Tripping Over An Epiphany

I am still a bit in recovery and adaptation mode, following the implantation of 32 electrodes and two neurotransmitters in my back and neck on November 27, 2012. I am feeling better by the day, but I’m being forced to learn do old things in new ways.

Receiving fairly stout electrical impulses inside your body 24/7 has a way of altering one’s FinchCloseUp-1a (1 of 1) sense of normal. Imagine sticking your finger in a portable, live electrical outlet and trying to talk, walk, be attentive to others, or attempting fine finger movements. I’m still very much in the re-learning phase with activities that are part of my daily routine.

Sometimes the impulses are paralyzing, and sometimes they are wonderful. If you happen to see me frozen in an odd position–like Ralph Macchio’s awkward stork stance in the Karate Kid movie–it is probably because I found a position where the electrical pulses feel SO good. Conversely, I’ve struggled even more than before with what should be relatively simple tasks like typing and getting a fork to my mouth (not sure that’s a bad thing). I can turn the power down to more effectively do specific tasks, but then I tend to open the flood gates to the kind of pain that caused me to undergo what can easily be labeled as “drastic measures.”

As a result, the post-surgery opportunities to self-administer healthy doses of photoremedy have been limited to what I can do fairly close to home. I’m dropping so many things these days that I’m forced to make sure I safeguard the camera by keeping the strap around my neck – even when I’m searching for material in my own backyard. West Texas born and bred poet Christian Wiman has eloquently stated, “Nature poets can’t walk across the backyard without tripping over an epiphany.”  I believe the same is true for photographers. Opportunities exist wherever we are planted, wherever we attempt to focus.

So, what are some of my post-surgical photoremedy epiphanies and insights?

Friends tend to stick around longer if you give them something good to drink (our hummingbirds did not migrate south as expected this year).

Finch&Hummer-2 (1 of 1)

It isn’t always pretty, however, when they drink too much.


There can be photographic gold at the end of a rainbow.


Putting up walls can make others feel like prisoners.

BabyGate-2 (1 of 1)

And, finally, one need not travel very far to be reminded that there’s always a guiding light.

ChapelSunrise1x2 (1 of 1)

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We Have a Winner

With over 1,000 votes coming in this year, our 2012 Photoremedy Photo of the Year has been selected. And the winner is the photograph labeled “Anthem Veterans Memorial,” which was taken as a 2012 summer storm seamlessly merged with the kind of spectacular sunset Arizonans have come to expect in the colorful Sonoran Desert.

Veterans Memorial - Anthem, Arizona

Veterans Memorial – Anthem, Arizona

Although this timely image was in the lead for most of the polling period, it was running a close race with our Journey Home and Dingle Town photographs (see December 23, 2012 post for all of the finalists) up until the final few hours of voting. A late surge pushed the winner to close with 37 percent of the vote.

Interestingly enough, the Veterans Memorial shot almost didn’t make our top twelve list. Many of the other photos had their own appeal and most were more technically sound, but my son and computer graphics adviser Will made a last minute appeal. He simply said, “I don’t think you want to leave this one out. People are really going to like it.”

So, thanks to everyone who voted in our poll (I call it a passion poll because our “vote early, vote often” approach allows photoremedy readers who feel strongly about a picture to make a bigger difference in the outcome). And special thanks to Will for having the intuition to know that we are all winners when we pay special tribute to the men and women who have put their lives on the line for this great nation.

Cheers to our veterans, and cheers to a blessed 2013.

– Greg