My mum wrote this for me many years ago
Karl Johnston Photography
Went out for a cup of tea, this snowy afternoon, and I was asked by someone if I would do a Christmas card portrait for him and his wife. I said ’ sure, give me 10 minutes.
"Hey, I’m doing a book right now called Pursuit of Dreamers - I’m wandering around #Canada asking people what their dream is. Would you be interested in participating ?"
He said OK, & so I asked: “What is your wildest dream, Dennis Bevington, MP Western Arctic ?”
'I'd like to bike around the world
Karl JW Johnston: What is your dream? What are you searching for in life?’
Timmy Murphy: “Honestly in life I would rather not work and I would rather be at home with my kids. That would be optimal but it’s not really an option sometimes. At the moment I have to work but.. one day!
But, If I could be half the mom that my mom is I would be more than sufficient with that. My mom is a foster parent, she has 8 kids at her house at any given time plus my kids when she’s watching them. She is the most sane human being on the planet I don’t know how she does it. But that’s what she does. She’s been doing it a long time.
It was definitely a lot harder when she first started, when she started - she got babies and there was a couple that she raised for the first 3 years of their life from the moment they were born. And then they get taken away and she never saw them again.
That’s kind of hard to be a foster parent and then she realized if I’m going to start getting hard to it I’m not going to treat the kids like they deserve so she just accepted them all and they just call her mom.
Doesn’t stop them
KARL: ‘What is your dream?’
DREAMER: “I want to use my art, whether it is music or modeling, as a tool to reach out to people and to have a positive influence with them. When I play music I want to bring the community together.
As in, I went to school for music, and im a perfectionist. It took me a while to realize I don’t have to be perfect, because nobody is perfect. I want everyone to have a good time - the musicians themselves and the audience. Whoever comes together to listen and enjoy the music is having a good time. The music could be at a party or a bar, whatever the occasion: it’s just for everyone to have a good time. When it comes to the other part of my art; modeling. The part of modeling also came from my past where
I used to be very insecure about being a visible minority. I used to be called ugly and all that. It took me a while to realize that I’m a beauty and I should not listen to other people. I should listen to myself and not be ashamed of my body.
That’s why I did pageants - I feel like I’m not a perfect looking girl, I have a round face, I think my beauty is that I attract people around me, I’m very cheerful. I’m the type where I walk into a scene and I light up a room. I have the smile and personality to bring a lot of positivity to people around me. I just want to be a good influence to people around me. I’m imperfect, I’ve gone through a lot. That’s how I got into music. I used to be made fun of for the way I look (my accent) but then I turned that into music and became a pageant queen.
I want to continue to use my art to have a positive influence to people around me
KARL: ‘What is your dream? What are you aspiring to do in life?’
DREAMER: “I want to one day be in a place where I take what I have learned and the knowledge that I have in healthcare and medicine and take it to countries that don’t have that knowledge or access to technology. I want to somehow come to a place where I can learn their knowledge and help them and help them to use our knowledge that is culturally appropriate to them.”
KARL: ‘Do you work in healthcare?’
DREAMER: “Yup, I’m a flight nurse. There is a really awesome program in India where a man is taking woman from the untouchable caste - who are essentially shunned by the rest of society; the lowest level of society in India, they are the very bottom, considered dirty. The caste system isn’t prevalent in the whole of the country but parts of the country use it and- and he’s teaching women how to be local first aid providers and midwives. They are actually being accepted into communities where they generally wouldn’t be accepted into as healthcare providers.
I would like to do that. “
KARL: ‘What is your dream in life?’
DREAMER: “I think like most people is to have calm, for my life to feel settled, and to feel calm. For my life to feel settled. My dream is just to feel content. A dream doesn’t mean that you mean you have to look for something. That’s all we intend to want to do, right? We’re always searching but not to have to search but to just to feel…to feel content. “
KARL: What is your dream, your aspiration in life?
Melissa:” I want be a funeral director. I want to help with grieving, i want to help with funerals, do what i can for my community. I want to inspire you to learn about life through death. I’ve been doing it for a long time, my parents trained me about death. I’m not afraid of the dead, i’m not afraid to die. I came pretty close to it ! I hit two buffalo last month!! I appreciate life more than i ever did, even working with death. “
KARL: ‘What is your dream?’ FAE LEAH: “I have a lot of dreams but I know that my biggest dream is. Essentially, to see the dismantling of industrial civilization.
