The Rebound

Looking back over the past three and a half years since undergoing my crisis with cancer, I now realize how much it has actually impacted my life. My life is a constant forward gallop, forward with little time for reflection. I have never really been a person to look back, it always made me feel bad and there was much I wanted to leave buried somewhere in the past. This project, this year is forcing me to examine all those connections more closely now; and life after treatment set me into hyper drive. I somehow felt I had to make up for lost time. Though my regular daily routine was curtailed a bit, I didn’t allow it to cease all together. It took probably a year to fully recover and get back to a new state of normal. I had changed now, somehow became wiser, matured. I didn’t like what it did to me physically, but mentally I now had a lot of lost time to make up for a recovery. As I gained my strength, I took on more work and projects to fill to put that energy to use. I was determined to not waste an ounce of it. My priority was to rebuild my finical status back to before the treatment and I took on more work to compensate. It became a time to make up for all the things I had not accomplished or yet achieved in my life. To make the things I had only dreamed about become a reality. I had owned a great little studio space, originally designed as a big open painter’s studio with a bank of northern skylights that filled the room with beautiful indirect light. I had long outgrown the space as the studio equipment was getting bigger and I was acquiring more all the time. The actual workspace shrank to point I could only do one light set up and that was becoming boring. I decided it was time to build my ultimate dream studio space. I designed it around the idea that it would always have extraordinary, indirect natural lighting though out the day, and that it would merge with my passion for landscape and garden, both seamlessly flowing in and out of the other. With the help of a draftsman and structural engineer, we drew up the plans. I hired my cousin Ed as the contactor and it took about 9 months to get the project to completion. We did a lot of the work ourselves; I did all the wiring and most of the tiling and Glenn pouring concrete countertops. My life had become so hectic running from job to job, shooting wherever I could find space, working UPS in the evenings still. But when I was finished it was a dream come true. Last year I began the landscaping part of the process and hope to finish it up this year.

Last summer I began to recognize the madness of my fury and felt the toll it was beginning to take on my life. Had I been consumed and swept away my fears and doubt? Was I actually running away from confronting myself self as an aging man who had faced his mortality? My life had not become about me, but an obsession of underachievement. It recognized it was time to stop and get back in touch with the person I had lost along the way. I began a rigorous workout and diet program that got me physically back into shape. I began to mentally pay attention to the details of the life around me that I was somehow forgetting to live. I began to look at the volume of work I had created that was stuffed and hidden away, and marveled that I had managed to accomplish so much. There was a sudden awakening to a stranger I had become to myself and others.

Now the photography market in Missoula is beginning to collapse; I feel like I once again have to reinvent myself. My passion has always been art, beauty, light, and the naked body, and not necessarily in that order. I have now reached that point in my life where it’s time to look back, recognized the influences of my past and move toward a new future. This time it needs to be more about me, what I need and want; to use the talents I have and discover what extraordinary things I am capable of if I just allow them to emerge.

2 thoughts on “The Rebound

  1. Marklin

    >Terry I am sorry but I have to steal the phrase "New State of Normal" from you for a painting. Hope all is well for you this Spring, I never made it home, I got sent to Spain, instead, Hope to be back in the studio in a month. Keep on keeping on sir, your words are becoming as exquisite as your images. Very fine indeed.

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