A special place.

That’s what I’d hoped for when I returned from the desert, like a prophet, back to the swamp. Well, I’m no prophet. And, this isn’t that place. I don’t know about the rest of you, but during this period of down time I’ve had a lot of time to think. After all, there is only so much time that I can work. So much time that I can read. So much time that I can watch Netflix.

That stuff.

Try as I might to stay out of my head during this time, sometimes like a bad neighborhood, I can’t avoid it. You just have to pass through it.

That can be illuminating.

I’ve done some good things. I’ve lived through some wondrous times. I’ve been to a some amazing places.

And, yet.

I cringe at the thought of some of the things that I’ve done. The choices that I’ve made. The moves that I’ve made. They are in the past. I can’t do anything about them. That doesn’t stop me from doing a face palm and thinking, “Oh my God, what was I thinking?”

And, the time. All that time.

I’ve made lot a career moves. Career often drove my destinations. Some of this thinking came from thinking about the start of my newspaper career. I lived in Radford, Virginia. I still have friends there. They are good storytellers and share on Facebook a lot. I have this ongoing fantasy of taking the world’s longest road trip and visiting my spaces, places and people.

So.

I started using Google Maps and Globe. I could not find the street where the newspaper used to be located. I thought I just look up the history of the paper. Still no address. I thought I’d just open the maps as big as I could and just find it. I’m good at dead reckoning. No joy. In fact, I couldn’t find anything.

That little town has grown. It’s very different now. It may not seem it to the people who have lived there all this time, but it is much bigger than when I left. I have no clue where to look for anything on the streets on which I drove daily, looking for pictures.

Then it hit me. Like a thunderclap. I left there in 1980. I came back on and off for a couple of years, then I moved west. Home. To California. It’s been forty years. What I think? That the town was set in cement?

Where did that time go?

It left me feeling a new sense of urgency. If I never left the house, I have enough work to keep me busy for years. And, there is so much that I want to accomplish in the world. Still.

A lot of it involves traveling. I could be frustrated by CoVid19. I’m not. The river flows in its own time.

The picture. I suppose you are wondering about it. It’s a multi-layered piece of art. Within it is a bit of every season. My seasons. If all my time was passing by, my life was just a season. So said the Byrds. And, Bob Dylan.

How’d I do it? Oh, the usual way. I stacked layer upon layer until I reached a starting point. I worked on it from there. It took some time even though I had a pretty clear vision. You have no idea how those pictures wanted to be free, out on their own. But, I tamed them. For now.

I am coming to my first crossroads. And, I need your help. Or, at least, your thoughts. I have another website. Supposedly, it’s my more commercial site. It isn’t. A lot of the work you’ve seen here is there.

It’s a fairly clean site. It needs reconstruction. I probably could make it all art. No New Orleans culture. No really old career spanning work. Simple. Clean. To the point. Oh, and it has a blog component. I think that I’ve said this in the past. I cannot import you from here. WordPress with let me take my work, but not you.

Many of my followers are ghosts. I have no idea why, but during some times of the year I get a lot of new followers. I suspect many of them are students fulfilling a class assignment. I never hear from them. But, I have you. A lot of you.

There is a modern business theory that says in order to succeed you don’t need the whole world to follow you. To buy your product. To help you keep paying for kibbles. Instead, you should build a community. As long as you have that, you have the freedom to do whatever you’d like within bounds. I have that here. No. I’m not going to do a hard sell to get you to buy my work. But, I do need an audience. People to whom I write. People to whom I post photographs.

My question. Given my choices. What would you do? Move on? Or, keep building here? I have my thoughts. They change every day.

One more thing. This is long enough.

I’m experimenting with Storyteller, mostly from a design standpoint. Today, it’s a drop cap. These are a little to leggy for me, but it’s a start. The trick in editorial design is to create conventions and use them.

Stay safe. Enjoy every sandwich.