Archive for Thanksgiving

Where I’m At

Posted in • Wood Dickinson Sites, Fear, Hope, Humility, Love, Need, On Writing, Trees with tags , , , , , on 12/14/2013 by wooddickinson

eco-friendly-signChristmas looming and I’m still back in October. I just get stuck there every year. I love days in October when the wind is blustering about and stirring up leaves and making a mess of the world. It reminds me of my mind. Those days late in October when large quantities of leaves come down from the trees like rain I’ll just sit on the front porch to work soaking up this rare kind of day. I smile at all the folks that seem moved to rake up all these fallen leaves as fast as possible. It’s like that chaotic mass of little multicolored objects all scattered across the yards, piling up in the corners of our world and creating nesting places for the brown recluse spider are just too much of a reminder how little control we have.

We like to believe we are masters over this earth, capable of bringing this mighty planet to its knees when the truth is everything and I mean just about anything going on inside and outside in our lives; is out of control. Chaos is part of the natural order of things and who are we to disturb that beautiful chaos of fall thinking that when the yard is all cleaned up, every leaf tucked away in its eco-friendly bag set out at the curb on Monday as yard waste for the trash pickup fellows, that we are any closer to order in our lives than we were before all that effort was spent.

We are fairly powerless really where just about everything is concerned. My advice is not to worry about the external trappings of life but rather seek the internal peace that comes from living a life where paying it forward, humility and quiet are the norm.

As an artist it’s in those quiet moments that I just might possibly glimpse a bit of what’s real in the universe.

peace..

PS – the free tip of the day: After you’ve written a part of your next great american novel, use a program on your computer to “speak” it to you. Listen closely and you’ll be amazed how hearing the writing lends an amazing perspective and an opportunity to fix all those nasty little writing quarks that drive editors (and readers) nuts. Remember, these are stories and stories are meant to be heard.

 

How I Didn’t Become a Professional Photographer and What I Learned Along the Way

Posted in Art, • Wood Dickinson Sites, Chicago, Faith, Fear, Fine Art Photography, Home, Hope, Humility, Photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 05/14/2011 by wooddickinson

Life really is a journey. It has the proverbial beginning middle and end. Now the beginning is luck and the end is inevitability. It’s the “along the way” that gets you. On this lucky friday the 13th, 2011 I can’t help but think about all those things I did, what I’d wished I’d done, what I regret doing, and wondering if so far, have I made a difference.

It seems fame and fortune is such a driving force that if you don’t attain at least one of them you are a failure. Neither are important. Trust me on this. Some people are destined for fame others aren’t and all of us can make enough money to live a comfortable life.

There are things I believe regardless of what others think. Some are below:

I believe,

I’m a talented photographer able to see the world in a dramatic and artistic way regardless of the fact that I rarely sell any work or have it published in magazines.

I believe,

I’m a talented writer even though I haven’t sold a book. I image and wonder in ways most people never will.

I believe,

I have skills and knowledge to help people who are suffering with crisis even without certification!

I believe,

I have left a mark on this world. It is a better place because I’ve been here.

I believe,

Most people put money ahead of humility and friendship and when someone needs them they’re not there.

I believe,

A lot of people give lip service to God but won’t stick their necks out (or their money) to bring the message of Jesus Christ to anyone.

I believe,

We are losing the art of communications and empathic relationships. Just text it.

I believe,

With out passion you will gain nothing.

There is more that I believe but I’ll stop there.

What I do know is this:

I have raised (almost) eight kids of which, one will be a world-class photographer and everyone will know his name, another will succeed in theatre and has already made a reputation for herself in Chicago. Another child is starting her nursing career after finishing college this year and has true drive and passion to quietly give herself to the sick and hurting without awards and fame. Two other kids have wonderful children, provide for their families and carry on our traditions. All of these kids work hard and know the meaning of family. That is something that is lost today. I’ve watched another child struggle with volleyball timid and shy become a skilled player, aggressive and now being recruited by college teams. She has a gentle spirit and a peace about her that will touch the lives of many people.

I also have two children who are troubled and filled with self-doubt and pain. They lay just beyond my reach but I will never stop loving them and reaching out to them in hope.

What have I learned along the way? I’ve learned the simple things are the most important and bring the greatest joy. Reading a book, learning new things, helping others, loving my wife, watching my grand kids grow, living with honor knowing if I stepped on anyone’s back to get where I am today, I have asked them for forgiveness. I’ve learned the most important thing I can do is love God then others and finally myself. I’ve learned to forgive and forgive myself. I’ve learned that stories I write and photographs I take give me joy and the rest of the world is at a loss for not being able to experience them. I’ve also learned to not give up.  Hope is real and that I can teach better than most even though I’m not given the chance. I’ve learned not to waste time being bitter. The world is a wonderful place and learning to live with humility is one of the greatest things I can do. I’ve learned loving my wife is the greatest joy of all.

Peace be with you all on this Friday the 13th and remember 13 really is a lucky number. You just have to believe.

Opening Day

Posted in • Wood Dickinson Sites, Baseball, Home, Hope, Kansas City, Patti Dickinson with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 03/31/2011 by wooddickinson

There’s nothing like the very first day of the baseball season. You can look at the world and think, “Anything could happen.” Sunshine and warm or gray and cold it doesn’t matter. My son Matthew and I will be in our seats to watch all the opening festivities. Matthew an I have share some near sacred moment at the ball park. We saw George Brett‘s 3000th hit, Bret Saberhagen pitch a no-hitter, Bo Jackson throw a man out at home plate from deep right field, and the list goes on. We’d get a scorecard and keep score and, oh yes, have a few hot dogs, peanuts and Cracker Jacks if you know what I mean.

Now Matthew is all grown up with kids of his own and it warms my heart how he is replicating things we use to do. We’d take little road trips explore caves, swim at the hotel, watch a lot of movies and best of all just be together.

Yup. Opening Day. And we’ll be together.

…and onward we go

Posted in Art, • Wood Dickinson Sites, Color, Fine Art Photography, Monsters, Photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 11/09/2010 by wooddickinson

 

Fields north of Kansas City

 

Now that the excitement of October is past us all I can do is hold on. October is my month.  A transitional month that brings with it the changes in the earth and changes in us. It is a time for scary stories and getting lost in imagination about things that could be or just might be or really are. The truth is we don’t know. As I was driving back from a meeting at Benidictine College in Atchison, Kansas I noticed this barn sitting alone in a field that was prepared for spring.  I would guess it was at one time a building where tabaco was hung to cure.

I had to stop and take several shots of this barn. It was part of what makes rural Kansas. No ghosts or pumpkins here. No hay rides or other opportunities. Just life going on as we know it. The photo is cropped from the full frame. I tend to always overshoot my subjects just so I have a bit of room to play with. After a lot of thought and a couple of hours of fussing I got the sky the way I really saw it and let those colors reflect into the field.

Of course this isn’t what it “really” looked like but it is how I saw it as I glimpsed into “The Real” for a moment and tried to bring a bit of it back for all to see.

Yes now the madness of the holidays starts. We stumble through Thanksgiving then crash into Christmas ready for the relief of the New Years Eve party. Actually I don’t do that part but most of the rest. I did get the second draft of my October story finished before the 31st. Now I need to polish. The story is called “The Night Crawlers.” There is already a sequel to it in the works. That will be “From Darkness to Wonder.” I’ll keep you posted as to where this short story will show up so you can read it. And onward we go…

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