Rambling Thoughts

A collection of rambling thoughts passed through my old, porous brain this afternoon, forming the framework for this posting.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge. Photographs have been added to serve as visual breaks.

Powerscourt Estate Ireland, Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 6.7-13 mm f/3/5-5.6 @ 6.7 mm, efov 18 mm, f/5.6, 1/2 second handheld, ISO-400

Euphemisms don’t change reality.

It seems that the world around us is getting more and more averse to calling out reality. We talk about ‘misinformation’, ‘parallel realities’ and ‘alternative facts’ when what we really mean is that we are being exposed to a substantive increase of lies.

I suppose being ‘downsized’ sounds more gentle than getting laid off or losing one’s job. Gentle phasing doesn’t lessen the reality of pain and fear about the future. Euphemisms don’t magically change a lie into the truth.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 24 mm, efov 64.8 mm, f/5.6, 1/80, ISO-3200

Our expectations of others create our disillusionment.

None of us can control the actions and decisions of other people. At times we allow ourselves to engage in the folly of setting expectations for others… only to be disillusioned when our expectations are not met. Observing, experiencing, and understanding our own selfishness and the selfishness of people around us can help us gain clarity, and rid ourselves of disillusionment.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 308 mm, efov 616 mm, f/8.5, -0.7 EV, 1/800, ISO-800, HHHR Handheld Hi Res mode, full frame capture, subject distance 3.9 metres

Accountability encourages growth.

Running away from our own weaknesses and transgressions by claiming to be a victim of our own actions lays bare our most base and vile nature. Holding ourselves accountable for our actions and decisions helps encourage personal growth… and improves society at large.

OM-D E-M1X with M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro, f/4, 1/40, full frame capture, ISO-200, handheld in-camera focus stacking, subject distance 515 mm

Fear steals potential.

Creating fear is a tool of manipulators. Fear is used to mask facts, logic and the truth. Fear can also hold us back from reaching our potential. Many of us fear failure. This is often easily defined within a culture as the absence of material possessions, titles, and public recognition. Fear of failure can sometimes cause us to quit before we really even try.

A greater fear is sometimes the fear of success. Regardless of how we individually define success, it is a concept that is more potentially life altering than failure. Success can set higher and permanent performance bars for us. There is an increased level of accountability that comes with success.

We’ve all heard of ‘one hit wonders’ in the music business. How many people are ‘one hit wonders’ in life? It is easier to retreat from success, than to embrace it and to challenge ourselves to grow further.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS @ 227 mm, efov 454 mm, f/6.3, 1/30, ISO-2000, Handheld Hi Res mode, subject distance 2 metres

For our life to change, we must change.

Doing the same thing, the same way we’ve always done it and expecting a different result, is often cited as a definition of insanity. Ultimately each of us bears full responsibility for our life. If we are dissatisfied with our lives… then we must change in order for our lives to improve.

Olympus TG-5 @ 18 mm, efov 100 mm, f/4.9, 1/200, ISO-800, microscopic mode

Choices we make create the life we live.

Our lives today are a direct result of the choices we made in the past. And our lives in the future are being created right now by the choices we are making today. Our ability to choose is the greatest power that each of us possesses.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 69 mm, efov 186.3 mm, f/5.6, 1/640, ISO-200

Life is consumed moment by moment.

None of us has a ‘do over’ when it comes to our life. We have one opportunity to live our life to its fullest. To experience all of the wonders that lie ahead of us each day. Life is not lived in pipe dreams or trying to emulate others. It is lived by consuming each and every moment that we have available to us, and appreciating them.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 18.1 mm, efov 48.9 mm, f/16, 1/50, ISO-400

Choose understanding over judgement.

It is easy to pass judgement on others, and even on our own behaviour. It is quite another thing to seek to understand our actions and those of others around us. Understanding leads to an appreciation of others. It allows us to be more compassionate with ourselves.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 90 mm, efov 243 mm, f/8, 1/125, ISO-160

Being alone with ourselves takes courage.

Our personal journeys of self-discovery can be daunting and challenge us to face the reality of who we are at our core. This can cause the illusions that we have of ourselves to crack and crumble away. What we discover can sometimes cause distress. Getting to our core is the only path we have to self-understanding and self-actualization.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 75 mm, efov 202.5 mm, f/8, 1/500, ISO-400

Creating is more important than outcomes.

Humankind has endured through what individual members have created. It could be a nurturing environment for the young. A compassionate approach towards the elderly. It could be building something. Writing and performing music or some other artistic expression. Creating can be done with food. With plants in our gardens. When any of it is done for the pure joy of creating we reach more of our potential and get closer to our authentic selves.

Creating solely for the purpose of gaining wealth or recognition is not a path for self-discovery or understanding. It is simply an exercise in ‘other worth’ where we extinguish our self esteem and self worth.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 10 mm, efov 27 mm, f/8, 1/640, ISO-400

Everyone will be forgotten.

Regardless of what we do in life, eventually every  one of us will be forgotten as people. In rare cases some history of what an individual accomplished may continue on after they have passed. Most of us have already been forgotten by hundreds of people with whom we shared educational experiences in grade school, high school, or at institutions of higher learning.

We’ve been forgotten by countless people who worked at the same companies we did. We’ve been forgotten by past clients. Former team mates. Past romances. The list goes on.

