Today’s post isn’t actually about photography, although it does explain why I shot far fewer images in 2012. It was one year ago today that, after 38 years of accident-free driving, I entered a corner too hot and skidded over the side of highway 150.
I was on my way home from a lunch with my friend Mike Fasth. Mike and I have been meeting for lunch every two weeks or so since 1998, when we were both in the process of departing Kinko’s, where we had spent the bulk of our careers. Last year, I was “self-underemployed,” as I like to put it. As a freelance ghostwriter and photographer, I had few clients and wasn’t trying very hard to get new ones. I was lazy and complacent and, frankly, doing very little of consequence.
Normally I do not answer my phone if I do not recognize the number, but the morning after the accident, I expected a call from the insurance company, so when the phone rang, I grabbed it. It was Lois Mitchell, President of the Orfalea Foundation. I hadn’t heard from Lois in years, but she had a writing project and thought of me. I accepted the project, and it was so delightful to work on, I refused to charge the foundation. This should give you a hint as to why I was self-underemployed; I’m not a particularly ruthless businessman.
The project led to some additional conversations, and lo and behold, on March 10 I joined the Orfalea Foundation as Communications Manager. I now work every day with brilliant, funny, good-hearted people doing interesting, world-changing good work.
Lois’s call came one day after my accident, and just two weeks after I wrote this post on my other blog (now on hiatus), explaining that I wanted to go back to work, but wasn’t sure how to find an organization that I could be proud to work for. With my age and experience, the standards are high. I wrote that I was looking for the organization that was looking for me, and two weeks later, they found me.
At lunch last year, Mike and I were toasting to our late friend Brad Krause. Brad owned Kinko’s Northwest, and was raised with a faith called Religious Science. His example was the greatest single influence on my habit of positive thinking. Now, I don’t subscribe to any supernaturalist beliefs. In fact, I mock them regularly and with great gusto. But I have to say that as coincidences go, the events of last January were a pretty good set, and I welcome the anniversary of my car crash as an opportunity to count my blessings. I don’t have much time for photography anymore, but that has turned out to be a blessing too, because I’m more determined than ever to make MY OWN PHOTOS, FOR MY OWN REASONS, TO MY OWN TASTES. So I guess this post really is about photography.
And with that, I bid you a happy anniversary!