With the New Year I am taking a new direction with my blog posts and newsletter. I've been slacking on the posts, though I haven't been lacking for material or things to say. 2017 was an intense year. I hunkered down and got some things DONE. One of those things was at long last I finished my long awaited (...I've long been waiting for it..) book draft of the Louisiana World Tour. After productively procrastinating for years on this project, I finally realized (admitted) that it was something I wanted to complete, but nothing ever happens by sitting around admitting that it was something I wanted to complete. After a chance meeting with a woman who creates wooden lizards (lagniappe) during my "Solo Pilgrimage", a journey across the Florida panhandle en route to St. Augustine, FL for a gig last summer, I came home and got serious about putting words to the page and images to the eye.
It took 6 months, or, if you count the years of exploring, photographing, writing, performing and exhibiting it - 6 years and 6 months - but finally I felt a sense of closure and accomplishment (am now productively procrastinating in my search for a publisher, but thats a whole other story) and feel free to write again.
After 650,000 drafts (okay, like 3 or 4) I finally found the one I could connect with. I wasn't satisfied with any draft, angle or format and I realized the only way to finish it was to scrap everything and go back to the beginning. Get back to the ROOT of why I began the World Tour in the first place, and then the answer was simple. I started the World Tour because I wanted my world to be larger and that was the mindset in which to complete the project and move it into its next phase. Why it took me so long to come up with this when that mission statement is plastered across every World Tour blog post and website description, I'll never know. Okay. I do know. Its because I was looking at the surface of the project, all that I had created, all the shows, exhibits, etc while overlooking the root, why I even embarked on the expedition to begin with, as we are so often apt to do. And thus "Roots" is the first theme of my new monthly blog series "The State of My World".
I think the world could benefit by focusing on the root of things right about now, but thats a whole other blog post. As for the World Tour book project, I was avoiding getting to the root of the World Tour because I saw it as an obstacle on my path. To write a book, photo essay, rather, on wanting my world to be larger implies that I thought my world small at the time and what was that about?
In can be a daunting experience, this digging deep, yet In the course of writing it the words came easy (cuz there aren't that many) because I realized my own perception of its origin had gotten skewed. I didn't think of myself or my world as small back then, but I did want to expand upon what I was doing. Thus making my world larger, thus making my head hurt at how difficult I can make even the simplest of things be. haha.
There are times when getting to the roots can be messy and chaotic, but its worth it, without the root, what is there to grow?
Then there are times when getting to root of things can be fun and light-hearted, like that time my Carrot Song was unintentionally presented as a piece of Live On Air Radio Carrot Performance Art....what? One of my git-er-done achievements of 2017 was getting back to my songwriter roots. I now play in my own songwriter circle and as it turns out, another chance meeting as a "plus one" at a Charlie Daniels show after Whale Fest last March enabled me to do just that (what did all that just say?!) It led to me being a frequent lurker/performer on Laura DeFazio's radio show on WHIV 102.3, an awesome community of Musicians, Mentors & Barroom Heroes, where I played The Carrot Song while Laura munched on a carrot (not nearly as thought out or as planned as it sounds, but hilarious, with lots of laughter and chatter about carrots and gas station snacks.)
Of course, the song is not about Carrots. Its about being a photographer and trying to weed through the surface of the news and get to the root of world & daily life issues. When all is said and read, what is true and was is important? As a photographer, I rely on my own perception to understand the world and present my views, therefore I need carrots in my photographic kit, since they are good for your eyes and all, to really see the truth behind the surface. Turns out, I needed Carrots to help me finish the World Tour.
So thats the State of My World right now. Roots, Carrots and I'm even sipping some ginger tea. So what's happening next? (stole that) I'll have a new blog post on the State of My World in February and some upcoming gigs (Check the Calendar) For now, sit back, grab a carrot and listen to some lighthearted carrot chatter.