The Secret of Life

James Taylor sings a lot of songs, and I love them all, but one that I really enjoy listening to is “The Secret Of Life”.  JT opens the song by telling us that the secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.  Photography helps us record the passage of time.  My intent in doing this blog is to talk about balancing family life with the pursuit of my photographic passion through incorporating some of each in both passions. Recently, a couple of people I know passed away, both of cancer, and both much to young.  The photo shown above is of one of my favorite cars and drivers (Cory) from our days at the track.  I was at the auto shop recently getting an oil change. The guy working there was another one of the drivers that I enjoyed following at the track.  Anyway, he informed me that Cory’s dad had passed away the day before from a rapid form of Cancer, he had only recently found out that he had it. Cory and his dad were a great example of family spending time on a passion.  Their passions happened to be racing cars every Friday night.  I was the track photographer, and Carrie was always in the pit selling images and so we would see these two working together getting the car ready before and during races. It was always fun to see those two interact with each other, you could see how passionate they were and how much fun they were having. I know they enjoyed the passage of time.

The other death was an old friend that had battled cancer for 10 years. I didn’t keep in real close touch with him over the past decade beyond Christmas cards. We were both busy with families, careers, etc. I really wish I had made more time to keep in touch.  His death reminded me of the importance of enjoying the passage of time. As I sat at his funeral and watched a slideshow the family had put together of fun times with family and friends, I couldn’t help but wonder what my slide show would look like…..kind of  deep – maybe dark, but think of it in these terms and ask yourself: Am I enjoying the passage of time?

When we were shooting at the track, we would bring Gunnar with every once in a while.  He loved the excitement of all the cars, the idea of selling pictures with his mom, and talking to the drivers.  It was a way that we could spend some of those Friday nights together and it made for a lot of good memories, and we made a lot of friends in the process. Photography for me is usually a family affair, and that’s the way I like it.

JT continues his song saying, “it’s ok to feel afraid….but don’t let that stand in your way”.  We don’t know what the future will bring, but let’s make our slide show something to remember.

One thought on “The Secret of Life

  1. What a powerful post. At my mom’s funeral, we read the poem called “The Dash” which basically says that it’s not the dates that frame your life that count, but the dash between them. It is great when families (or couples) can find an activity that they enjoy doing together. Rockhounding was (and still is) our families adventure. Jay, I’m happy that we have become friends. Our friendship is another piece helping me to enjoy the passing of time!

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