Negative Space

An interesting term
Depicting a specific nothingness

The space that holds nothing
Waits to be filled
It’s actually a very nice gesture
This negativity
That is not negative in any real sense

…if you drive a car…the space in front of your car can become a negative space…(fast living)

3-4 frame in-camera multiple exposure

La Jolla Glider Port, San Diego CA

Only One Can Do It

Changes

In July, I turned 62 and I’m a cliché. I say that because my next statement was going to be “wow, that sure went fast”. When I was young, I thought it was ludicrous for an old person to say that. Similar to other sayings like “your babies are babies only once, hug them every day.”  “Yeah, no kidding”, I’d think. Now I think “Oh yeah, you were right.”
In my twenties/thirties/early forties, I worked as a tradesman in construction. It requires strength, a competitive outlook and a willingness to assess and implement risk to do well in construction. There came a time when I started to work out at home to build working muscle. Not useless beauty mass, but muscle that is used within the work day. My regimen included pushups, sit ups, stretching, and dumbbells, that’s it. My legs needed no help, they were already walking and lifting all day long.
The only reason I could stick to it was because I knew that strength would yield a positive result for me, my fellow trade-members and our employer. I had 17” upper arms and a strong upper and lower back. I could sweep up my children in each arm with no effort at all.
Now…not so much. The only sweeping I do now is with a broom.
I look at exercising with disdain to a certain degree. I know, it will make me healthier…that’s good. But traditional “exercise” is so excruciatingly boring that I just don’t do it. I have to make something of my time…so within that paradigm I will exercise my body/brain. I will walk a mile or two for photography and video making any time. I will build a raised planter and fill it with compost. Gardening makes me feel connected to the earth. It requires trips to the supply store, some mid-level lifting and a certain attention to “husbandry”. That word is probably not acceptable any more. Yeah….whatever….life is short…I’ll stick with what I know.
That word carries the idea of caring for something, and willing to know it inside and out, always being ready to serve it for its own good. That requires a different sort of spiritual exercise to go along with the physical. I say spiritual in the generic sense. Knowledge is not tangible until practiced, but it still has substance, it’s ”spiritual”.
As my body has grown older, I have come to the realization that with a sit-down desk job, I need to stretch as much as possible. It helps the muscles breathe and just aids in a more positive attitude. Not sure how that works. There is likely a chemical connection there and that’s great.
Today I go see my doctor. It’s been one year since I was diagnosed with a big fat ugly liver. Mmmmm, a fatty liver, inside a clinically obese body, with an unhealthy topping of pre-diabetes.
I was a walking poster-boy for what results from the SAD (Standard American Diet). Don’t get me wrong, I was eating healthy by most standards. Grass fed meat, free range this, organic that. Not too much sweetener….never cane sugar….just maple syrup.
The issue for my body was carbs….now I know I’m a cliché! Too much bread, pasta, tortillas and too many fruits. Yeah, it’s sad…too many fruits. Fruits contain fructose….poison for a guy like me. The issue is not so much the food. If that food is not burned off and burned off quickly it will store itself as fat…in the liver. While it does that, it will uptake any other unused fats into the liver as well.
This way of eating/living has probably killed more people than we can imagine. So what did I do?
I started smoking again. No, not really. But, I employed that same strategy as when I quit smoking in my early twenties. My daughter suggested I try the ketogenic method of eating. The keto paradigm revolves around a strategy of eating 70% fat calories, 20% protein calories and 5% carb calories per meal. In order to accomplish this I had to change my opinion of carbs. Carbs, like smoking, is a poison for me. Many people grimace at this idea. For me, I imagine myself slowly dying in a hospital, while the bill whittles away at my wife’s and children’s inheritance. So, with that image, carbs are my enemy looking to kill me.
It would be a disservice to the people I love to continue doing what I was doing.
I was and still am a carb addict. That is a serious condition millions of us deal with every minute of every day. Though, since I’ve been in ketosis (5 months) my hunger has walked away and leaves me alone. The carb diet will keep you hungry, even when your body doesn’t need any food. The keto transition simply resets the body to rely on fats for fuel. It allows one to eat less and not feel the heroin level pangs to eat again.
In order to do this, I bought a meter to make sure my blood levels were strong with ketones and that my sugar levels stayed in check. It wasn’t easy at first. I thought I was doing well….then I got the meter (after a couple of weeks) and realized I was nowhere near where I should be. It took about 3-4 weeks to make the transition.
Before going keto, I had lost fifteen pounds by simply eliminating breads and not eating after dinner. Fifteen pounds was my plateau. Every day was a struggle. I craved food constantly. I woke up hungry, I went to bed hungry. THAT is precisely what a carb based diet is designed to do if you are not working hard to burn them off immediately. It’s poison.
I hit ketosis in mid-April, and dropped another twenty+ pounds after three months. I am just borderline “normal weight” now. Most notably, I’m not hungry any more. I still work a desk job, and my “exercise” is still connected to creating something.
Today I’ll talk with my doctor about some things, including what’s up with my electrolytes etc.
I’ll get some labs done and I’m hoping my big fat liver is not so big, and not so fat anymore.
I do have to say that I feel so much empathy for women and this struggle. My wife tried this and it nearly killed her. She has an auto-immune disorder, along with Hashimoto’s and transitioning into keto may be out of the question. The hormonal relationship with food is also a completely different animal when it comes to being female. Such is life I suppose.
If you are interested in this my main sources are on youtube (of all places!). Search these sites and you can find out quite a bit about it.
Dr Ken Berry, Dr. Boz, Dr.Berg, Thomas DeLauer, High Intensity Health ….just search their name with –keto….you’ll find them.

