it’s all ours, it’s the art of self-creation,

Perhaps the hardest thing about the path is that it’s

entirely up to us how far we go, how deep we go,

how authentic we become. No one else can do it

for us—it’s all ours, it’s the art of self-creation, it’s

adult responsibility.  It’s such a private decision we

come back to time and again—Am I willing to do

the work to find and to live my path? Do I have the

faith, courage and persistence I need to keep getting

back up off the ground when things go awry? How

badly do I want an authentic life?  What price am I

willing to pay to create one?   Jeff Brown



Am I a willing to do what it takes? Paying the price sometimes feels to high, for the price seems to be my sanity, my voice, my creativity!  For the past year I have been my Mother’s caregiver, not a position I apply for but one that seems to have been dropped in my path. It is my challenge to find the way through what seems darkness of financial, government and state administrations that are riddle of, do this, go here, now go there, fill this out, did you see this person or that, have you appeared for the Doctor, Lawyer, etc?

In the mean time I pull myself into distractions, food via sugar, Facebook via photography sites, which are rewarding and educational creating a time-lapse of heightened senses . A Tumblr account that started out as a porn page but has “evolved” into a more sophisticated high-end on-line pictorial magazine with Art, fashion,  food, coffee, decor, etc. Scattered around is still porn!

Yes I still get out each day to photograph while walking the dogs, each moment a bit of letting go, allowing nature to sooth my wounded darkened soul. I still continue to seek forms of expression with the photography. Joining the Black and White Street page has been an eye opening experience. One is which I am challenged each day to “see” differently.



it’s all ours, it’s the art of self-creation, it’s

adult responsibility.  It’s such a private decision we

come back to time and again…

Is it? Is the art of self-creation over and over and over again an “adult responsibility”? Right now the art of self creation looks like chaos, feels like a big heaping mess, one that is being trudged through to get to the other side. I have never really been responsible for someone else life. Not for one who can’t make their own choices,  for one who, remembers somethings and forgets most other daily activities. Nothing about feels “authentic” it feels forced.

Am I willing to do

the work to find and to live my path? 



For some reason yes I am willing to do the work to live and keep on the path while in the process of caregiving. That is why blogging is so important. It is my voice being shared, it is an expression of who I am at the moment.  Even though the path seems so dark and lonely at times, there are great moments of light, great moments of happiness, I was thinking joy but I believe joy is something else. The work I do to stay on the path is my creativity, making photographs, promoting those photographs, with whatever energy I have. Sometimes I feel like the drunk at the bar who is always talking big and grand about the places and things he is going to do, yet never gets off the bar stool.  Talking dreams, clouds in the sky, imaging this or that, yet the end is the same, talking. Let me tell you that is not the case. The Exhibitions, the artist dates, the promotion may not be as steady as it once was. It still trickles, it still flows.

Each day of endless questions and repeated answers, it’s still filled with beauty all around.

 Do I have the

faith, courage and persistence I need to keep getting

back up off the ground when things go awry?

It seems that I do have the faith, courage and persistence to get back off the ground. Or you wouldn’t being seeing this blog, I wouldn’t be part of a group exhibition that is now hanging at the Galleria in Deptford NJ. I have a photograph at Cafe 12 as part of that group show for the Photographic Society of Philadelphia.  One of my photographs taken a few years ago was just featured in a group on

Caregiving, maintenance  of finance and a house with yard didn’t seem to be part of my path yet they are that which informs me of who I am right now. Much of that I struggle with that struggle helps peel the layers of unknowing away.



entirely up to us how far we go, how deep we go,

how authentic we become.

18 thoughts on “it’s all ours, it’s the art of self-creation,”

  1. Jeff – Bottom line on top: “…it’s entirely up to us how far we go, how deep we go, how authentic we become.”


    And it bears repeating … your photography never fails to draw me in.

    1. Ah Laurie thank you so much! It doesn’t feel authentic or not yet.

      You have been one of my constant and faithful photography and blog fans! I am most grateful for that.

