Sunday, August 08, 2021

On photography, personal passion and a significant occurrence

his past week I’ve been out of pocket at a photography workshop retreat in northern Wisconsin bordering Lake Superior. The weather was cooler than it was in Texas, but warmer than normal (for Wisconsin). But I wasn’t there for the climate.

What brought me there was the teacher, Keith Carter, who I’ve followed for years. Keith is an educator and a damn good one. He definitely pulled me out of my comfort zone/rabbit hole. I am re-energized and ready for more photographic forays.

What really impacted me in the past week was to be around a core of people who were pursuing their passion. Whether for work or for pleasure, everyone was there to strike a match and burn their bushes. It was my Burning Man. I loved it. 

Personally, I’ve been passionate about photography and a whole lot of other things in my seven decades. I’m healthy and very lucky. And I’m grateful to be able to continue to dig into the creative process.

It was that way when I was in the wine trade. It was that way because I did not want to compromise. It sometimes got me into hot water in the corporate world, but I didn’t drown. Sometimes it got a little warm, but I could jump or pivot or just wait the bastards out until they got bored and moved on to other prey. I am not a good meal for a predator – too many bones.

I’m getting further and further from the wine world, which makes writing a wine blog a precarious pastime. Wine has receded from my immediate foreground, much like I have from the wine world. It seems very symmetrical in that way. Photography is coming closer into focus again. There is work to be done.

Work. An odd word for someone who left the work force. You know, when I was in grade school, the nuns (and the priests) really banged into our skulls the idea of vocation and avocation. They were probably trying to enlist young souls into their orders (no doubt), with regards to the vocation thing. I thought long and hard about it. I was also intrigued over the years about the whole avocation thing. Far from its definition (some synonyms include: diversion, a kick, an amusement, a sideline, and my favorite – schtick!). Now avocation seems more like the next stage in one’s livelihood (when I say that word, I intend it to mean how one supports one’s existence, but not in a commercial or monetary way).

Funny, because I was never really interested in the whole commercial livelihood thing anyway. I found something I liked to do and I did it. Along with being a dad, a photographer, and all the other things I am and do (and was and did). I’m still pretty closely aligned to the person I’ve always been. Only in the present stage I have more (and less) time to focus on particular things. For me, photography is one of those things at the top of the list.

All this to say when one taps into their personal passion, it can be an amazing ride of a lifetime. I see it in others, in myself and in the last week, I was doused liberally with it. Like I said earlier, I am enlivened.

Which might be a good time to be so. I recently passed a milestone recurrence in regards to my nascency. It seemed like a big one to me. I don’t feel much different in some ways. But there it came and went. And it gave me pause to think a little, to reflect a little more and then as Professore Carter said to us, to “do the work.”

So, there you have it. I’m sure I’ll still post subsequent missives about wine, but like I said in December of last year, this blog isn’t justabout wine anymore.

And as we all found out at the workshop last week, I guess we’ll just have to see.



written and photographed by Alfonso Cevola limited rights reserved On the Wine Trail in Italy

wine blog +  Italian wine blog + Italy W

1 comment:

Michael Vickery said...

Alfonso, a blog about wine is just that. There are many. A blog about ‘life’ that also includes wine is far more meaningful and worthy of following and reading.

Passions. Too many people I know have gone through life devoid of true passions outside of their family. It saddens me. Passions are the layers of life that add to our life and is also something we can choose. We cannot pick our family.

Your time and view of the world of wine still has value. Period. One often has insights, wisdom and unique perspectives only after they leave the room. Certainly the forest looks differently after one leaves it and looks back towards it.

Stay curious my friend,


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