next couple of paragraphs if you are a republican), the fog that consumed America for the past four years engulfed the country in a divisive and hate-filled manner. If you are a socially conscious and empathetic individual with a genuine concern for all living creatures and the planet, then you would have spent the last four years wondering how 60 million people could be OK with racism, misogyny, fascism, and corruption.
If you are one of those corrupt racist, fascist, misogynists, then I told you to skip these two paragraphs.
But seriously, the arrival of COVID and the loss of all remaining semblance of normality, added to the fog on a very substantial level and developed a mentality that was just geared to keeping your head down and hoping that you make it out the other side alive.
As an individual, the only possible play for any of us was to wear a mask and half the country couldn’t be bothered, making it almost futile for those of us that do.
Beyond fog on such a national level, there are also many times when we create fog in our own lives by adding issues in that in general are either irrelevant to us or frankly none of our business.
For example, we can live a life where we insert an importance on what other people are doing with their own bodies and we line up outside women’s health centers holding plastic fetuses for shock value.
Can you imagine the life that those people live? They have elevated a social or religious or political issue to where it has become a main element of their lives. They spend a major portion of their time involved in an issue that really has nothing to do with them. They live in a fog.
Or how about the folks that attach such significance to an old flag from a racist past that they fly it at home, mount it on their pickup, wear it as a t-shirt, or tattoo it on their arm.
It was simply a battle flag meant to rally a brave army, but it evolved into a symbol of white supremacy and hate. Why march in cities and disrespect the victims of racism and hate? Why build a life around your involvement in such a hate group?
These folk live in a fog where they allow such garbage to run their lives. For what purpose? At the end of the day, do they get awarded a slave that makes their lives better somehow?
No. At the end of the day they die. Just like we all do.
And like all these fog issues, they consume portions of lives that are never recovered. Some people live in these fogs for years.
When the fog clears there is a realization of what life is really about. And it is very simple.
Love of those around you and love of this planet we live on.
Simple as that.
Our final thoughts are never going to be that we wish we could go one one more march or stand outside one more women’s center.
Our final thoughts are going to be that we wish we could have one more kiss or embrace from those we love. One more moment to share our love with those we care for.
How sad if we wait until our death bed before we finally get a clear view of the meaning of life.
… just a thought.