And just like that I suddenly began to wonder what it all meant. Here I am spending 365 days posting images and telling stories. In the beginning, I had no idea which direction I would move in. I thought I would just write a paragraph or a few lines and then put up a picture that I had taken. Little by little this evolved into a kind of Journal. My friend Diana says it's like reading someone's diary. I've never kept a diary but I do feel like I've reached the age now where I've starting to naturally want to chronicle the events that led up to this moment where I'm speaking to you now. A lot of the story has been omitted because what we say has an impact on people's lives. Although I am happy with telling my story , the good and the bad of it, my story does not exist without the stories of others. Therefore, I have to censor what I write. Sometimes I wish that I could be like Charles Bukowski and just not give a damn about what the world thinks. This is not some roundabout way of saying that I have a dirty mind. It's more about telling the complete tale in all its explicit detail. Someone else suggested that I just changed the names but it would be too hard to keep track of all the fake people that I created when I know the real ones and carry them with me inside of my soul.
The first 2/3 of my adulthood was spent as a musician. I lived the rock and roll life for sure. Mind you, my life was not nearly as wild as some of the stories you hear in the media. I've never come close to death from an overdose. In fact, I vowed never to touch anything that threatened to steal my soul or my life. My personal rule was if there was risk of overdose or loss of mind, I was never to touch it. I never have despite all the opportunities that were laid in front of me. I don't mean to tell this in a sanctimonious way. It's more about providing the details that create the context of this story.
I have on occasion drank so much that I lost track of self and time. The most dangerous was when I started drinking on one side of town, and somehow ended up at home without any recollection at all of how I had gotten there. It was dangerous because there are so many stories drunken men falling on the railroad tracks. I could have been one of them. Now, in fine rock and roll tradition, I've have stumbled on stage and ruined a perfectly good performance with drunkenness. Please allow me this one excuse. In my time, inebriation and creation were inextricable from each other. No one batted and eye at the drunken performer wobbling on stage while searching for the corridor that leads from this world to the next. That sort of behavior has been swept away by the polished professionalism of pop music. Perhaps it's for the good because fewer people die of overdoses these days. The last ones we've heard of are from a previous generation. This generation gets its overdose from too much information on social media. They bombard themselves with telephone radiation. Although I am now part of this generation, I much prefer the bottle.
Speaking of bottles, it is been one month and 10 days since I've last had a drink of alcohol, not counting the shot of freshly brewed stout I got from a beer factory last week. The man seemed particularly proud of his creation and wanted everyone to have a taste. I thought that would send me back into the arms of my comfort zone but it didn’t. I have suffered all my life from stage fright and social anxiety. Alcohol was the only remedy I could find to take the edge off. Unfortunately, it comes at the price of a pot belly and wobbly health. This past month and 10 days, however, have not been about health at all but simply about the mental challenge of abstinence. I'll admit that life as a teetotaler is totally boring. I'm sure I'll be drinking again soon. For now, I'll make the sober days last as long as I can.
Perhaps facing this new sobriety is what got me wondering why I had started this. I know it was to have an excuse to stay in practice. Although, I haven't done much practice with photography. I've been digging in the archives rather than hitting the streets and taking fresh, new images. That mostly has to do with COVID-19 and the restrictions on our movement. Right now, for example, I want to go to Sapporo to attend and photograph the winter ice sculpting festival. I don't think I'll be able to because of travel restrictions. So, the idea of keeping my photography sharp doesn't seem to be working. Since I'm not really into photographing still life I need to be out observing and in the moment. Still, I've learned a lot about myself in past 123 days and I do feel as if I have increased my awareness of the interconnectedness of things. This is exactly 1/3 of the way into the journey . I'm interesting to see how it all finally evolves.