Even though you aren't working directly on any of the projects currently "in the oven" or "on the back burner", you are still on some level processing. Thinking about it or them, well, that counts. Maybe not much, but it does count. It is a heck of a lot better than giving up. At least that is what I believe. You can't just wait around, you have to take action or nothing will ever take form, but it all starts in the incubator called your mind. That is what I know for sure.
Last night I went over to a friend's house and watched an episode of PBS's American Masters. It was the life story of photographer Dorothea Lange. It was two hours well spent. I found myself in awe of the way Lange led her life. She was dedicated to her art, even from a very young age. And she surrounded herself by artists and creative people. She also sacrificed many things to follow her muse. I was astounded by how she captured images of the Depression, the Japanese Internment during WWII and the resettlement project of the late 1930's and the creation of Lake Barryessa in the 1950's that wiped out the community of Monticello, CA. Her images captured these events so effectively that history in some cases changed course...for the better.
(The Image at right is Lange's most iconic of the era, Migrant Mother)
Lange devoted her life to her art and to causes she believed in. It cost her dearly in some ways in the loss of relationships with her family and her children. But sometimes that is what happens when you are driven. Lange did good in the world while pursuing a passion she could not suppress. In some ways I envy her that.
I have never been that driven by causes or passions. That's just how I have lived my life. I doubt that anyone is going to say anything I did during my lifetime changed the course of history. No matter how much time and energy I devote to my photography and writing at this stage of my life, it is not going to have change the course of history. But who am I to say? I have come to realize that you can only start from where you are, and work with what you have. As the Buddha said, "The trouble is, you think you have time."
Time, I fear, is not to be had, but used, and used wisely. And so I continue to process these new inspirations and thoughts. Time will tell. It always does.