Monday, April 04, 2011

The View from my Bicycle [COLUMN]

Commencement: the end of one thing, the start of something new

Funny thing, watching Spider-man this evening, I notice that Peter Parker's profession is photographer by turns, otherwise he's your friendly neighborhood Spider-man.  I can identify with the scene where he photographs Mary Jane for the school paper.  It is with camera in hand that he finally has the guts to approach you, and his advances from there continue either under the cover of a mask or as Spider-man's accessory.

The story strikes me more deeply now, I suppose, because I have recently damaged my camera and so, to an extent, feel like a limb has been amputated.  In a sense, it isn't as bad as that.  In another, well, it's worse.

I'm very uncertain when it comes to confrontation, because whether one does it severely or meekly, the results are often the same.  But I suppose one can approach confrontation from a respectable platform, and merely be firm in one's position.
Since my camera is non-comprendo for the short term, or perhaps longer, I have the opportunity to engage in a few ideas that deserve additional space and time.  On Friday, for example, I took a break from the Epic, and visited a friend in Greenpoint, at his office.  I went to school with Hugo and whilst today we can both call ourselves Economists, he is a doctor with a thriving business.  Whereas I am a photojournalist [for now] with occasional forays into the subject of energy economics, it is perhaps time to find a different mask, or to peel away the skin to reveal something new.

Earlier this week I attended a presentation by Jeremy Wakeford, at a lovely Mill in Newlands.  There was a small number sitting on the edge of their chairs, listening intently to Wakeford's words.  I have studied this topic for some years now myself.  In 2006 I published my first article in a magazine [now defunct] called Heartland.  In that article I advocated purchasing gold, and being careful to acquire property through debt.  Wise words and, as it turns out, a prudent prediction.  I've made numerous predictions since then that forewarned both the credit crunch and the oil spike [both of which are obviously related] in 2008.

So I am considering a change from photojournalist to energy specialist.  Not necessarily putting the one career entirely to bed, but simply resuscitating a new course...

At the same time, an even more vital transformation is called for.  This one is not optional.  Whilst work is never guaranteed, especially as freelancer, nor satisfaction, we all have power over our own bodies, and our minds.  That remains my focus heading towards the Two Oceans marathon.  I have read a wholly inspiring book, Born to Run, and it is very inspirational to learn that running is what makes us human.  It is the special skill that the Neanderthals lacked, and long distance running explains a few other qualities unique to our species: stubborn perseverance is one.  Why is it then that some of us use the gift of running and others don't?  Because the brain is a bargain shopper.  This trait, tend to be our undoing, as we collect bargains and find easier ways to live, which in the long run, may not be good for us.

Running, especially barefoot running, offers us all the opportunity to find our way back to our DNA, what was hard wired into us...who we humans really are.  A photographer is really someone who could look at the sun and the sand and the shape of the antelope and draw simple silhouettes on rock that everyone could recognise.  An energy specialist was once someone who could make a fire that would last the night, and maintain a pebble of coal all through the next day, whilst on the run.

While change may sweep with the seasons, whether it brings fortune or the opposite, there are ancient flows that have always served us.  Touching the earth with bare feet, and spending time in the sun with the wind, seems to be a better way to educate and strengthen us towards the core of who we are, or must be, than striving for any other worldly career.  Of course, once we are strong in ourselves, we become powerful in every other guise too. 

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