Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.
Lao Tzu

I have been doing a fair amount of reading since the first of the year. Something I felt was important to do. I have always been a somewhat active reader, mostly in informational kinds of subjects. Not big into fiction reading but I have experienced a few wonderful fictional books over the years. 

Like many I presume these days I do a fair amount of reading online. Possible the larger percent if I would actually keep track. An hour per day of book reading vs possibly a couple hours of day reading online. That’s just a guess but seems kind of close. There are also podcasts and audio books that get mixed in with this as well that might account for another 30 minutes or so per day average throughout a month. When I was younger there wasn’t much time for reading, or so I thought. But there was much time for listening to music. 

For the last 10 plus years I have always wished I would have read more when I was younger. I feel I have missed out on years of knowledge gathering and wisdom building because of it. If I dig deep, down past the initial thought of what I think I have missed out on, I realize I may not have missed out on anything. 

I would always encourage younger people to read. Read about what you like. It takes some patience to learn the benefits of reading, but it is time well spent. But I don’t want to imply reading is the only why to learn. Life has many lessons and many ways of delivering those lessons.

When I say I spend time listening to music when I was growing up, It wasn’t just a random thing I did without much thought. From the age of, oh, I supposed around 13 until my early 20’s if I was not in school, and then later working, or sleeping, there was a very good chance I was listening to music in one fashion or another. For hours at a time and in very specific ways. I believe there were years in my younger days my life evolved around music. There was even a year long stint where me and two of my buddies started a band. We even played some public venues including a county fair. It was awesome!

I cannot describe what I may have learned during those years of very little reading and a whole lot of music listening and playing, but I do know it had a major influence on me. To this day music is the most personal form of art I experience. It can move me to excitement or bring me to tears in seconds. Somewhere, somehow, these emotions were instilled deep within my soul. I will always cherish them.

The snake which cannot cast its skin has to die. As well the minds which are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be mind.
– Friedrich Nietzsche

Reading a book, magazine, or online article, listening to podcasts or audio books, and a hosts of other solo activities can be extremely enjoyable, build positive emotions, and help one get though times when there doesn’t seem to be much to do. There are other activities that can instill this sense of peacefulness, well being, and pleasure. Listening to music for sure, and of course viewing art. 

Viewing art is different than reading a book, or listening to music, no question. The most obvious may be that you can view an entire photograph, painting, sculpture, etc in a matter of seconds. You can also fan through a book in a matter of seconds or fast forward through a song as well. Doing this with either a photograph, book, or song, will result in little to no understanding of any. With a book or music it is obvious. With a photograph it’s almost impossible to get people to believe it. Sure it doesn’t take hours to view a photograph, but it takes more than two seconds. Regardless of your method the choice is yours. As with just about everything in life you get out what you put in. 

I have wondered if over the last couple of months if folks have taken more time to view not only photography that they enjoy but visual art in general. Seems like it would have been a great use of time. I would also think nature based art would be high on the list if not the most sought after. I am probably not one to make a determination  of something like that since it is high on my list everyday regardless of the current circumstances.

Whatever your desired mode of artistic pleasure is I hope you have had time to get a little closer with it. There is no bad time to do that, but there has seemed to be a “better than other time” as of late.

Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.
George Bernard Shaw

Kansas, Flint Hills, Tallgrass Prairie

The springtime Kansas Flint Hills and Tallgrass Prairie. The change among these lands is nothing short of miraculous. Maybe no other place on Earth does the landscape change to such a degree during the year. In a period of 2-3 weeks lands that are bleak brown and lifeless are burned, rejuvenated and spring back to life in a bounty of green growth. After decades of witnessing these annual occurrences it is still amazing.