I was reading my daily dose of Seth Godin today, and his words on initiative, really struck home for me.
Coincidentally, last night was Linchpin night here in Ventura. The Linchpin meetup is an event Seth innovated, where self starters and doers, get together, network, have fun, and sow the seeds of creative fulfillment. We had met at the Watermark, a rather ambitious restauranting endeavor. For our podunk little town (Ventura, Ca), it is what one would call an upscale establishment. I think I must have left the meeting of bright linchpin lights pretty wound up, as my dreams were of doing endeavors…….. all nite long.
My thoughts and dreams have a way of awakening me. So at 3 am, summoned out of a fitful sleep, I began work. I had an image to locate for a Tedx talk in Munich. The request had come via a search through my website, and the images selected were ones I had not seen in many years.
What many people do not know, is that every image is the result of a quest of some sort. So there is a story behind each. The first image in this edit request was simple to find. It was a Wiamea dawn shorebreak shot, which I had captured 10 years ago, standing right next to Warren Bolster, who was twitching in manic fashion when I would look over at him. I had not known this, but since I was staying at Wiamea that year, and heard the break fire up in the night from my bed, (I was first on it) but I had inadvertently placed myself in Warren’s favorite spot. I could see his discomfort, and found it amusing, as I was shooting with an ancient Century 650 F 6.7 manual focus telephoto. He of course, had a beautiful Canon 600 F4 L autofocus lens. I was sad when I learned of Warren’s death awhile ago. Lots of memories attach themselves to my work.
This made me think of my friend and colleague Jason Wolcott’s words, which I included in the image above. It was shot in a remote cove in Mexico 12 years ago, using that same Century 650 lens.
I had been shooting from the water at the South end of the cove that afternoon, having driven down with my friend Dean and one of the Goleta Bodyboarders. The Cove is an amazing place. Pristine and alive with all manner of sea life. A fish farm lies just offshore.
As the light was coming on in the later afternoon, I was in the water shooting one of the guys on a left and saw an entire school of fish jump through the air in panic. We all laughed. Then I thought, hmm, why the display? And there he was, a huge tiger shark charging down the line on the very next left hander of the set.
I turned and caught the wave, (same wave as the shark) and began to bodysurf in. As the wave began to slow, I felt something near me and looking up realized that one of the bodyboarders had gone as well, and was stalling, waiting for me. I pulled myself up onto him and we rode to the sand together, laughing in relief as Dean sat outside alone looking at us quizically.
On the beach was a cave which you could walk through to the water. I had wandered over and realized that the entire school of fish had beached itself and lay dying now. We managed to get Dean to come in after that.
So I had set up my tripod, and shot the image you see above in this post, which was of a wave, spawned by some distant storm in the Southern Hemsphere, that had traveled all the way across several seas, to expire as a backlit gem and reward me in it’s wonderful death. Jason’s words say it perfectly.
So in answer to Seth’s query: what do I do when the phone is not ringing? I engage, create. That is just what Linchpins do, and the affect is the same as that wave spawned by the storm, which travels out from the source to crash ashore in another time and for yet a new set of eyes to engage, and another heart to inspire and aspire.
I do not think any of this, or us, ever really stops. It is just in our nature to go on. That is the gift that we have been bequeathed: to expand. I would rather inspire than do anything else. That matters.