Driving Rain

Creativity responds to a challenge.

Creativity responds to anxiety.

I’ve had both this week.

The challenge comes from a very interesting photographer named Chris Howard designed for his friend Mt. Brooks to encourage his creativity by giving him a weekly assignment.  Imagine, some of us slackers need a structure!  Oh, yeah.  O. Y.E.A.H.

Anyway, The challenge has a name that sounds like the bailout bill in Congress: SAPCC #3 and I’ve been dubbed participant #4.  Beneath its impersonal sound is a heartbeat, however.   It is a heart beat to make us do new work each week to a specific theme.  This week it is water.  I was going to enter past work but got the knuckle swat reminding me that it has to be NEW.

So, amidst my monster anxiety attack related to apocalypse now with disintegrating world and US financial markets and, amidst such an attack that in the past has a freewheeling and disabling spirit to all tasks at hand, I decided to try to focus on this simple challenge.  Water.  The forecast was two days of tropical storm rain.  My retirement funds may be drying up but water and a lot of it was in my immediate future.

So, I went to the store with my camera (upper four) and came back from store (lower four) and had a new series about “water” and relearned a lesson worth remembering.

Creative activity can calm me down faster than any headline, carbohydrate or pharmaceutical.  I’m going to print this like a banner and hang it in front of my stash of macaroni and cheese.

©Pat Coakley 2008


16 comments on “Driving Rain”

  1. Nothing like having free floating anxiety being quelled by an assignment.
    Even here, you’ve taken two days of torrential rain and turned it into something that resembles Halloween candy as viewed by cheerful pod people.

    Aren’t we all so much better for others than we are for ourselves.

  2. Nice shots. Keeping busy exercising one’s mind is so important.

    The few people I know that have had nervous break downs have done so by doing too much navel gazing and not enough activity. Thinking and reflection are good but too much of it leads to madness.

    I checked out that Chris Howard link. He is very good. It’s funny how people seem to have favourite lenses. Mr Howard looks like he loves using his telephoto.

    What about you Pat, what focal length do find yourself using mostly?

  3. Aren’t we all so much better for others than we are for ourselves…amen, BL. Honestly, I am the one people call when they are in crisis!! Some even call back!

    Razz, yes, it’s true. We all have our favorites. Like you, I love my wide angle 16-35mm and my macro 100mm. I am loving the full sensor of the new camera, too. I use the 100mm more specifically, ie. these shots at intersections in the rain, as well as macro feature. I have the wide angle on the camera all the time, like some people have their 50mm.
    Your advice is spot on. Activity is the best antidote. Particuarly, learning something new.

  4. Pat… you have to remember to focus on the things you have in your control. The rest well. Only aggravates you more to worry about it then deal with it or not if and when it happens. Hugs to you.

    I love this picture.

  5. I feel anxious too. And you are right…having a creative challenge or responsibility helps so much. There is so much one can do with a water theme. I love what you have done. These images have a soothing effect on me…I want to keep looking at them…and lose myself in the blur.

  6. Pat, this is really lovely. I’m excited you’re joinin the Group!

  7. I love this. While not technically “one” shot, it’s outstanding. Well done.

    And, just to clarify, the SAPCC was born from a conversation between myself and Russell Hickman. Chris, Conni and yourself were the first wave to catch on.

    Again, love this.

  8. Pat, forget pensions/ retirement funds (everyone is watching theirs drop in a scary fashion right now). Start an affordable greeting cards empire! You’re so clever with your captions and photos… By the time this crisis is over (and it, too, must pass) you could be the Thinking Person’s Hallmark.
    PS I can’t add much to the compliments above, other than that I love the pictures. You turn everyday into beautiful.

  9. I love the colors of the lights. They look like eyes and your decision to group them like this was super. I also love the title because it works on so many levels… actually driving in the rain, the driving force of tropical storm rains, &, as part of this challenge, the resurrected drive to be creative :)
    Love it. Also, thank you for your comments. I was holding up the works a bit in that bathroom as it was the only one in the place. Luckily, it’s NYC so people probably weren’t too surprised to see me emerge with a camera :)

  10. Pat. You’re too quiet. Are you okay?
    You know where I am if you need me.

  11. Hellooooo! I am here busy reading my two new books geared toward learning how to enter the greeting card industry! All thanks to Epic who gave me good advice: stop focusing on the 401K and onto something else! Thank you, dear Epic! Stay tuned.
    Welcome breathessmini! I appreciate your thoughts and particularly love your parsing of the title, “Driving Rain”. Next week’s challenge is “absence”. Now, I love the challenge of that, don’t you? I look forward to seeing how you capture it!
    Mt. Brooks, Thank you rowboat man. I like this whole photo challenge and you taught me to use the manual settings on my powershot!!
    Russ, I’m excited to join the group, also! I’m sorry I didn’t realize you were the one to get this going but Mt. Brooks set me straight. I left you a comment, but it’s worth saying again. I love your duck man! Plus, I love the subject of next week’s theme: absence. Wonderful, really. So many ways to go about it. Thanks.
    Merely Me, hello writer girl. You are writing up a storm these days and I love it! People, merely me writes two regular columns, one on depression and one on having MS. They are insightful, real, and the truths apply to all of us whether we are depressed or have MS. Go to her site and scroll down to where these columns are located.
    Amber, you are absolutely right. I have to focus more on what I can control. IT’s funny, when my life was filled with responsibility for others, the outside world was always muted to some extent. Now, it’s like someone with a megaphone is standing out side my window blasting doom through my window every morning! Anyway, I turned my attention today to creating a greeting card business or freelancing in some way. Felt good to be thinking about taking control!

    Jeez, this was a long response. So much for being too quiet, eh?

  12. I still wanna grow up and be like you Pat… :)

  13. BTW…. I LOVE the greeting card business idea…. anything I can do to help let me know. ISF is good for funny things to say… Im pretty good at the thought provoking emo stuff…lol

  14. To be fair, it wasn’t I who proposed the weekly photo assignment. Russ or Mike gets the credit. I’ve participated in the Photo Friday contest as well as the Thursday Challenge in the past, but they just don’t provide the same motivation as our small group-of-friends photo contest.

    What I like most about these is the effect they have when shown together as a pattern. They’ve very emotionally evocative, very alone-in-the-car-with-your-thoughts. The multiple frames makes it feel like a prolonged experience.

  15. I love this combo of the different shots with their similar shapes and yet contrasting colours work “wows”… stunning!

  16. Another brilliant photo. That would look good at my place!

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