This Is Water
In 2005, author David Foster Wallace was asked to give the commencement address to the 2005 graduating class of Kenyon College. However, the resulting speech didn’t become widely known until 3 years later, after his tragic death. It is, without a doubt, some of the best life advice I’ve ever come across. Further, I would go so far as to say that perhaps it is also the most simple and elegant explanation of the real value of an education, certainly, a “Liberal Arts” education. It is a unique perspective on life, that I can not only relate to, but openly share. Education is not something you do for most of your younger years only to move on to “real life” upon graduation. In its highest form, an education teaches you not just how to learn, but how to keep an open mind as you progress on a life-long pursuit of knowledge.
So just how does this relate to photography? In two ways: First, I found this piece of work to be personally quite inspiring. Suzanne and I were talking last night about adding a category called “Inspiration” here on TheCameraForum.Com. This is the first, but surely not the last, of the stories to be added to this category over the coming months. Second, photography also is a life-long pursuit of knowledge, again at it’s highest levels. I’ve been a student of photography for 52 years. I learn more in a week today than I did over a period of months when I first started. The technological changes in the entire photographic process is completely different for me today than in my former years spent in a darkroom. Technology evolves and changes quite rapidly, so it is often difficult to keep up with the rapid pace of technological change. I often find it even more difficult to understand how and if the changes apply to my own art. It is both challenging and stimulating to take it all in. If the meaning and purpose of life is to learn, I am certainly in the right place at the right time for me to do it. I look forward to this process continuing to unfold for the rest of my life. How about you?