Updated: Jan 16
I'm no stranger to self isolation or real social distance, but it's always been the result of a choice, a lifestyle not an order. I've always sought out peace, solitude and quiet, ever since I was very young so you can say I'm used to it or conditioned to it. Either way it works for me and my life is built around it and has been for a very very long time. As a work from home work alone artist it suits me perfectly. It's not an environment to be forced on any human being. It's something that grinds against our very nature.
I do want to say it's not that I don't like people, I do, very much so. I find people I know, meet, pass on the street, see in a store to be very interesting, engaging, unique, and inspiring. My close friends being God sent. We're all walking works of art made by God with a little help from our parents. It's true, we're all sculptures that move, work, drink coffee... etc etc .
At this point in life I have friendships that are going on over 20 years and I love my friends dearly. I don't see them much since I live far away up in the mountains now but we keep in touch often over the phone and writing. So it's been a balance of solitude and interaction for a very long time. Now, when I say I live in the mountains, I live 20 plus minutes outside of town by myself, just me, nature , and the animals so the isolation is very real, but welcomed.
My Leather shop
It may sound wonderful, easy and the perfect way of life to many , and I've heard that from countless people. And yes, in ways it is, there is nothing like it. That view above in the picture of the shop is from the kitchen porch, I see that every morning, this picture I took at about 6:30 am and its just as magical today as it was the first morning I got here. But, there are many things in life you now do by yourself, alone, nobody in the next room, next door to help with. Most of it you can figure out clever ways to do alone with enough time. The Majority of us aren't made to live this way for long periods of time though, humans are made for pairing, having families and companionship constancy . If we weren't we'd all be gone by now.....
The hardest part of being isolated is self -regulation, something invisible and on automatic when we're in contact with our close friends , family or in our relationships. We regulate one another whether we realize it or not and it goes both ways constantly. So living alone you have to learn how to self regulate emotionally, which does take time, practice, additional wisdom and patience. Quite the journey for sure, without it though the conundrum you'll be chained to is not survivable. Self inventory, being self critical without judgment, and the willingness to be accepting and open to personal change are paramount. Which includes a lot of looking inward and in the mirror.
Summer of 2020 my one and only selfie.
Taken with My camera and a manual focus vintage Super Takumar. 50- 1.4
I haven't watched TV in over 13 years now, nor do I own a cell phone of any kind. I don't even have cable service, I just don't have that need anymore. I read, study, hone my art, watch movies, documentaries and contemplate it all. So, being removed from that input for so long I've developed a much different perspective on life and society. I study it from the outside, like watching a play from just behind the stage curtains where you can see the performers and the audience as well. So you see the players and the played all at once. Fascinating and yet disturbing at the same time. When you step away from the game the rules dressed in icing and the tricks wrapped in candy foil are more than evident , the truth is all you see, you see through the performance, you see it through the lies and propaganda, its not possible to be fooled anymore. A bitter sweet red pill that plunges you into the reality stolen from you at birth.
'Cause you were bred, for humanity
And sold to society
One day you'll wake up, in the present day
A million generations removed from expectations
Of being who you really want to be.
. Work in Progress, A seat top for Alex Garden a long time and treasured customer of mine.
The creative process is in many ways an escape but its also an expression of vulnerability. To be good or great at anything you have to be willing to embrace being vulnerable. What I mean is surrender is part of the process every time , and to fully surrender to the process takes being vulnerable. You see, no matter how good we get at what it is we do, each piece is different , in color, style, feel, presentation, and usage, so the path to get there is brand new. Art requires faith in the unknown and the courage to let go and let it take charge . When we get out of the way our best work comes to life in an instant. That piece above I don't remember anything beyond tooling it out, the rest of it is a blur. I can tell you what I did to it, but I couldn't tell you how it happened or how I got there. That's gone, and it should be....that's where the magic lives.
The Beauty of Decay
Whats old is new again, vintage is beauty and beautiful. It has a charm about it that can't be described. This is true about people also. I know you're thinking.......where are you going with this man?. Instant and demanded isolation is a death sentence that will play itself out for years to come if not generations. Its an iron fist of punishment, both physical and mental. When its a chosen lifestyle it can be implemented slowly and altered to fit, and when it's done in that way life that surrounds it remains mostly unchanged and survival continues on unimpeded. However, humans aren't designed to live the way we're being forced to right now.
Let me tell you where I'm going with this..... That mask hanging on your wall, laying on the night stand, sitting on the counter by the door. Whats old is new again, the fancy wrapper, the players and the played, seeing the truth through miles of lies.
The torture it brings to so many people that are riding along with it, the ruin its causing, the death its causing. No not the virus, I'm talking about the loss people are suffering, the loneliness imposed on people all over the world, the loss of life's work, income, the record number of homeless we're experiencing now, the record number of suicides , the record number of domestic violence, abuse, depression, anxiety, addiction, loss of a healthy childhood and learning social norms for children all over the world. Whats old is new again... Are you getting it? What we're all experiencing isn't an organic happening of change, it's not a natural turn of events. It's a repeat of whats come before us. Its a show and its purpose is control , exactly like the television.
But It's deeper and way more sinister than that . Turn off the Television, read, read, read, apply deductive reasoning and critical thought, you'll see this for what it really is. You're being lied to, again. Pull back the curtain on reality once and for all. But you're doing what you're doing for the greater good right? Your mask wearing is saving my life isn't it.. NO, it's not, study after study proves masks don't work and to top it off there is a rise in periodontal disease and bacterial pneumonia from bathing our teeth, gums and lungs in bacteria meant to be expelled , Studies as old as the hills from the Spanish flu outbreak to ones as recent as last month. Whats old is new again.
Stop participating, think, don't listen and obey, think, read, and apply the knowledge you find to be true. You were made with the best lie detector and intuitive device ever known, use it and be brave . Tell others , share that information and do the best thing you can do for friends, mankind and loved ones... Free them. The truth is out there, you just have to look for it .
Sunrise in the Forest , up behind the house.
All photography By Me.