The World is Not Yet Done

rose 38, photograph

“And so you make your place in the world by making part of it – by contributing some new part to the set… Each new piece of your art enlarges our reality. The world is not yet done.”

David Bayles and Ted Orland, Art & Fear

Many years ago I studied philosophy, actually got my college degree in that discipline. At some point I came to feel that something essential was missing from this pursuit – it was too involved with analyzing the world and too little with being in it.

My odd life trajectory next found me writing software for a living and, for the first time, I felt that I was making part of the world. I had to sit in front of a (metaphorical) blank piece of paper and compose. This felt better, I was more involved.

Then I moved into management and, oops, found myself once again more involved in talking about doing rather than actually doing. I learned again how empty that could be, so I walked away.

Then I became a photographer. Now I get to add my individual parts to the set, and each day I am reminded that the world is not yet done. Makes you want to get up each day, knowing there’s work to be done.

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7 responses to “The World is Not Yet Done

  1. Beautiful image. I haven’t done much with flowers, this makes me think I should look at them more.

    Also interesting that I’m following the same path. Started out hands-on in the software industry, then management, and now I find photography to be my favorite thing. Not sure I can make a living at it, but it definitely makes me happy.

  2. Hi Bob, glad to see you are posting again. I, on the other hand, have slowed to a crawl. But since the world is not yet done, I guess all phases have their place…

  3. Well put, Bob! I too found myself in an ‘odd trajectory’ in my life path. I went to school initially to be a teacher, then got a summer job at Hewlett Packard, stayed on, (for the money and the fact that I wasn’t sure teaching degree was my true future) got into programming and felt like I was building, creating something in the world, albeit code for marketing electronics. Then I moved into management – oops! for me too! But when I left HP to be a pro photographer, I found myself back in the space of creating, contributing in a new way, to the world. It’s ironic how we move along a path, your story is great and I hadn’t know that about you before. 🙂 Thanks for sharing it with us – and great image by the way!

  4. I have found myself in similar situations where I end up getting too involved in something that robs the creative time, and then find myself getting increasingly frustrated and irritable! I think that situation is a given for most artists, which makes me think being an artist isn’t so much a choice as it is a necessary requirement.

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