It is hard to believe that I haven’t written a single blog post in more than a year. It’s ironic to me that I am often telling my students, “what you do is what you become!” as I urge them to find their creative practice. I haven’t been good at taking my own advice it seems!
Unfortunately 2022 proved to be a challenging year on so many levels. First of all in January of 2022 our newly built carport collapsed on top of our cars! We were just grateful that neither of us wer in the cars when the roof trusses broke. It took over 5 months to get both vehicles repaired due to supply chain issues with parts.
On top of that, last year my average workload at the college was somewhere between 160-200% as I launched two new filmmaking degrees. I have spent the last three years researching and partnering with filmmakers in our industry on a local and state wide level. Our new degrees in filmmaking include a transfer path to EWU’s film program. This new chapter of my career has taken me from doing documentary storytelling to narrative storytelling and inspired me to purchase a lot of new equipment for my studio that I could then also make available for my students to use.
Month after month seemed to go by until one morning at 3:30am our dog Murdoch woke us up with heavy licking. Sarah noticed he was what and we could hear water running down in the darkroom. It turned out that a pipe in the darkroom had broken and flooded the whole basement and seeped up into his bed where he was sleeping. To make matters worse we were both home sick with Covid-19 and had to act despite not feeling well at all. The damage to the flooring in the basement inspired us to do a major renovation of the house and it caused me to have a gut check on whether or not film photography and a wet darkroom is really something I need considering I had hardly used it in the last three years due to my filmmaking pursuits.
The replacement of the flooring int he basement led to the need to completely dismantle the darkroom and move it out of the house and into a storage unit. That led us to replace all the floors upstairs as well which began the unraveling of a thread as we ran into structural issues with the house and prior plumbing issues we had not been aware of. Needless to say we ended up gutting the entire kitchen, laundry room and guest bathroom and have been camped out in our bedroom for most of the past two months with at least two more months to go before the new cabinetry is installed. It has been like moving out of our house just to work on it.
These challenges have been major setbacks but they have also blessed me with time to really think about what is important to me at a deep level. I am blessed to have such a great partner who is an artist in her own write with her poetry writing and art journaling. Sarah has re-imagined her studio space upstairs while I figure out whether or not I am going to rebuild the darkroom. I told her I would wait and make that decision this fall after I had a chance to teach a darkroom 101 class at the college. The first day of class in the darkroom affirmed my commitment to rebuilding and getting back to my first love of film photography!
I feel really good about what I have accomplished with cinematography this past year and I feel good about some of my other new pursuits which includes sailing. Last June Sarah and I got to fulfill a life long dream of mine to go sailing in the San Juan Islands. We went with another couple who were experienced sailors and spent a week crusing among the islands. We learned so much about sailing and I fell completely in love with it!
We are going again this summer but I will be much better prepared. This spring I am taking a live-aboard week long skipper certification course that will qualify me to charter sailboats on my own in the future. Between that and motorcycle trips the summer blew by swiftly.
Coming down with Covid really knocked the wind out of my sails and I have struggled to recover from the long term symptoms. But I am slowly getting better and feeling stronger just in time to make these new years resolutions based upon what my heart really aspires towards. I love writing and I have missed working on journaling this past year. I have spent a lot of time working on a script with a writing partner and I have enjoyed the learning process and look forward to producing a new short film this spring, but in the meantime I am attempting to follow the advice I give my students which has led me back to journaling on a daily basis.
When it comes to new years resolutions, my only two this year are to take time to write and post a little each day on my website and to get back into the gym to improve my overall health. I am happy to report I am making some great progress as I started working out three weeks ago and already feel much better!
I hope your new year brings you new resolve to become whatever you want to become. Thanks for taking time to read this and for being a part of my creative practice. Feel free to drop me a line or make a comment if anything comes up that you would like to share or talk about!
Happy New Year!