Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Pissed to Placid


Me, A Brother Grim
I felt exactly how I look in this photo during
the shooting of it.
Photograph courtesy of Paul Dennison,
Dennison Digital Design.

One of the things that has always amazed me about people is their moods and attitudes based on settings and circumstances. It is interesting that people can change on a dime, for good or bad, where the right or wrong stimulus is applied. Their reaction can be pissed to placid, scary to comfortable, but at every level it is real.

I am no different. I too have my moments of attitudinal lows and highs. It happens to all of us. Just as it does not make others crazy for being that way from time to time, neither does it make me (there was a little prayer that went up with that last statement). We are human and as such we sometimes can react in a way that is handy at the time.

A week ago Sunday Paul Dennison and I went out to photograph a series of bad boy biker photos. The series is now known as The Brothers Grim, because most of the shots of he and I turned out very grim indeed. We spent the afternoon and evening shooting each other posing on Paul's motorcycle (her name is Veronica) and one result is what you see above.  The strange thing is that Paul captured my mood in the moment perfectly. I was absolutely irritated, aggravated, and all around pissed, because of the way I was feeling. He did not have to prompt me at all to bring out in me what he did, because I was already there in attitude; I was truly Grim.

Paul is a fellow photographer, but first and foremost he is one of my very best friends. We have seen each other through much, both good and bad. He can read me like a book (a book with pictures that is), and much like my wife (which is frightening in and of itself) can see my moods when I am a mile away. The weeks previous to The Brothers Grim shoot Paul saw something negative in me that was building. He knew instinctively that I was a big beautiful rainbow clad bubble ready to pop.

Last Saturday night Paul suggested that we spend some time out together the coming Monday night. He is getting ready to leave for California and thought that we might hang out one evening before he leaves. I agreed and looked forward to getting out for an evening; man time, awesome.

Monday rolled around and I decided I should ask what Paul had in mind for our little outing. He said, "How about a beach?" I admit I was a little confused. Those who know me well hear me talk about going to the beach incessantly. I live in Utah however, so a "real" ocean beach is not an option for an evening outing.

"Where?" I asked.

"I was thinking Pineview Reservoir," he said.

Pineview Reservoir is a man made lake situated in Ogden Valley east of Ogden, Utah. And yes, it has beaches.

"Great idea," I said.

Paul picked me up Monday evening and off we went. No cameras -- other than our cell phones -- some liquor, and wine coolers. Yes, wine coolers, this is a bromance I'm talking about here, and where one might think beer would be appropriate, it simply was not. Everyone knows that Strawberry Daiquiris are appropriate for the beach; don't they? 


Three kids float on fallen trees in Pineview Reservoir
while Paul and I wait for the light to fade.

A little while later we were on a beach at the reservoir. The light was fading, and while we waited for the light to completely disappear, we drank a little and watched the kids play in the water. It was very relaxing.

Then the light was gone and the beach emptied. It was just the two of us with our feet buried in the soft sand completely amazed by the stars above. The sky was unimpeded by the city lights, so they popped bright.

We talked, drank some more, went silent, and the process was repeated over and again for hours. It was the very thing I needed to keep that bubble from popping. I was in an instant placid as the water that stretched out before me. My pissed attitude that had drawn out for weeks was gone and replaced by something much more positive.

I tell you this story, because I want to remind you that sometimes life can get the best of us. But there are ways to push through it. For you it maybe not be a beach, but there is something that you do connect with that can in the smallest way ease the tension you may be feeling about life.

I want to encourage you to do what Paul and I did. You might like being alone, but having someone to share it with makes the moment that much more poignant. We all need a time to reset our moods and attitudes. Take a little bit of it to do just that. See if it does not help you in some grand way to regain a positive perspective.

I want to thank Paul for seeing in me what he saw and having the foresight to think outside the box. He is very good at thinking beyond the scope of normal and I appreciate him for exercising this weirdness in him to my benefit. It was SO worth the little bit of time it took to get there.


The title of this shot of me should be "Placid".
Another photograph courtesy of Paul.
My next little project is to take my wife to that very spot at Pineview Reservoir, drink, relax, and provide an opportunity for her to reset. I believe she would truly enjoy the opportunity to do so. I know that we as a couple need times like the one I propose and that we need them to happen often. I want thank her for graciously allowing me the man time I needed. I am truly the luckiest of men where she is concerned.