Finding My Way Home

Before launching into a somewhat heady blog post about my two-month absence from old-miracle.mystagingwebsite.com, here is a little tidbit, an ambient nature recording I made a few days ago in nearby Shindagin Hollow. Blue Jay, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Red-eyed Vireo, American Crow, Ovenbird, Scarlet Tanager, Wood Thrush, Veery, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and more … Enjoy!:

Finding My Way Home:

sunrise vertical by Lang ElliottI officially launched old-miracle.mystagingwebsite.com in early May, after nearly ten months of work on the website. Then I fell silent. My last blog post is dated May 4 and now it’s early July. So what happened? Perhaps some of you are interested in knowing.

I guess you can say I fell out of the flow. What do I mean by that? Well, the “flow” refers to my ongoing immersion in nature, coupled with the social part of it … sharing with others. If all is going well, I am not only immersed, but I’m also not overloaded and I’m in a positive frame of mind, excited to share my discoveries through old-miracle.mystagingwebsite.com (which I’ve set up for that specific purpose).

But I got overwhelmed with things. My extended work on the website had exhausted me and spring was literally “slipping through my fingers”. I found myself running around in panic, trying to grab (videotape, sound record, etc.) as much of the unfolding as possible.

I was also busy spending gobs of money on new equipment (portable jib, portable dolly, new cameras, new lenses, etc.). All of this stuff needed to be thoroughly field tested and there just wasn’t enough time to do it. The birds and flowers have their own mind and they weren’t about to wait for me to get my act together.

Thus, my experience became one of deep frustration. I actually got depressed enough that I was questioning the sanity of founding old-miracle.mystagingwebsite.com in the first place. How on earth would I be able to find the time and energy to go through with it all?

Well, now that it’s summer, I am settling down a bit. I’m beginning to taste bit of the flow and I don’t feel so rushed. Natural events are still zooming by, but I’m accepting that I simply cannot catch it all.

Furthermore, I’m taking a hard look at the way I’ve set up old-miracle.mystagingwebsite.com, especially my workflow for NatureWatch vignettes. I’ve concluded that they’re too difficult to create, what with all the “additional information” I’ve been providing in support of each featured video. Surely I can make it easier on myself and others who might join in the effort.

The solution? Why not keep NatureWatch simple by publishing compelling videos accompanied only by brief but supportive essays? Why not stay focused on the poetry of it all, on providing tasty “bites” rather than full course meals? My plan is to simplify, to streamline the process of publishing, to make the old-miracle.mystagingwebsite.com vision do-able in the short run, which is all that counts right now anyway. Right?

So I’m now settling-in, feeling a more balanced internal rhythm, and also feeling much more positive about old-miracle.mystagingwebsite.com. I have a number of new NatureWatch video projects in the works, and hope to publish the first one very soon (featuring the Wood Thrush). Yes, I am FINDING MY WAY HOME, after two months of being pretty much unable to do anything with my newly-fledged non-profit. Exciting videos are on the immediate horizon, so please stay tuned!

p.s. Many thanks to Lisa Rainsong, who has helped in the interim by publishing a couple of blog posts, and also to Wil Hershberger, who will soon be posting as well. Good work guys!

Comments

  1. Mary Ann Good says:

    I’ll eat up whatever you serve, Lang! It’s all a treat for the ears!

  2. Amy Girten says:

    I am glad you are finding your way home to a sustainable balance. I know how trying to do it all can lead to exhaustion, burnout, depression and self-doubt.

  3. Jason Kessler says:

    Boy, can I relate to these sentiments…

    I can attest to the fact that the videos alone are a ton of work, a full-time job in and of themselves. Another fill-time job is the support materials you provided. So that accounts for two Langs. And I suppose you may need to earn a living somehow as well…

    I know that, in my efforts, streamlining, shortening, and simplifying is essential, and you seem to have made the same conclusion. If it’s that or abandoning the whole enterprise, I selfishly hope that you hack away with extreme prejudice.

    • I think streamlining is the solution for sure. Given all the work I put in to create the platform, I’d be crazy not to use it. Of course, there is only one me and so far the old-miracle.mystagingwebsite.com is not bringing in much in the way of donations. Then again, I haven’t pushed to find funding. My strategy is to wait until I know the process is sustainable from the standpoint of those who are actually contributing … then get more serious about finding support.

      Clearly, we need to make sure we can do what we say we’re going to do. As it is, I spent the winter dreaming up a million things to do and there’s no way I can do them all, even if I was paid a stellar salary. The ideas are good ones, but it’d take a talented team of two or three (or four) paid employees to pull everything off.

  4. Bob Wasmer says:

    In a similar vein, I think I understand your feelings and frustrations.

    Since retiring from teaching biology at the university level, I have tried to get my bird carving art career going. I have been moderately successful, showing my carvings at a variety of carving shows, selling some in several galleries, and getting some commissions. I made a personal web page, and made a FaceBook Page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Robert-A-Wasmer-Feather-By-Feather-Bird-Carvings/620419061367243?ref=hl). Then about 3 months ago I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. So far tremors in mostly left hand, but troublesome to doing fine work sometimes, and more than a little bit of fatigue.

    My solution: cut back on my expectations, spend some quality time watching bird, etc. in my back yard, which is Certified Wildlife Habitat. I can’t do all I wanted to do when I retired, but plan on carving and showing my carvings when possible.

    Your blogs, etc. are important to me.

    Bob Wasmer
    Auburn, WA

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