Get Back on the Horse; Never Leave the Boat

I love the scene in Apocalypse Now when the saucier goes off to search for mangoes only to find a tiger – the line is “never get off the boat, never get off the boat…”. Perhaps it is the humour of what can go wrong for a stranger in a strange land or perhaps it is just that I often find myself facing tigers that I could have avoided if I had just stayed in the boat, but then I would never taste the mangoes would I? New Orleans proved to be a contrast between the holy and the profane, and the signs sharply designated the different perspectives about The Way: Christianity, Voodoo and the underbelly all found their way into the mosaic.

Getting back on the horse is a metaphor that compares the fall off a horse to the daily challenges that knock us around. One of our most difficult challenges in this crazy world is to keep organized while we slog through insane deadlines and expectations towards success. Since beginning my venture into photography I have adapted the GTD System designed by David Allen to relieve my brain from the wearisome stress of trying to keep it all together. Allen hypothesizes that if you can create an in/out system where you put everything you need to do, then you can actually start doing things through a series of specific next steps. Like another favourite film character in Memento, I know that I need a system to remain on top of the waves: remember Sammy Jankis.

So where am I? I have been reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance [which is killing me because of its relevance – I do not want to misunderstand it so I am pushing hard on it], I am figuring out my bills for the new year so I can finance a trip to South America for V. and me, and I am collecting forms to renew passport/health card/immunizations for Peru in March. In the midst of all that I have my teaching, a yearbook to produce, photography to promote, a health level to recover, and a few hundred other tasks. It will all get done, but I need to get back on the GTD horsie to be successful in a short period of time.

The commercial season should also soon be ramping up for catalogues and packaging, so I need to make certain that I can turn work around smoothly and confidently while maintaining all of my permanent obligations. 2011 should prove to be a challenging, but rewarding, year that finds me off the boat, but on the horse.

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