My friends know I love cameras. Not only do I like the optical instruments I like to use them. And I use a camera each day of my life, one picture of something, without fail. There is a preference for film and chemistry. The film scanner has negated the need for a permanent darkroom although I do own six enlargers, film and paper processors. When we move to our next home, I will build a small darkroom and print a few images using the wet process. However the new will always have benefits over the old. We have to take advantage of anything which makes life easier.
This short post is not about me and my pictures. I no longer care about Leica, Hasselblad, Nikon and Canon. My iPhone is just perfect for snaps and images. We share and enjoy looking at other peoples pictures. There is no right or wrong image. Everyone has a story to tell. All humans enjoy a good yarn. A two-minute song, two-hour film or two weeks reading a novel. The appetite for stories never goes away. There is no need to worry about possessions to impress our friends, use what is available and tell truthful stories.
I would suggest you delete any negative story from your life for a week. If someone talks of racism, hate crime, refugees, Trump or cancer tell them you’ll rather not listen to non-sense. You’ll need to be strong willed to do this as most people are addicted to negative stories. I follow this modus operandi as a lifelong attitude. And it causes agitation, last week I was asked ‘Don’t you think that’s a selfish attitude?’ I know the question was a statement ‘Ian I think you are selfish’ I am happy people think of me a selfish, it is their choice. I will not act in any other way, there is a preference to feel happiness. I am Ian Timothy, and I cannot be anyone else. If an individual believes me to be selfish, I accept their verdict. It is worth considering other people’s viewpoints, there is much to learn from the opinions of friends and foe.
I read an article: ‘No one can be happy all of the time’ was the sentiment of the essay. I know the exception does not prove the rule, but I am happy all of the time. Even when an obstacle or issue enters into my environment, I am happy. I will deal with the problem with integrity and with the intent of discovering a solution. Even to the extent of accepting defeat or losing a little money. Life is not about winning or struggling. Life is about learning how to prosper with what is available within my environment. Happiness is freely available to every human. Being unhappy and in debt is expensive and is a direct result of our actions. My choice is to be content and secure, not agitated and affected by the opinion of others.
I am watching a friend destroying his future. Based on the major mistakes I have made in my own life. I see he is making the same poor choices. Yesterday he asked me for an opinion. I hurt him with my reply; ‘You cannot beat the system and the system is about to give you a whipping’ In society, there are a few rules, no one is entirely free. If you do not abide by ground rules, you’ll discover authority has the power to punish you. Not for your actions, the establishment does not care what you do. In fact, the establishment wants you to break the rules. It can control others by punishing you for your mistakes. My friend will lose all he has worked for because he is not accepting he has to conform to fundamental rules.
When I failed to conform, the establishment, friends, and family punished me. And that was fair, I accepted the results of my actions. All a man has to do is understand the rules of society and live within an to those standards. I reflect upon the things I have done, mistakes made and the problems and worried caused because of poor judgement. And as I look at my friend making fundamental and potentially dangerous mistakes, I draw from my experiences and the imagery within my mind. I conclude he is entering into great difficulties he need not experience. When he fails, his plight will not evoke either my sympathy or disparagement. Whatever happens to him is his choice and decision. He believes he knows all and controls the situation; he does not accept the situation is bigger than his illusion.
If the reader is astute, he or she may be able to piece together the sentiments of this post. My personal way to happiness is to be happy. I observe my life and those within my environment. There is an acceptance of my many faults and an acceptance of the wonders of my life. I am nothing without the images and lessons and people who make me who I have become. We can learn to understand the protocols which society asks us to conform to, or we can fight them and become unhappy. Acceptance is a powerful word to know when thinking about happiness.
The YouTube link is a celebration of a photographer’s life: You may not know of the photographer Robert Doisneau. Have a look-see at his images they are excellent observations of the world he lived in and we can learn from his pictures. All imagery evokes memories and thoughts. Ask yourself what would happen if you listened to the words and ideas within your mind. And you decided to construct happiness within your life and thoughts; rather than consider situations beyond your control with cause significant pain and discord. My friend is entering deep waters and alas I may watch him drown. Will I be unhappy if this happens? The answer is no; I will hope he’ll learn the hard lesson. Nothing will take my happiness away.