Success and Failure

Photograph of a three panel Japanese artwork with a pheasant on a tree branch laying on a persian rug.
I was looking at some Japanese art history books and prints and made a cell phone image of this one.  I set it on floor and enjoyed how the persian rug framed the image.

I had an epiphany this afternoon while reading a book about creative thinking that I think might be helpful to share…

When we look at the success of others we only see it from the outside. From our perspective it looks like success came easily due to natural talent or gifts.

What the successful person sees from their inside perspective is all their failures that led to their success.

As a teacher I meet so many people who are afraid to try because they are afraid of failure. To them I say “run towards your failures as those will be your best teacher and will shape your success.”

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Beauty in Death

Black and white photograph of dead flowers in an empty whiskey bottle.
© 2018 Ira Gardner

My wife was about to throw out these flowers that had died but I couldn’t let them go without making a photograph first.  The texture and patterns of the dried out bouquet were beautiful. I feel gratitude for the beauty that exists at all stages of life and death.

Art, Architecture, and Ideas

Black and white photograph of the Palace of Fine Arts columns reflecting in the pond at this San Francisco Landmark.
Palace of Fine Arts reflecting in the lagoon. ©2018 Ira Gardner

A few weeks ago I was in San Francisco with my wife and we spent an early morning walking around the Palace of Fine Arts.  As I watched people interact with the space I was thinking about the role art and architecture have on our ideas of community and social justice.  On the one hand these faux ruins that represent Greek and Roman empires of long ago could give me a sense of power and might but on another it is a reminder of a time where philosophical debate about the needs of the many versus the needs of the few occurred. 

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Autumn Leaves: A Prayer

Photo of Oak leaves floating on water.
“A Prayer For The Fallen ”  Digital Photograph by Ira Gardner 2018

Reports of pipe bombs and the mass shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue yesterday dominate my thoughts today and bring me to my emotional knees in sorrow.

When the daily news is too heartbreaking to bear I am reminded of what Ansel Adams once said… “When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.”

I made this image in downtown today while on a quiet walk with with my wife.  It is the warmth of her hand and the beauty of Autumn that restores my spirit.

Ira Gardner
Spokane, WA