As I embark on my next journey in my life I'm starting to feel the anguish of failure already. I'm just getting started and fear is already rearing it's ugly head. He's mean like that.
What if I really fail at this? And I've gone off and quit my nice job that gives me real money to pay for things with, OH WELL... then I will have failed at something I love to do. And isn't the road to success supposed to be filled with failure or else how will we know if we're growing and improving? And then there is the wildly expansive notion of success. What is it and how can it be quantified from individual to individual?
I came across this beautiful poem when reading about failure. Yes I was reading about failure, in vain hopes to avoid it.
The poet Antonio Machado expressed it this way:
Last night as I was sleeping I dreamt—marvelous error!—that I had a beehive here inside my heart. And the golden bees were making white combs and sweet honey from my old failures
I needed to change the way I view this journey, failures, successes and all. And with a technically demanding art as photography there will no doubt be many. I've already learned from previous mistakes and realized sometimes beautiful things come from these rookie errors. Like this picture of my dad and brother. I took this when I first got my new fancy digital camera and was still learning how to use all the functions. Technically this isn't a perfect shot because it's out of focus and the exposure isn't right. But I love how intimate this shot is and I was surprised at how much they look alike here. They have wonderful expressions on their faces like they are just happy to be around family at this particular moment. And I have decided, for myself, success as a photographer means to feel something from your art. And I always do, almost like a proud mom looking at all her children, the perfect and the not so perfect ones.
You can disagree with me and still call this picture a failure but I have already learned from the technical mistakes and will relish in the beauty of the picture for years to come.