I wrote this last week after a couple of rums, in the midst of a pretty shit week, and what Jon Krakauer describes in his book, ‘Into The Wild’, as an “orgy of self-pity”. There’s always a tendency to self-censor when it comes to writing. But when I set up the blog the goal was to achieve two things; I wanted to tell the story of the Wet season and record my own personal experience along the way, with all of the highs and all of the lows. In that spirit, I figure the following rum-fuelled ramblings are part of that journey. I also think we’re all guilty at times of glossing over the aspects of our lives that we don’t particularly like and perhaps not sharing the personal struggles that we keep tucked away in the shadows. Most of us are very good at putting on that clown mask and showing the world what the world wants to see. But we’re human. We do have personal struggles. We do have our personal short-comings. And many of us at times are wrestling with all of that stuff. It’s called Life. That journey, and all of the personal triumphs and failures along the way, that what’s makes us who we are and makes us unique.
When I wrote this last week I was coming to terms with everything that’s going on at the moment and re-evaluating some of the things that have been important to me the last 5 months. A week later I’m not sure if I agree with all of it but there’s definitely some kernel of truth in there.
One Rum Too Many
After one rum too many I’ve come to the conclusion that what I do as a photographer, week in, week out, is completely and utterly disposable. At its best the photos simply feed the beast that is social media and momentarily hold the attention span of an overstimulated and distracted audience. With photos and videos force-fed to us through our phones from the moment we wake until the moment we fall asleep most of it becomes nothing more than white noise that simply fills out idle moments. And that’s when it's at its best. At its worst it is a symptom of a self-indulgent, oversharing culture that screams for attention and meaning - a culture that encourages what David Foster Wallace refers to as the incessant "worship of self".
When I’m feeling a little more optimistic I might convince myself that the images I capture and the stories those images tell have some value in helping promote and celebrate the natural world and the natural wonderland that is the Kimberley. But while I’m busy taking photos there are people out there in the world using their hands to build houses for the homeless. People go to work fixing the world’s big problems. Others save lives. I take photos.
They say in times of crisis people re-evaluate what’s important and what’s not. Maybe we’re all re-evaluating at the moment. Maybe I’m just feeling a little disillusioned in these uncertain times. Maybe it’s just a symptom of overthinking and 5 months of isolation. Or maybe it’s time to stop drinking rum.
I suspect there’s a few people out there at the moment questioning things and re-evaluating what's important. Maybe that's not a bad thing. Maybe we all come out the other side with a new perspective on things and a new appreciation for the things that are truly important.