Killer Downtime Claims Victim

By Jon Hillenbrand In Photography, Stories


I’m sure no one has ever died from downtime. I can only imagine the downtime that soldiers or combat photographers have. Stories of hours of sheer boredom followed by moments of sheer terror permeate the milblogs on the net. Personally, I almost never have downtime. But when I do, it’s killer. The face of my screen looks back at me expectantly and all I can do is click on old folders of photos to see what I’ve done. It’s good to periodically review what you have done to see how you are doing or where you are going, visually speaking. But, to borrow a phrase from “Seven Years in Tibet”, “Too much time to doubt oneself is…not good.”

So where’s my path to liberation? Certainly not returning my phone calls. My most recently messed up relationship has just come to a crashing halt with the finality of driving headlong into a bridge upright. And as the glass skids to a halt across the asphalt and my brains exit my cracked skull once again, I’m reminded of my age, my psychology, my past errors, and the comment made to my by my dear and long gone friend who said, “Perhaps you choose relationships that you know won’t work, as a way of avoiding committment.”

I’ve gotten good at ignoring pain and moving forward. And being the son of a psychiatrist, I’m aware of the impending danger of past injuries exploding into the foreground of my life portrait. But that hasn’t happened to me yet. The only consequence to self-evaluation comes when I have downtime. And I begin to doubt myself and worry about the future. So to borrow a phrase from “True Lies,”You know what? Let’s concentrate on work. That’s what I do when my life turns to dog shit; I concentrate on work.” Because afterall, “Clark Kent is who I am, Superman is what I do.”

What do you think?