Another Year: NYE

A lone wooden cross in Los Padres Natl Forest, Ventura County, Ca.
A lone wooden cross in Los Padres Natl Forest, Ventura County, Ca.


The Holidays seem to never change much in our family. Generally speaking, they are a time of deep reflection and great personal growth. It has always been this way. I am not sure if it is because so many in the tribe were born this time of year, or what, exactly. But it has become an unsought tradition: that of looking inward and subtly shifting focus, often with dramatic results.

As Creatives it is an obligation to do so:  set our house in order. So that the work we produce may be a benefit to others, and not just a platform for showing off our skills and the byproduct of the highly tuned expensive gear we haul around with us all over the world.

NYE shifted for me a couple decades and change ago, when my youngest son Jonathan was born. A scheduled C section birth, he popped out into the world sans scalpel, surprising everyone. The surprises continue to this day, as I watch this compassionate, highly evolved human being, ply his way through life. Happy birthday Jon, and thank you for being, well, you and not me. That matters. Not because I dislike the me in me, but because every human being has a potential to leverage off the foundation of parents and forge a new world and life. Though different is not always necessarily better, in this complex age it is far more likely to bring with it greater adaptability, and likelihood to thrive, than the prior generations might have in this era.

The other day I headed up into our local National Forest, into a place we call the Sespe. With me came a close friend of mine, who is an Indian and Forest Service steward-monitor. We spent the better part of the day and well into the night poking around in the moist, chill land and air. Me, filming time lapses and some stills of the place as Winter began to clamp down, and he doing what he does: seeing more than me. (That is hard to do)

Being up slope from where I live and the beaches I surf and swim at, is always a great re-set, and getting to do it with my friend was even better. Like when he pointed out the cross in the scene above and said simply: “What do you think of that?” I laughed. “Well it is Los Padres Natl Forest. (The Chumash have a different POV on Los Padres than most).

Below are a few images from the day.  Here is a little video piece I slapped together so you can see a bit of what Christmas felt like in Ventura California.

I will be blogging a lot more this year, engaging new technical innovations, as well as sharing travel and some of the dicey subjects that maybe might make for a little discomfort amongst you all who read me. But keep in mind that if I poke you, it just might be so that something you may be unaware of does not crush you and or yours. It is the only motivation I have really, when selecting tough subjects to write about, or film. All the rest, well, that is pure joy and beauty.

This has been an amazing year in Cinema, Photography and growth. Thank you for making my career possible. Without you coming along, none of this would matter.

May this next year bless you in ways that surprise and delight.

Leaves frozen in a stream bed as light turns golden.
Golden Pool
A shaft of late afternoon light makes it’s way down valley and through the brush
 Lights from passing cars lit up the tree line, as I shot a time lapse. This is one frame from it.
Lights from passing cars lit of the tree line as I shot a time lapse. This is one frame from it.

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