Pre-Heat to 400 Degrees.

"You woke me up this morning, so I'm blaming you." - Rocket Raccoon

It’s the day after Christmas. Outside, it’s pretty cloudy and wet from an earlier rain. Becca left me this morning, bound for Raleigh. But she’ll be back ;) Vega, my new feline companion, is curled up and cozy on the bed in the room next to me. As I write, I’m sipping coffee out of a new mug that looks like a Camera lens (Thanks Brooke!) and sitting at my kitchen table in my apartment in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina. Occasionally I’ll glance up at the large window in front of me, listen to the music playing, sip coffee and ponder.

 It’s not been too often that I’ve had the will to get up early and make coffee here, or as much sit down and write in the AM. But here recently...

Old Crow Medicine Show literally just started playing on the sound system in the living room, and immediately I am taken to a state of mind that feels so warm and familiar. It’s a really nice morning.

So, this year is coming to a close, and I expect this could well be my last entry of 2016. I just want to sum some things up, and lay some things out on the table. I’m working toward a cleaner slate for 2017, and this will without doubt be a good stride toward that. Regurgitating words from the mind is like fucking Ajax (No, not the Canadian mutant from X-Men AKA Francis), no, the chemical solvent you can pick up at the store. It’ll clean up anything. Like those Magic Erasers, I mean what’s in those things, it’s like they’re… I digress.  

This past year has, been, mmmm, stimulating to say the very least. As a matter of fact, the past two years have been packed full of experiences. Hell, maybe the past three. Some of the days and times all run together at this point. So we’ll say three to cover ground here. But this past year, my 25th year (of which technically is still in process until May, I suppose) has been a year full of fantastic people, complex emotions and even more so, a year of further spiritual awakening.

The last half, in particular, has been rather obliging. I feel strongly that I have advanced as a photographer and a writer and a filmmaker all around, and I look forward to seeing where that takes me in the year to come. I also feel that I’ve found a nice current to carry me into 2017, as far as engagements and travels may be concerned. I think that I am better equipped to handle the days ahead, than ever before. Certainly.  

 I am understanding more and more that it’s really not what you have, it is what you make, and it’s not about pushing so hard for recognition as it is about identifying your personal motivations and the elements of happiness that will lead you to that vital harmony. With all this said, I’ll wrap it up with this:
There is no time like the present. I will continue to follow my dreams and my heart and my instincts. All of which have lead me to where I am right now, and right now, I feel like...like, I want pizza, so imma go put one in the oven. Pizza brunch.

Much love,

-          Jared C. Shumate