minimaism, mobility, and WTF was up with July?

Has July been bat shit crazy for you? It sure has been for me. I’ve had to deal with some changes that I was not prepared for. One of my dear friends died unexpectedly. I went through some super weird stuff behind the scenes with The Paul Duane Show.  I took my life on the road.

Many of you have been to my Artspace apartment over the years. I’ve been there for almost 5 years. It’s been an amazing place to live. It has served as my home, my photography studio, the scene for many great parties, and the venue for countless deep, personal, profound conversations.  I’ve gone through some huge changes while living there.  When I moved in, I was spending my life working for the Postal Service, angry, cynical, and super agnostic.  As of Summer 2013, I’m full of confidence, intuition, and I’m happily self employed doing the things I love.

A few years ago I read about this guy who is a programmer and decided to live in a decked out Airstream trailer. He cruises around North America and camps wherever he wants, setting up shop for a week at a time in this continent’s most scenic places.  He’s got satellite internet, so he can do his work from literally ANYWHERE. Check out his blog: .  As a photographer and writer, I can, and WANT, to do something similar.  My life is pretty simple.  All I need to carry out my work is a laptop, internet connection, phone, camera, and some clothes.

SO…. I’ve done it.  I packed up, put a few things in storage, and left that apartment for the last time.

empty bedroom screen rez
See ya later, alligator. A nearly empty former photo studio / bedroom. Thanks for all the good times!

All of my tools and necessities fit nicely in the trunk of my car. For the next few months, I’m going to places like Lake Tahoe, Burning Man, Moab, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, and a dozen little towns in between.  In between road trips, I’ll be in Salt Lake City to spend time with friends, have meetings, do photo shoots, and of course, do The Paul Duane Show. In between all of these things, I’ll return to port in Logan to spend some quality time with family: my brother, sister, nephews, parents, and my daughters all live up there.

One of my challenges in life is to be completely present in situations that I’m in. I tend to be about 98% present in any given circumstance, but that last 2% is where the gold is. My personal commitment is to use this time of living mobile to gain the habit of being fully in the present. I struggle with being distracted by my inner voices from fully enjoying the situations I find myself in.  I want to conquer that 2%. When I’m in something, I want to be ALL THE WAY in it.  The words of Charles Bukowski come to mind:

“If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery–isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you’ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It’s the only good fight there is.”

I want to fully experience things and drink up the last bits of every experience, for God is so often in the details.  Next time I see you, let us toast to park benches, jail, isolation, rejection, and the only good fight there is.

I’ll wrap this up with two practical matters:

  1. I’m in couch surfing mode. If you have a spare sofa that I may sleep on for a few days during one of my stops in SLC, drop me a line here and let me know.  I’m looking to assemble a small list of places I can stay for a few days at a time.  I’ll try to cook dinner for you, read your Tarot cards, or do a portrait of you while I’m at your place.
  2. If you know people in other cities that want photography done – the kind I do – put them in contact with me.  All I need to justify a trip to a certain city is a couple of photo shoots in the course of a week.  I am a very capable of the following types of photography: wedding, family portraits, event photography, musicians / bands / concerts, boudoir, and model portfolio sessions.

I’ll take these trips. I’ll do crazy things. I’ll read lots of Kerouac, Ginsberg and Bukowski.  I’ll meet weird and wonderful people, and will show you their words and images on this blog. I’ll tell you how it all goes down on the road here, and on  The Paul Duane Show.  Stay tuned kids.

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