Cloudy lighthouse during the sunset in a light bulb surreal conceptual fine art local photography

I Will Leave the Light On

I will leave the light on.

Happiness and hope has always outshined the darkest of hours. Right now fear is slowly running through the veins of many people who search for some sort of life line in this precarious time. Lives have been upheaved and we frantically attempt to put the pieces back in order.

As an attempt to offer a glimmer of hope we are taking a breather from each other physically and socially. For the first time in many people’s lives, we are somewhat forced to focus on ourselves. We are rediscovering our passions. We are understanding ourselves better. We finding out how truly weird we really are.

I have always subconsciously put off things I have wanted to do, due to the lack of hours in a day. And now I’m required to take a deep breathe. What now?

This void of empty time has somehow inflected more stress than relieving. I feel like I have to fill every minute of the day with a task to feel productive otherwise I just wasted a day. To add to it, if I don’t start or do any of the things that Ive previously put off because of the lack of hours of the day, then what? Am I failing? Do I lack the ability to be a better version of myself. Do I just simply not have what it takes to be the person who I have alwaysed envisioned in my mind?

Breathe.

There was a post from Clementine Morrigan that resonated this exact sort of self isolation anxiety. She wrote

“There are a lot of posts being like: use this time to cross things off your to do list, deep clean your house, work on yourself, start a mediation practive, etc etc etc… And these posts are obviously well meaning and may be helpful for a lot of people…

We may also feel a weird pressure to ‘use this time well’ (capitalism is alive in our bodies) and we may be spiraling into a shame that we can’t seem to turn this situation into a healthy writing retreat or a get all that cleaning done or whatever.

So I just want to say: whatever you are doing is fine.

If all you’re managing is watch tv or stare at your phone

it’s ok.

If you are having trouble functioning

it is ok

We need to take a harm reduction approach and not expect ourselves to be suddenly not traumatized.

It’s okay if you’re not getting anything done.

It’s okay if you’re not at your healthier or productive right now.

The focus should be on lessening the harm of our nervous system distress and then working from there.

You are not a failure.

Whatever you are experiencing right now is okay.”

Cloudy lighthouse during the sunset in a light bulb surreal conceptual fine art local photography

It is ok.

It’s a hard pill to swallow, but I did. I have stacks of books that I feel like I should be reading, countless of interesting Udemy classes that I know I should be starting, exercises that I should be doing, finances to figure out but instead I’m writing and listening to music. Yesterday I wrote and spent hours working on and animating this image while listening to music. And it’s ok.

Creativity, imagination, art, expression, they are all the light that is guiding me through this dark tunnel of solitude and anxiety. This is what makes me feel happy and hopeful.

What is your light?

Be well. Stay safe friends.

Bouldering Photography at Devils Lake State Park

Bouldering Photography at Devil’s Lake State Park

Bouldering Photography at Devils Lake State Park

Bouldering Photography at Devil’s Lake State Park

If you mentioned rock climbing at Devil’s Lake State Park a year ago, I would look at you with a blank stare. I have previously ventured up to Wisconsin to photograph this picturesque state park but it was not until about 8 months ago that I would have known the hidden gems embedded in the nature of this park. In early of September of 2018 I got introduced to the world of rock climbing. I’ve always been intrigued in the simplicity of climbing. Watching professional climbers such as Adam Ondra or Sasha DiGiulian naturally scale up the face of a mountain is poetry in motion. Needless to say, I was quickly hooked.

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The midwest is not widely known for a mecca of outdoor climbing. In fact, if you are from Chicago and want to climb outdoors, you will most likely find yourself 3 hours away at Devils Lake State Park which is not only the largest state park in Wisconsin but also offers some of the best bouldering and climbing in the midwest. With over 1600 routes, beautiful hiking trails and quartzite rock cliffs overlooking the lake, it only seems natural that I start my exploration of rock climbing and photography here.

Camping at Mirror Lake State Park

The best part of bouldering at Devils Lake, is camping under the stars at Mirror Lake State Park and of course ordering Pizza Pub. We actually found this campsite by mere coincidence. On the first trip to climb, the Devils Lake Camp grounds were completely booked and this was recommended by park ranger. The moment we set up camp, I already knew that this is where I will be falling asleep whenever I come back up here. On a clear night, the stars light up the sky over the lake and at that moment the name Mirror Lake becomes clear. This is the perfect remedy after a hard day of climbing.

A Passion Found in Rock Climbing

Rock climbing is something else. I fell into this world unknowingly. I didn’t ask to be here but here I am and I absolutely love it. I went from not knowing what a rock climbing gym was to joining one and climbing in it 5 times a week. I remember only being able to climb for 30 minutes because the skin on my fingers were shredded to being able to climb for hours with ease. It’s therapeutic in that way. My mind shuts down all of those lingering thoughts in the back of my head and I become fully present. Climbing has shown me that growth only exists when you push yourself out of your comfort zone and welcome the unknown.

It’s a beautiful thing.

Walt Disney Concert Hall California

Day and Night

The Walt Disney Concert Hall

Day and night… bump bump… This being a product of my insomnia at 3am. A little symbolic too, days and nights become synonymous with each other. Some days I can fall right asleep at a ‘normal’ hour while other nights I toss & turn until the sun comes up. On those nights I find myself working on pictures like this to calm the mind. A day. A night. The rhythm of the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, California.

Walt Disney Concert Hall California

If you like this, you might like my Surreal Photography

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Chicago Long Exposure: Night Rider