The impact that each of us has while we’re on this spinning orb is very limited both in span and depth. Many of you have been reading this blog for a number of years. If this website ended tomorrow it wouldn’t take long before all of these articles would be forgotten,  and all of the personal interactions we have shared here over the years would quickly fade into oblivion. You would simply move on to a different website.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 @ 46 mm, efov 92 mm, f/5.6, 1/10, ISO-200

Since everyone will be forgotten then why do some of us care so much about being popular and being accepted by our peers? Why do we allow ourselves to fall prey to fast fading fashions and trends?

What is important are the relationships that we have with people in our lives right now. That is where we can have the most impact, and make the biggest contributions with our lives. Our time here is fleeting as are the memories that people have of us.

After we pass we will be remembered by those people that we have touched on a personal basis. Eventually when they pass… we will be forgotten permanently. That fate awaits every one of us.

Let each of us strive to make a difference to the world around us while we still have the opportunity to do so. A contribution that helps another person, no matter how small and fleeting, is worth the effort.

Technical Note:

Photographs were captured handheld using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. Images were produced using my standard approach in post. Photographs were resized for web use. This is the 1,162 article published on this website since its original inception in 2015.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 @ 150 mm, efov 300 mm, f/6.3, 1/100, ISO-200, subject distance 770 mm

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Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO IS 12-100 mm f/4, @ 100 mm, efov 200 mm, f/4, 1/20, ISO-6400, Hand-held Hi Res Mode

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13 thoughts on “Rambling Thoughts”

  1. Hi Thom,
    I’m not sure which I like more, your photography or your rambling. Both give me food for thought. More of the same please.

  2. I cherish your wise words each time. Some of your sentences even are copied in my ‘journal of thoughts’. Inspirational and soothing. 🙏

  3. Ramble on Mr. Stirr ramble on. This piece (to me) is obviously the love that you have for humanity. Thank you .

    1. Hi Richard,

      Since late teenage years I’ve always had a very different perspective on the world around me. This began to really take shape when I started writing poetry and becoming immersed in other creative pursuits when in my teens. I designed a life symbol back then which I had custom made by a jeweller. Been wearing it every day for over 50 years as it reminds me to put things in perspective. At some point some of those experiences may end up getting shared here.

      Many years ago one of my best friends equated me to a ‘piece of cosmic flypaper’. I’m actually not doing anything differently than I’ve been doing for over 5 decades. I just happen to be sharing these perspectives with other folks more frequently than when I was younger.


      1. Hi Tom,

        that’s great. Thanks for sharing this. I’ve been through things alike myself since I was a child, maybe because I was living in a house with a garden part of which was a wood with the forest behind. I was like 10 miles away from my school and my schoolmates, hence being alone with plenty of time to observe nature and think. Then I went into haiku writing, which is very close to Nature and the power of now.

        twilight –
        crossing the path
        of a mayfly

        Thanks for sharing your thoughts beyond the technical stuff behind your great pictures.

  4. Hi Tomas
    When I was younger (less than 35), I was going regularly to visit my only still living grand father , to discuss with him how was his life as a younger man, and how he managed most of it. He loved when I visited him, remembering him his youth .
    Today I am 75, and never any of my 3 grand children call me or their grand mother even if we give them each over 200$ / year, 100$ at christmas with a card and at their birth day. They don’t even send us a thank you card, or an email.
    I discussed this with friends of my age, and they are not surprised at all by this, they mostly live the same thing .
    Being in nature photography is like visiting your parents. We are all children of this earth, believers in god or not. Nature is e so well organized. This winter 2 oposums left the wood to come to our house for food, sharing it with two other outside cats. Strangely the last few weeks with milder temperatures , they were not coming at feeding time, making us think they were back to the wood. Sadly this morning we found one dead, highly decomposed in a box we had build years ago for animals to share during very cold winter nights. Instead of being shocked by this, I thought how intelligent the nature is, recycling everything from living creature to non living. Your view on”Rambling thoughts” is dead-on . Its sad that we have to grow old for most of us before recognizing it.
    Thom your images are beautiful ,I can easily recognized pro work when I see it.

    1. Hi Luc,

      Thanks for sharing some of your experiences with your grand children and your connection with nature. I had a very special relationship with my maternal grandfather even though my folks moved the family to a different part of the country when I was about 5. I can still feel his spirit around me all these years later.

      At this point my wife and I only have one grandchild and she’s still very young. We visit once a week to spend time with her and help our daughter and son-in-law out with some babysitting. My wife and I view these visits as very special events and love the time we spend with them. Hopefully the bonds we are building will last a lifetime.

      I appreciate your connection with nature as I find myself in awe of what I observe when I’m out hiking with my camera. The perfection of nature is truly mindboggling. I built a backyard pond quite a few years ago, and have rebuilt it 2 or 3 times to keep in running well. We run the pond 7/24 all year round so area birds can get a drink of water and bathe. Our kitchen window looks down over the pond and my wife and I both love to watch the birds and wildlife (mainly squirrels, chipmunks and rabbits) throughout the year.


      1. Interesting what you do with your pond during winter time. Imissed to tell you that blue jays and ordinary birds come by hundreds on my balcony where I feed the cats waiting on 2 big 50 years old maple trees very close to my house and when the cats have left they come and in a few minutes the cat food is gone. They come mosly at sub-zero temperature.
        Have a nice day

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