June 14th, 2019 … Finding The Soul in the Swamp of Nothing

Twas the night before… wait… the wrong story. Lemme see, hmmmm… Then night light was starting to give way to daylight. The change in colors and the tones that separate them becoming obvious. People starting to move around, the cars and trucks and buses taking over the streets. People now on the lookout for traffic. The train I was on pulled into 5th street and I deboarded. Yes, you can deboard a train or an airplane. As I walked up the steps to street level, I could see fog and kinda like vegetation starting to consume the light. Oh no, the light. I pulled Andre’ the Ricoh GRIII from his bed (Tamrac 5720)  on my side and checked his settings. Alls well but I have this feeling of impending doom like we are in the middle of the nothing. Andre’ the Ricoh GRIII was warm and I can tell nervous. Why nervous,. because we have walked this path more times than I remember. Now, the light of day was not so bright and there was nothing to see for making photos.

As we walked thru the darkness of nothing, I felt the leaves of the weeping image trees land on my face and chest. The winds of sorrow had released the leaves and sent them to me. I felt a longing for my past life and yet knew it was history and will not repeat. Andre’ cuddled in my hand as he is the new guy on the shelf. He is not used to the longing of something in the land of nothing. I looked at a leaf that fell to my face. I was amazed to dee on it a photo I had made in history past. Then another leaf landed on me and I gazed upon its beauty and grace. Alas, another photo on the leaf. I felt not lost but still unfound. Andre’ said… sheeter, listen… you understand AI right? Of course, I said, it’s that great movie about that AI kids life. Andre’ kinda moved hi IS and I felt it. He said, listen, you watch much too much TV and your a 60’s dude. So, how about wee try fo focus in the crap are in. Andre told me he has RI installed. RI = Ricoh Intelligence, nor Artifical.

As we walked along the path of surrender and to the land of nod, Andre’ tuned himself on. All the sudden I could see light and shape and a frame that I thought would be gone for eternity, Nah… wait, wait… just till this little journey is complete.

The sky started to shine thru the dark canopy of despair and I could see in the distance, well… not there yet but working to it. I glanced and saw a young girl and a guy and she was looking at me cause I’m just so damn sexy and good looking….smiles.  Andre’ quickly set himself ready for the shot. (He does this by himself. It’s a feature that Ricoh instilled in the GRIII. It’s called, the inspiration factor)   As fast as I looked….click!


I guess the darkness of despair was starting to lift. But would it hold steady and allow me to breathe again? Would it allow me to be again? We walked until we came out the canopy of leaves with photos on them. I collected many leaves and they conjured up memories of photos last. I thought to meself, self… if’n all those leaves are all the photos then why are we in this stupid mood and in the darkness?

Maybe it’s true that opposites attract and that less is more. Maybe, just maybe being in the darkness without inspiration, is in a way healthy.

See, we all have times of darkness and kinda feel like we don’t have it anymore. I guess we are in a place where it seems we can’t escape. The thing is, to strive to live. Just because you feel that you’re lost, maybe that’s the driving force to find yourself. We are all on the edge of the abyss of non-creativity. We may even fall in,  but must not allow ourselves to surrender to the nothing. Even when it appears that we are almost done, their lives a spark inside us that will become the guiding light.  It is this spark that may be dwindling inside our soul that we must allow and feed so that it becomes our shining beacon.


10 thoughts on “June 14th, 2019 … Finding The Soul in the Swamp of Nothing”

  1. Trying hard to delay the purchase of v.3, and nursing my v.1 with love. You are right, the GR is an inspiration magnet. I think the reason is that it is the most fluid, transparent tool you can hold when making photos. It’s un-assuming, un-selfconscious, non-intimidating, always-with-you. And yet as sharp as a surgical scalpel. I sometimes wonder why I bother putting a 28mm in front of my Leica, when the GR can match it in a more compact package… The only issue on the GR is battery life, I barely reach 120 shots per charge even without using the rear screen to frame my shots (viva the OVF…)

    1. Giovanni, all you said is true. The battery on the v.3 is not as bad as they make it out to be. Truth is, I never shoot 100 frames on an outing regardless of what camera is with me. I keep my jpegs and raw till I get back to the pc and then delete the jpegs. The jpegs for me are visual notes of what I’m doing. So, maybe I come home with 60 frames total but 30 DNG and 30 JPEG.
      I found batteries on eBay for $12.00 for 2. They work fine and nice to have a backup. Ya know it takes less time to load a battery than it does to change a roll in an M camera.
      Goe easy but you’ll love the V.3.

  2. Hi Don –

    Greetings from NYC (Brooklyn, specifically) – hope this finds you well. I always enjoy your posts and your photography, and have been lurking for a while, but I keep coming back to this post to re-read it, and simply feel compelled to acknowledge the power of your thoughts and words, especially that last paragraph, which is kind of breathtaking – devastatingly emotional, but also incandescently humanistic and hopeful. So thanks for that; and on a less bombastic note, thanks in general for sharing and encouraging the emotional aspect of photography, both the process of shooting itself, and the images. You are a singular and poetic voice.

    Warm regards,

    1. Thanks, Mark. Sometimes I can hit right where others get what I’m saying, like this post. Other times I haven’t a clue…. thanks from Philly…

  3. I really resonate with that bit about creativity. We are creative beings, made that way by a creative Being, that’s my understanding of the soul.

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