  2. Beautiful words to live by, Jeff. Thank you for sharing what so many of us are feeling as our parents age as we watch. Caregiving can be beautiful yet frustrating but will give you strength. LoVe DoN

  3. So great to hear from you, Jeff. In my experience, the process of becoming in rarely clear cut or one directional–it often involves an unbecoming, as well–and cycles of both. It sounds to me that’s what you’re describing here–and doing it eloquently so–with brilliant images, as well. I agree with Laurie–your photos never fail to move me. I know it’s been a difficult time. You might try reading the Velveteen Rabbit. Maybe that sounds silly, but it’s an amazing metaphor about the process of becoming real.

    Hugs from Ecuador,

    1. Kathy

      How wonderful to hear from you all the way down there in Ecuador!
      Kathy, I think thing is, it is difficult to see ourselves, in the process of becoming or unbecoming!
      The whole Idea of the blog or journaling (morning pages) was and is to allow that reflection to happen via the words.

      Nothing feels eloquent about the process! I love the word Eloquent ! Just like my voice, the images are creatied to be seen. I am thrilled that you find them to move you!

      Velveteen Rabbit! Really? I will check it out!

      Hugs from New Jersey (())

  4. I feel like you are always becoming, Jeff, more and more of who you truly are. Even when tasked with caregiving, you rise to the occasion and bring more of yourself to the world and more of you is reflected in your photography, in your words, in the person you are with your Mom, with your dogs, and your friends. I think you greet that photo taken a few years ago now featured on Redbubble and you are still the man who made that photo and so much more. You create because you must! It is who you are . . . a self-creator.

    1. The rising to the task feels ecky at times. I understand it on some levels! Creating is a must, it is a bit slower but just as purposeful.

      Thank you for your support & encouragement!

  5. We went through my in-laws, our closest neighbors, dying of the complications of age and cancer, one year apart. Those 5 years from diagnosis, through treatment, to acceptance and making the best of what was left in the way that it was at the time, despite the challenges and extreme intensity, are some of the most precious memories of this lifetime’s incarnation.

    May it prove so for you too someday. In the meantime, stay connected. A support group of caring individuals is absolutely crucial, when going through the experience you are in the midst of. Yet, to come, similar circumstances with my own parents, not knowing yet, how much that will directly demand of me. They gave of their life and time for us, the return for that, is what you have accepted so beautifully.

    PS – you’re a great photographer. Love those images that I am lucky enough to get a peek at !!!

    1. Deb,

      Thank you so much for sharing here. I remember you mentioning something about your situation before with in-law, thank for understanding. I suppose it is all part of the journey, yes they gave their life and love for us, in some way returning that gift is the process.

      Grateful for your PS: I was given a gift, a gift to share with the world around me… You are welcome to peek in anytime.

      Hugs: Jeff

  6. I’m sorry I missed this post, Jeff – not sure why my subscription seems not to be working. Your photos are always evocative and striking, so beautiful…

    I zeroed in on your observation, “I have never really been responsible for someone else’s life.” My sister never had children but I had three of them and we discovered that made a difference in our approach to making decisions about our father when his dementia kept getting worse. One approach wasn’t better than the other, just different. It was easier for me to decide he wasn’t able to make this or that decision and make it for him. Somehow we muddled through and made the best of the situation.

    But I also learned that caring for the elderly cannot be compared to caring for children. All our efforts to care for children are rewarded with being able to watch them grow and blossom under our care. But sadly, in spite of our best efforts to care for the elderly they continue to dwindle away, one loss follows another, and only love gives us the strength to carry on. Love is the reward, little moments of simple sharing. You are in my thoughts, Jeff…

    1. Barbara,

      You found the post when you needed too!

      I understand about my observation of responsibility and childhood veres elderly. I was trying to convey a sense of humor even though none of it is funny in the case of the elderly.

      I am not sure what the reward is yet I keep moving forward…

      Thank you for you support and words.

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