Peace to you,
Mark

Quiet One

“You need to watch out for the quiet ones.”
That’s what they say.
For fear of some dreaded, hidden rage

You never know when that can manifest itself.

People who live inside the self,
Trust few and mull over concealed truths.
Are not a fearful lot.
Careful. But not to be feared.

Their life journey has taken them to the edge,
Sometimes over the edge.
Feeling the weight of pain guards their steps.
Insights are their companion…like the lifelong pain of a broken bone.
Reminders of foolish mistakes.

One quiet fool who lashes out, does not make the whole.

Twilight

We walk lightly
Among the driven
Out of place
Out of step
Perceptibly
Standing in place

Weak
Simple
Amused by the banal

Ignoring
The trends
Unglued
From the screen
Unchained

We understand
Happiness
Is a lie
Certainly never found
In another
Who should ever carry that weight
Of selfishness

Joy
Is not an outcome
Of circumstance
But of perception
A firm grasp
Of the reality
Of the human experience
And the application of perseverance
To grow something
From the smallest of seeds

I am old, (but not real old) and have found that the requirement of a positive happenstance for happiness is a ruse mostly perpetuated by commercial advertising.

Changed

Traffic billows
Clouds of disagreement
Heat rising from its midnight
Fumaroles to be embraced
While slowly killing us

This short journey quickly ends
Beyond the bounds
Of the enchanted forest
Where I will be changed again
To a time when everything was wonder

The door slams
Feet hit the pavement
And time begins to slow
A swirl of life
Circles about my head

Men and women in spandex
Bicycle to conquer
Run to escape and to find
Newer selves
Changed in heaving breaths
Pushing out the old self

Beyond the fumaroles
Lies the path
That will swallow me whole
And without a sound
Will make me a child again

When I started making photographs, I rediscovered the child in me. Easily impressed with life forms….like the simple guppy. A few days ago I witnessed a hummingbird courting his mate. He flew high and hovered, then swooshed down. During his upturn, his tail feathers made a “chirp” sound. A physical manifestation created at almost 9G’s of force. The forest is full of stories like that.