By Rev. James Hutchison
An appropriate response to stress.
Since watching TBL for the umpteenth time, I think I got it. I don’t mind having someone taking it easy for all us sinners, except, well, I wasn’t sure what I was sinning against. Until I watched TBL for the umpteenth time. It was me. Yep, it was me I was sinning against. Maybe you’ve come to the same conclusion. Let’s explore this…
We all start off as a little squirt. Something Maude wouldn’t waste of course, but I digress. We are indeed special. Or so our parents told us. But life throws us way too many gutter balls, so much so, that we sometimes lose our way, if we ever had one. Lose our vision, if we ever had one. Lose our rug. Lose our…
What day is this?
Fuck. I was trying to make a point… oh right… Life purpose. Being less than genuine is undude. You know, NOT taking it easy. To me, Dudeism means forgetting the past. It means coming to terms with all the bullshit you and I created by making too many decisions that resulted in being somewhere we didn’t want to be. I’ve pondered this before, but have never really come to a satisfying conclusion.
Then in walks the Dude.
Into my life comes this silly movie, portraying someone that is the laziest person in Los Angeles, a man for his time and place, and fuck it, if he doesn’t strike a chord with me and a whole lotta other people. Whale songs and all… teaching us how to abide in this crazy world, where most of us have no fucking idea how to find reverse on a Soviet tank.
We often come across something that soothes us – be it a photograph of a sunset, a wise quip on Facebook, or a genuine exchange with another human being asking us for the rent… The Dude has the same effect, making it all so comfortable. I dig the way he does business. Zen is like, cool man.
Has Dudeism affected the way you live your life? It has for me. See, one of the things I do for a living is take pictures and sell them. Over the past two or three years, my style has changed… my special lady commented one day: "You know dude, you seem to have developed a theme of late."
I wasn’t sure what she meant till she pointed out the obvious, that my photos exude a sense of calm and peace. I spend more time thinking about what I’m about to shoot than I did in the past. I spend more time visualizing what the image is going to look like when I apply a soft-focus filter on the computer, and what it will look like printed on canvas, wrapped around a wooden frame (called a "gallery wrap"). And lastly, instead of trying to find a breath-taking scene that will guarantee sales, I look for something more subtle, more understated, so that I can draw out its own unique beauty. Instead of a stunning mountain scene, I now opt for something like early morning mist on a body of water, or a feather lying in the grass.
I always said that sharing art is a spiritual venture, cause like, I’m sharing my soul. The more limber we become in self-expression, the more genuine that expression becomes, and the more people can relate to it. Not that I do it for the accolades, though they’re nice when they come, but the joy for me happens when I unpack a new 24 x 36 gallery wrap from the printers. Seeing it on a computer screen is one thing; holding it in my hands and hanging it up for display and sale is quite another. Makes me feel all warm and cozy inside. And other people say the same thing sometimes too, which is cool.
So, has TBL affected me, or is this just me getting older and more limber-minded? Both I think. And it isn’t just in my photography that I’ve become more peaced-out. Just ask my special lady. Hint: she used to call me "Crusty".
So, if you’re a sinner that hasn’t been takin’ er easy, rest assured the Dude has your back, to paraphrase the Stranger. As the Dude abides, so should we. Makes ya feel kinda good, don’t it?