There are days, more often than I’d like to admit, where life feels like a decrepit vehicle, refusing to start, despite admirable and incessant efforts to the contrary. I found this car in Echo Park recently, and I pulled my car over to take a photograph. I heard a groan from the front porch, whether from an occupant bothered by another “hipster” photographer, or from a languid cat that was sunbathing on the front steps. When I left, I failed to determine if anyone was there. I only witnessed the cat. And the groan.
I still languish with the law, mired with responsibility, and finding myself moored inexorably by a pile of work that seemingly has no end.
Don’t get me wrong. I love life. I love aspects of what I am doing on a daily basis. But as an artist, who loves the ebbs and flow of inspiration and repose, I find myself often questioning the impetus of forward progress, or rather, what forward progress really signifies under the circumstances. To be sure, it is subjective. To be sure, there are pitfalls in every avenue. But I suppose, the pursuit of progress takes many forms, and has many emotional outlets. Some in the form of manifested sadness; others in the form of creative outbursts. I am somewhere in the middle, straddling that liminal divide between impassioned progress, and the framed contours of restrictive responsibility. One force seems to collide with the other, propelling each pursuit into divergent meanings of success and progress. On my worst day as a lawyer, I seek the most beautiful of places to photograph. On my worst day as a photographer, I win a case and find myself professionally validated.
Perhaps, on some level, we are all vehicles of some sort. Some old, some new. Some fancy, some antiquated. In an effort to progress from Point A to Point B, we are all compelled to move in some manner. Whether by virtue of a straight line, a circuitous route, a Waze app, or an astrolabe. Whether we get to our destination is unknown. Perhaps the car breaks down. Perhaps our route is littered with traffic. Perhaps a storm impedes forward progress. Or, perhaps, we get there in a flash, with only freedom at our feet.
Ultimately, I don’t know where I am going, why, nor on what path. And I am okay with that unknown array of variables. The thing that I know must remain is the fuel. The love. The impetus to feel; and the feeling of impetus. If not for the active drive, our exteriors would rust. Perhaps even to a quicker extent than they already will. Inherently.