Little Green Heron by Nancy Baur - http://www.duxdekes.com/kits.html
I’ve been struggling lately, and on several fronts. First, there’s my blogging-block, or more accurately my general literary lethargy. When I called a wrap to Up Fanno Creek last October, I just sort of collapsed. I stopped pounding on the keyboard, stopped conceptualizing possibilities, stopped pretty much everything related to writing. Much as I love it, writing at any level is a real psychological challenge for me. Part of it stems from being so insecure that the process of putting together even the simplest post makes me a nervous wreck for at least a couple days.
Another problem with writing is the level of intensity involved. I’m generally unable to write without investing a sizeable amount of intellectual and/or spiritual capital into the process. As a result, writing is an exhausting and rarely satisfying process. On the other hand, I am driven to do it, just as I once was (and am again) driven to take photographs. I don’t understand it, can’t explain it, and only mention it here because periodically the weight of doing either sits so heavily on my shoulders that the only way to get free of the crushing burden is to write and shoot. I’ve been doing way too little of both lately.
On a different but somewhat related front, I’ve also been struggling with my role as “environmental activist.” Just the mere fact that I feel compelled to put that title in quotations says a lot about how conflicted I am about the work I’ve been doing for the last few years. Apparently I am destined to continue doing that kind of work for the foreseeable future. See that beautiful sculpture up there at the beginning of this post? I received this wonderful thing from the Tualatin Riverkeepers back in April. It’s is called the “Green Heron Award,” and it came my way by virtue of contributions I’ve made in the past few years “that have helped protect and restore the Tualatin River System.”
When my buddy Brian Wegener was making the presentation, he voiced the hope that I might keep making those kinds of contributions in the future. That’s been my own expectation as well; but at the moment I am not exactly sure how – or even to what extent – I will proceed to live up to my own expectations, much less anyone else’s. And part of that problem is, I’m not sure what those expectations actually are. What’s my proper role? I mean, there are so many things out there, environmental and otherwise, that need tending to, I hardly know where to begin. What can I bring to the party? How will what I do move the pile in a desirable direction? What pile? What direction? Where should I focus my few physical, psychological and monetary assets?
When I began work on Up Fanno Creek I developed a plan I was able to follow all the way through the entire process. It was simple and direct and, in the end, got me to where I initially intended to go. Think I’ll spend the next few days working on a new one I can use to manage whatever is going to be Act II of my new career as an environmental activist.