After the hustle and bustle of Albuquerque and Santa Fe, I booked myself a quiet week at Trinidad Lake because I had some thinking to do about “big things in life” and how I’m doing 8 months after retiring and almost a year after becoming an RV full-timer. I was struggling to articulate my issues all week, until two conversations with two friends, followed by a long walk by the water.
The first breakthrough was in the form of a metaphor from the first friend and conversation. After I retired, I was still on the “working for a living” shore for some months, working through the effects of leaving work. Eventually, though I jumped into the water. I’ve been swimming for a while now, and sometimes it feels like I’m just treading water. But now that I look at it, I have been slowly swimming to another shore. I liked the idea that I’m am simply between shores, rather than wandering aimlessly in the desert of life.
The second conversation was with a friend who had stepped away from the workforce for several years, and who understood exactly where I am, having gone from full-on productivity for decades to “huh, what now?” status as a retired worker-bee. We talked about being too young to retire from life, and what might be next up for me. It was a good talk but I still didn’t have a clear direction.
Later that day, I walked around the lake, taking the photographs that are shown here, and it was there that I realized I have already landed on a shore, I just couldn’t see it until now. I am standing on that new shore as an artist. That’s who I am now.
I am an artist. I am a photographer. Wow, that’s kind of scary to put in writing. Or publish in a blog post. But there it is.
I create images because it’s the way I express myself, from the composition to the colors to the presentation. And yet it feels so audacious to say “I’m an artist” because I always thought artists were super-talented, the chosen ones who had galleries and agents and followings, and someone like me, a high-tech worker-bee, couldn’t ever be one of those people. But here I am.
I don’t know where this choice will lead, but I’m going to find out. And it’s way better than treading water in the cold ocean of uncertainty.
I am seeking. I am striving. I am in it with all my heart.
Vincent van Gogh