Sunday, January 12, 2014

In the Blink of an Eye

This post doesn’t have much to do with art, but perhaps speaks to the passion.

In 2009 I spent 6 months in Dallas, subletting an apt from a fabulous artist who introduced me to her friends and family.  My last week there, I had dinner with her brother, sister and some of their friends; one was a photographer Will Pattison.  By the end of dinner, I was in awe of his talent, experience traveling around the world, fearless sense of adventure, but mostly because he was someone who seemed to get 110% out of life.  After our dinner, I started following his blog to get regular doses of inspiration from his photography.  Three weeks later the blog entries just stopped.  I kept checking back and soon learned that he suffered a spinal cord injury in a dirt bike race.  His blog entries continued, with the help of his girlfriend, but the inspiration I received was not from his photography but from his drive and determination to beat his injury,

His posts documented his incremental improvements, much like tracking the movement of a glacier.   After one year, significant accomplishments included eating a sandwich and walking 700 feet while having a conversation-exhausted afterward.  Many posts talked of how his girlfriend was by his side. But, two and a half years after his accident, he wrote a “fairytale” about his princess, with whom he shared his home and life for many years prior to the accident.  She no longer had the strength to fight the “monsters” who took over his life.  She was exhausted and saddened by the loss of who she once was and had to go her own way.  And, I cried as if they were my friends. 

Last July, three years after his accident, he wrote of being able to balance on one foot, drive a car and button his jeans.  He was still in constant pain and his nervous system still was not processing information correctly, so a cool breeze could be unbearable.  But he hasn't posted since that anniversary date.  I like to think it is his way of saying "I'm done making you feel better; better about yourself, your life, your situation."  Time to do something with that inspiration.

F2point8 - Will Pattison
win or die » f2point8