I know that it is inherently destructive and completely unsustainable and operates on hierarchies of privilege. There are many others who are less privileged who feel the impacts of this industrialized way of life a lot more deeply than we do. Speaking for myself, I’m quite insulated in the grand scheme of things. With the ever accelerating need for finite resources and the stuff that we’re seeing now with drilling into the arctic, offshore drilling, tailing pond spills and massive, massive devastation.
i think that, ultimately, it will be a lot less messy if we bring it all down ourselves. I’m not deluded in terms of recognizing how his is going to look. I get that it is very serious and very messy. It is something I want to be a part of and something I want to see happen. It’s been a very big factor in me having my own children. This really grave concern of “what we are we leave for future generations?
So to see something - like the phoenix arising from the ashes - to see something emerge from this way of life. And have these sort of reciprocal communities that take over, that recognize the intrinsic worth of everything and the sacredness of ALL life, and that ripple effect - that regardless of whether you are on the top and reaping the benefits, there is no other planet - y’know?
At some point this can’t go on. It’s baffling to me because it isn’t rocket science, and there are so many people who don’t seem to really get it. I think it goes back to being insulated from privilege. I would say by and large my biggest dream is to see the dismantling of this system and something that takes its place that is far more reciprocal and recognizes the sacredness of all life and isn’t founded on hierarchies of exploitation and oppression”
Newest dreamer #fortsmith cathedral #catholic #nwt #nwtaurora #canada #pursuitofdreamers
KARL: “So, what is your dream? A pretty heavy question, I know”
JODI: (laughs) “It’s kind of hard to answer, before i had a difficult unrealistic dream: One world religion, world peace and all that crap.. and i find, it’s become a little closer to home, something I can achieve.
Obviously, I’m a little bit different compared to most people..and I’m part of a very small minority. Which has a bad view as it is.
I’d like to be one of the people who change people’s view of what I am, what we mean as people.
And so basically, I want to be successful.”
I want people to look at me and think I am respectable.”
Karl: “Well, I think you are for sure..I think when I first heard… I thought: ‘Good for her. Truly.’ “
"It takes a lot of guts to be WHO you are, and really not only WHAT but WHO you are inside.
I think you are respectable; for working towards your vision, you know? Whatever that vision is .. it is really cool
The 10 best stargazing sites in the world
Atacama Desert-Chile, Mauna Kea-Hawaii, NamibRand International Dark Sky Reserve-Namibia, Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve-New Zealand, Caldera de Taburiente National Park-Canary Islands, Kerry International Dark Sky Reserve-Ireland, Natural Bridges International Dark Sky Park-Utah, Big Bend International Dark Sky Park-Texas, Death Valley National Park-California, Cherry Springs State Park-Pennsylvania
hm..only problem i have with this post is they left out the largest dark sky preserve in the world ..
sigh, they need to market this place better..or throw some money at me and I’ll find time to do it properly.
I meditated today for about 15 minutes, the first time in a while. This week I’ve begun to recognize the importance of it, how necessary it is not just in personal life but in work as well.
As I sit here with my Wildberry zinger tea I reflect just how hard I pushed myself this past few years, and this past few weeks. I came to an abrupt stop, burn out, emotional stress taking its final toll and putting me out of action. Until I went up North in August for 3 weeks. Around that time I was finishing a course and learning to deal with being a workaholic, my last major vice after quitting drinking and smoking as an escape the year before. Learning to cope with anxiety, stress and panic attacks that I’ve been plagued with this last decade…that really is why I started photography. Not as some altruistic way to share the beauty I saw around me..well, maybe a bit but, genuinely, I’m just disabled and trying to heal through this journey through art. or.. whatever.. The trip refreshed me, and gave me perspective. Made me feel like I could be genuine again.
I think back about how my life turned out this past 5 years. I really did a lot. I get told that every week, to be gratified with everything that I did. Published dozens of times, in nearly every continent in the world. Working with and meeting hundreds of people through this photographic journey..really, if it weren’t for the fact that i struggle with an anxiety disorder through random chance, I wouldn’t be where I am now. I wouldn’t have ever picked up a camera, I wouldn’t have gone to do a business diploma, nor a degree..and definitely not be 7 courses away from finishing it, as I am now. I think about that sometimes, all the technicalities and consequences that led me to this point now. Whatever happened had to have happened the way it did, and couldn’t have happened any other way.
But over the last two years, Failures began to add up, over and over again. Particularly the major fail of attempting to create a music documentary, a catastrophic failure. But fuck it, at least we tried. You’ll always be one step behind if you don’t try. I think that’s the important thing about mistakes - it’s not how often you make a mistake that truly is important but how often you get back up again, brush it off, and continue. Without trying I’d never get anywhere.
