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Test Of Time

Words come and they go. They show my age, my level of understanding, my grasp on my own perspective. I’ve written a lot here over the years and come in and out of popularity only to see these pages sit dormant for nearly a year now, or has it been a year already? I would check but it’s not really all that important. 

When I sit down to write now I find myself awash in trepidation that I am no longer able to craft sentences together in any sort of meaningful way; and if I’m not looking at a camera reading this as a script while music gently plays behind me to the intercut backdrop of photos of of a city timed to the sound of an old camera shutter, will anyone actually hear these words? Is your perception of what my voice must sound like enough? This is, of course, all nonsense. I’m not sure if I even believe this excuse anymore. I feel like the last several times I have posted have been about this same thing. I have anxiety about sharing* but I want to start sharing more again. Then I don’t. It’s a self defeating problem and I’m sort of tired of writing about it.

Saying it out loud makes me feel trite and somehow disingenuous despite my willingness to admit I have been frozen with creative block for what feels like several years now. Fact is that it’s less about fear and more about giving my mind space to create. My routine, if you could call it that, leaves me little to no time to reflect. There are no longer quiet moments during my week and if there are I want only to rest. Work continues to gets pushed a little earlier into the mornings and then a little later into the end of the afternoon so as soon as 5pm hits my anxiety shifts home as I wait for the message “thoughts on diner tonight?” to vibrate in my pocket as it burrows its way into my soul just a little deeper. By the time all of the check marks are checked my brain has thoroughly checked out and the thought of writing or sharing from any genuine place of mindfulness feels all but impossible and sharing little quips often end up feeling rushed or tinted with some sort of temporary frustration rather than joy. 

It’s no ones fault. Work is busy because running a buisness will always be this way. Especially in this climate, if you’re not on, theres no money coming in and if theres no money coming in then the bills don’t get paid. Diluting my work load means hiring more people, means getting more work, means working more to get the work, means… It sounds simple, just take one day off a week, or two? Yet see above. It will settle, one way or another I know it will. Yet this is why, when I do somehow get an hour two during a morning that doesn’t start as soon as the family is off to work and school, my soul begs to simply sit silently for a while. Without rest there is no reset. There is no room for the  contemplation of beauty. Some days I do try, I pull out a camera when I notice morning sunlight peering through the window of our rarely quiet house that I think deserves my attention but then when I reach out to absorb its calm my vision is hazy at best as I try to compose and consider anything beyond the sound of a shutter. A sound that once brought such joy as it passed through my ears yet recently feels like a mere echo of some past effort, not the benevolent connection to an art form that I love so dearly. 

I recently traveled solo for just over a week and it felt like somehow I was cheating. I could never settle into the fact that it was real or that I deserved it. I only felt this anchor of home pulling every ounce of myself toward the center of the earth. I continuously thought to myself, I can’t afford this time, I can’t afford this ticket, I can’t afford this rental, I can’t… Though through that doubt, here’s what I remember of that trip offhand; I got off a plane after a half night of sleep, made my way into a car and drove for hours and hours, as far into nothing as I could get, to one of my favorite places. I parked the car and watched as the fine desert sand settled around the car after driving down a dusty narrow dirt road. I turned off the car, opened the door, and starting walking, watching each step I took in the reddish sand and the footprints being left behind until I was at the edge of a large bellowing red rock canyon that I swear had held its breath as it waited for me to return to this spot after so many years away. I looked out across vast desert canyons and cried big ugly tears as I felt the overwhelming weight of silence fully envelop my awareness and then, nothing. Or everything. I don’t really know. The moment I arrived back home after this trip I was not actually home, I was moving again, and the view of my memory of this place was already hazy and muddled by the focus needed to work, work, work. 

The first thing out of anyones mouth while I was traveling and once I returned was “ok now you had your chance to relax you should be all better now”, or “ready to work” or something along those lines. How lucky I was, how fortunate, now that thats out of your system… Why then do I look back on that trip taken so recently and feel as if it was but an echo of some past vision. As if I never left the front door of my house and merely had this dream as I was tucked away hibernating. 

So when I sit down on a day like today to write I do all I can to listen for those echos of what’s left and write them down before I hear my name called out again for this or that, and thats okay. Despite the sour taste of what I wrote above I don’t resent my “adult” life, it simply is, and I do find joy within it. Though sharing any of this here makes me equally anxious knowing family or friends will read it and make their own assumptions of what it means or what their part in these feelings are when in fact this is simply a meditation, a way to connect with anyone else that resonates with this sort of feeling. When my mind does calm down enough to see through that haziness my memory does crystalize and I feel excited about the photos that I have taken recently, absent minded or not and lately, for the first time in a long time I feel the itch again to pull photos and words and paper together again and create something or share what I have already created (looking at you pile of cassette tapes, lathe cut vinyls, and zines).

While sitting here I came across little outlines of ideas and feelings I wrote down while I was traveling and would love to pull from them and elaborate on those thoughts and rediscover them. I want to compile photos into zines, write more, create more. Always and forever these desires remain. If anything my inspiration has shifted away from fresh feelings of getting lost and moved into a new mental space entirely. Now its my family and my wife YoungDoo and her creative optimism that pulls me back from the depths of creative apathy. She’s gotten me to a couple of galleries and a museum showcasing fine art photography recently and that really send my mind spinning. I love that dizzy feeling of a new idea striking like lightning in a quiet mind. That glossy eyed stare as I am genuinely lost in thought. I can sense it there still inside of me, I just need to figure out how to coax it out.

At any rate, it’s good seeing you, dear whoever you. Till next time, for now, back to work, pretty sure someone just called my name in the other room… 

*I am pretty deliberate when I use the word sharing. This shift to the idea of “content” and “content creation” feels incredibly disingenuous. The term sucks the soul out of so many creative minds work and commodifies it into a disposable form of vacant, white noise for passive consumption rather than the deliberate, genuine love for something it often is. Don’t belittle your creativity by calling it content. It reduces it to pennies on a dollar of the platforms using you as you share yourself… but thats a digression for another day.

To whom it may concern,



• Enjoy the images! It’s a labor of love, thanks for your support!
• Share with friends.
• Send me a quick mail if you are interested in using an image for commercial or personal use other than wallpaper.


• Post desktops elsewhere online.
• Share links directly to images.
• Pass them around in mass.
• Make prints.
• Use images for web banners or graphics. (send a quick email to ask, I’m pretty easy going about this with permission.)
• Use them in commercial work.

If you help me out with these I will be able to keep doing what I love to do. Thanks again, really, for your support and understanding. -J


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All of the images contained within this website,, are property of, John Carey unless otherwise posted. The images are distributed as freeware but they are available for personal use only on your personal computer, tablet, or smartphone as your wallpaper image. Any use of these images for any purpose other than this is a violation of these terms and anyone found using said images will be asked to either compensate the creator for doing so or be asked to stop using them immediately.

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Use your best judgement and we will get along just fine.

Thank you for your understanding and support!

John Carey (curator, owner)