The pep talk

There are days when I spend my time thinking about where I’ve come from and how far I’ve traveled.  All the abuses I took.  All the damages I survived.  All the drops of Krazy Glue I used to repair my broken heart.

And yet … somehow … I’m still here.

Waterrwish 2. Photo by Chuck Miller.
Waterrwish 2. Photo by Chuck Miller.

It’s almost as if my entire existence has been to protect me from all the cold, sharp weapons that have punctured and poked and pummeled me.

The thing is … I can survive these moments.  I can survive the abuse.  I can survive the heartbreak.  I can survive the punches.

But what does “survive” really mean?

Poestenkill Cascade. Photo by Chuck Miller.
Poestenkill Cascade. Photo by Chuck Miller.

Maybe that’s why I enjoy taking photographs of nature.  Seeing the grand beauty of God’s creative hand, whether it’s a pearly sunrise or swirly starshines.  It’s finding that essence, that point, that moment in time… and using it as a salve for the wound that was originally in that spot.

Adirondack Canopy. Photo by Chuck Miller.
Adirondack Canopy. Photo by Chuck Miller.

It took a while for me to understand why I photograph these moments.  I want to take out the damage in my soul and replace it with beauty.  I want to smooth out the jagged edges until they glisten.  I need to understand who I am and whether I really do fit into this world.

I go through these moments of despair and depression.  And I try to find ways to battle back.  Yes, I’ll drive a thousand miles to take a picture, because that journey of a thousand miles began with a single step.  A hero’s journey that encompasses where I am in my life.

The Lighthouse at Peggy's Cove. Photo by Chuck Miller.
The Lighthouse at Peggy’s Cove. Photo by Chuck Miller.

I have to do these things.  I have to plug my ears from the torment.  I have to find a way to stop hearing that I shouldn’t be on this earth, and that the world would be better if I wasn’t here.

And I grab my weapons of therapy.  I try new things to disconnect the terminals of this terminus.  I’ll write something.  Anything.  Just to keep the brain strong and the mind sharp.

Heck, even this year I’ve tried some small gardening.  Unfortunately, if people are said to have green thumbs, my thumbs seem to have been made of RoundUp.  But I keep trying.  The beauty will come.  It has to.

The Tiger Swallowtail. Photo by Chuck Miller.
The Tiger Swallowtail. Photo by Chuck Miller.

I have to keep going.  I mean, what’s the alternative?  I have to remind myself every day that giving up means that the tormentors have won.  They’re all ready to hold a party when I fail.  They want to gloat and grief and gnash in schadenfreude at my failures and failings.

And every day that I survive and thrive and stay alive – is a day that becomes a big eff ewe muddas to those who hate and hurt.

Niagara 2016. Photo by Chuck Miller.
Niagara 2016. Photo by Chuck Miller.

If I can keep my motivation, if I can find the part of my soul that still has hope… then there’s still a good chance for me.

Maybe this isn’t so much of a blog post today … as it is an internal pep talk.  For me, or for you.  Maybe you need a boost like this as well.

Maybe I just need to know that no matter what I’ve gone through in my life…

I can still be a good person.

Even if the only person who will tell me this…

Is myself.

Low Tide at Sunrise. Photo by Chuck Miller.

I’m here.  No giving up now.

I’ve come too far to stop at this point.


7 thoughts on “The pep talk”

  1. Know you are loved Chuck. And thank you for being here every day and sharing yourself and your beautiful photos with us.


  2. “All the drops of Crazy Glue I used to repair my broken heart.” Have you tried duct tape instead? That stuff will fix anything. Anyway, I can totally relate to your essay, and love how your photos fit the words. Great job combining your double talents!


  3. I agree with Roger. It should be at the top of the list for Ten for Thursday. I agree with Debra also. You are loved, more than you know. And I also agree with David. You have so many talents, this essay is proof of just two.


  4. You “The Man” Chuck, inspiring others every day to become better people. Showing people it’s ok to take your thoughts outside yourself and let them run free.
    And Chuck, this group of pictures represent some of your BEST work , love them ALL. Thank you for sharing yourself and your photos with all of us.


  5. About the gardening – don’t give up. And be prepared for failures. Gardening is an ongoing never ending process of trial and error experimentation. Success will come, and when it does it is very satisfying. Then it’s time to try something new. As I said, never ending. Plus, photos of successes can be added to the “short pile”!


  6. Hey Chuck,

    Good stuff, but I’m not sure persistence at gardening is a guarantee for the production of beauty. All I’m saying is that you should feel free to walk away from that, without having to walk away from everything. I’m still not even sure if beauty can ever be created. I think beauty exists. It’s just a matter of learning to see it.

    Forever onward.


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