There were some great successes. I like to think contributing and helping out with Let’s Be Wild was a great success. The images, the stories, the people who got engaged in that little site.. it’s basically a journal of fresh adventure tales. Kind of how I wanted it all to be. A digital campfire. If I recall correctly I think at one point it was seeing 180 000 views a month from all over the world. I remember an image came in with Let’s Be Wild’s logo on it, from these kids in Africa. “We Love Let’s Be Wild” A blue and white drawing with some gold in it. That was a heart warming story to see. Nick kicked ass with constructing that site, growing it, nurturing it. I learned a lot from that collaboration.
What I really realized it was just that - stories - that I was showcasing. Every night a new adventure, if you were willing to pound the pavement and get out and about..and I don’t mean to the bars, either. There’s plenty going on, everywhere, all around the world..if you’re willing to look. Each person is their own library, a shelf with many years of tales to share. I’m just one library that you stumbled on, or perhaps one book.
Now the book I’m working on is a cool project I started back in June 2014. I just walk up to people and ask them for their dreams. Specifically what they’ve always wanted to achieve. The responses have been stunning, uplifting, in fact.. I find myself wanting to be out on those streets more and more rather than being behind a keyboard. An adventurous underlining story to who we are, and our ever reaching exploration of self and these two provinces I’ve grown to call home.. north as it relates to the grand cosmos around us.
but, really.. I feel this book project is just another step in my journey towards healing my self through the art of photography. Like I said, that’s really how it all began.. a way to heal the wounds within. I met so many people through it who guided everything about how my life turned out. It’s kind of frightening to imagine that it all stemmed from the realization that it was helping me heal from a crippling disorder. So let’s see how it goes on my pursuit of dreams, let’s see where this project leads me..and who I meet…
i deactivated my facebook today, one of the many large social networks i’m slowly coming away from and saw a blow up, my phone went nuts in a couple of hours had like 5 phone calls. text messages, people asking me if i’m thinking about killing myself.. what the fuck ? i need to have some space, focus on myself, be disconnected. unplugged from these electronics.. straining for the mind to be so plugged in to this digital society all the time.
this past month i may have bit off more than i could chew, not under less than ideal circumstances.. but after a whole rain of dark family stuff happening, between 3 shoots a day, 30 emails a day. 2 interviews a week to promote my book, keep up with the deadlines of my book, countless mentions and messages It takes a lot of time up and it’s straining my psyche to be so connected through this social media stuff all the time. just gets way too much man. need a real weekend, doing nothing, not talking to anyone, meditating on a river rock, reading a book. my career is based on moving and shaking up big projects, and that’s cool but fuck it drains you out, especially when something falls through the floor or something personal comes up. .
i need to get back to becoming connected to myself ..
find my inner self, re-set my mind a bit.
burn away all the negativity and fill myself up with positive energy from the source again
i’m not depressed, not suicidal (i’m the opposite - i want to live, i’m dying to live better, i’m literally nearly killing myself working so hard to have a better life) but man do i need a solid week where i don’t have to do anything but meditate on stuff.
kinda a dual edged sword, all this promotional stuff either your blazing hot one week or dead cold for months after
I have a secret to share today that i think may help a lot of photographers, particularly on the subject of organization and time management. Every week i write down the steps i take to complete an action or task. Say, getting out of bed in the morning. I pre visualize the steps that go into the process:
Stand up, walk to the bathroom, turn on the shower, hop in, soap down, lather hair, rinse and hop out, brush teeth, lather face, shave.
In doing so, it solidifies in my mind what i need to do before i do it, saving time. I could brush my teeth in the shower and save a minute.
The shower example is silly, but for the past several years i’ve used this in photography. I perfected the technique so far that i shaved entire hours off the time it takes to deliver images to a client. I grew so effective i could receive a call to photograph a board of director’s headshots at 10 am, consult with the client, bang out the objectives, photograph, process, prepare for delivery, invoice and bill the client & thus complete the assignment…all by 2 pm.
If you break down each step and think about it in detail, where you can optimize your standard operating procedures and visualize a more effective you..you save time, are more prepared for undertaking spontenuity, and that results in you being a better photographer for your clients : ) able to undertake rapid assignments on the fly, because you are already know and have a solid foundation underneath you to support you
Updated my #modelmayhem to be wayy cleaner as per erli’s critique. Short, concise, clean.