Thursday, December 13, 2012

Stargazing: The Universe and I

I am staring up into the darkest, winter night sky. The moon is new, taking a night off and the air is crisp and clear. I am astounded by how many stars there are above me, only 20 minutes from the light polluted suburbs. 

There are meteors falling, space matter crashing from its orbital soaring in to the atmosphere of my planet and burning away before my eyes. I feel the weight of this universe on me now as gentle and as tight as the skin over my flesh.** This weight binds me, intertwines me with all of perceivable life. It holds in the reverberations of the whole universe, a vibrating energy within me. I am by my self but I can never be alone. What I see outside of me currently, this cosmic light show, this meeting of worlds, is but a sampling of what I carry inside of me. I am of an endless capacity, which I will never see to become full. Boundless. A simple, finite, human. As inconsequential as the next speck, yet a key stone among all.  Each one of us, the most important creation.

**The universe is my skin. We have known each other always and I fit seamlessly into it. It grows with me. It protects me. I damage it. I keep it clean. Through it I perceive at the most intimate level. Through me it comes to life and remains in motion. The universe and I. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Art School vs. Art Trail

Up until this week there has been one little thing standing between me and fully concentrating on the trail: college. But now, that's done. After a long 5 years, I have a Bachelors of the Arts with a Concentration in Photography from the Art and Design School of Kennesaw State University.

It sounds far more prestigious when I say it like that. And sadly, I feel that of all my graduating peers, I will be making the most use of my degree by walking up and down mountains for months on end. All that is say is... it's a bleak world for recent art grads. Art jobs nearly don't exist outside of simply deciding you're going to "be an artist" and making it work.

I truely do believe that my peers will keep shooting and keep creating art and I hope some are even lucky enough to go on to find freelance gigs, or do wedding or event photography. As for me, I have resigned to not pursuing such a route, simply out of personal taste, and am walking the trail as an artistic journey just as much as a spiritual and physical journey.

Not only have I vowed to still create art on the trail, with multiple "projects" already lined up in my mind, but I also want to use it as a time to ruminate on what I just spent half a decade focusing on. There are a million things I could do with what I just learned, including dropping it forever.

Unfortunately, I don't feel that being an artist is so much of a choice, but more of a natural way of being that you either act upon or don't. It is a means and way of perceiving your world. I sometimes feel frustrated by my lack of say in being an artist and that tells me I could ever drop it.

But with that being said, there is an obvious change that will come in my life when eating, sleeping and setting up/breaking down shelter become the most important things in my life. Art will either become wholly superfluous or the single most interesting thing I do.* How will this affect my work? Will I be too tired to make it or it be all I want to do? (Obligatory rhetorical question, my signature move)

In the end, I would love to have a large collection of fairly related cross sections of work I created while on the trail. It is a major season of someone's life if they choose to do this, and an interesting one at that, so I hope to make the best of it artistically. 

*I believe that statement is an exaggeration of two possible sides and feel that most likely neither will fully happen. It just gets the point across!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Cohutta Wilderness Weekend!

As typical, it had been too long since I updated. But I come baring gifts of a photographic nature! (no pun intended)

In the beginning of November, my brother and sister in law were able to fly down from New Jersey for a weekend and the whole family went backpacking. Yes, we even convinced our mom to go. I am surprised she complied after Blood Mountain this summer.

We hit the trail head just about sunset and descended into a mountain valley via the Panther Creek Trail in the Cohutta Wilderness, a beautiful little sanctuary in north west Georgia. Several camp sites lie in the valley just moments away from a really neat waterfall that over looks the mountains. But nothing describes it better than photos!

This is an overlook as we were nearing the trail head. The Cohutta Wilderness isn't much more than a labyrinth of dirt forest service roads with lots of great trails.

 Here is a little pano from the top of the waterfall. It is a really cool place to watch the sun set or just hang out and take in all the greatness around you.

 This is my brother poking around the fire, as always. I have got to say though, he is a Michelin star chef among backpackers! And check out this great site. Three sides of notched logs to sit on. Someone paid attention in boy scouts. 

 This is just an example of the sort of things the catch my attention about nature. Love it. 

And this is how I leave my mark behind.