I’m feeling a bit melancholy this morning – aren’t we all in some way?
But it’s a lovely day shaping up outside – the local lightning-caused wildfires are gradually coming under control, the air quality is slowly improving and the sun is bright.
But my mood is not so bright. Brad Feld shared his feeling – asking “Are You At Your Best Right Now?“
Everyone I know is some element of tired, stressed, anxious, frustrated, or just running at maximum speed trying to keep it all together. People are short-tempered, irritable, irrational, and lashing out or thrashing around.
And he shares some good advice:
Give yourself a break and acknowledge to yourself and your loved ones that you are not at your best right now.
After reading Brad, I came across the latest from Ming Thein. He’s been a long-time inspiration for me in photography. In “Full Circle“, Ming writes:
“If things are starting to take on a tone of finality, that’s because this is the point at which I confirm the suspicions you’ve been having: MT the writer and mingthein.com are both going into retirement.”
My friend Doug Kaye and I took a San Francisco street photography workshop from Ming back in 2014. We spent a couple of days walking with him on the streets, watching him make his images, and benefiting from his critiques of ours. He proved to be perhaps the most challenging “coach” I’ve had among the many photography mentors I’ve had along the way. While he’s stepping back for now, I’m hoping it won’t be long before we are inspired again by Ming and his work.
Picking up this morning’s Sunday San Francisco Chronicle to read at breakfast added to the melancholy mood of my morning! With headlines like: Understanding 2020’s confusion, As workers at big businesses stay home, downtown SF’s small businesses suffer, and Willie Brown’s latest column Burning and looting in the name of justice will hand election to Trump.
And then there’s this: Chadwick Boseman helped us understand our history. His death shatters our hearts. Reading the news certainly doesn’t help swing one’s mood back to positive and out of the melancoly!
But setting the news aside, there are lots of positives to see and feel if I just pause and reflect a bit. Things like the wonderful creativity of people like Craig Mod, the inspiring work of the creators on KickStarter, the wonderful photography of my friend and teacher Cira Crowell.
Craig has it right when he talks about the benefits of walking:
“Those walking are almost certain to have clearer minds than those sitting at home or standing around with guns. Long walks may not solve all problems, but over time they have unquestionably activated groundbreaking insights of scientific reasoning, creativity, and philosophy. And have unlocked equality in the eyes of the law and the world.”
“It can be difficult to sometimes remember, but there is a lot of good still out there. Look well, look closely.”
Such a great reminder! I find it helps even more if you think about using your camera in those moments to slow down, breathe in and just see!
Sunday is a day for remembering the best, not dwelling on all that melancholy trying to wave over us. And, just maybe it’s just another perfect day for taking a walk…
Update: Oh, one more cheerful thing – it’s Warren Buffett’s 90th birthday today. Bill Gates shares some memories and makes him a birthday cake! And quotes some wisdom from Warren:
“You will move in the direction of the people that you associate with. So it’s important to associate with people that are better than yourself. The friends you have will form you as you go through life. Make some good friends, keep them for the rest of your life, but have them be people that you admire as well as like.”