This afternoon Bhavna and I went for a walk on a section of the 7.89 kilometres (4.9-mile) paved loop trail around Thompson Park in Holmdel starting at the parking lot at Cross Farm Park. I wanted to try something different new and had scouted the area near Colts Neck where I pick up craft beer from Source Farmhouse Brewing. Part of the trail follows the rim of Marlu Lake. We walked about 6.26 km. When we started on the trail, I noticed that Cross Farm Park is mostly open meadow filled with New Jersey wildflowers; based on my limited knowledge, Canada Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis), Sugarcane Plumegrass (Saccharum giganteum), Common Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) and others.

We walked and talked, and Bhavna noticed that I seemed a bit distracted. She asked, "what's going on". I told her I was not feeling motivated at work and life in general, that I was feeling anxious and disconnected. I was burnt out, and that on some days, I just wanted to sit and stare into the distance.

I talked some more about my anxiety over the end of my contract in December, the need to train to maintain my certifications and skills. Where once I was passionate and energised and engaged with work and life, I had a lot of mental clutter and spent most of my free time reading blogs or watching crappy sitcom TV.

CQueen Anne's lace (Daucus carota) | Sunday 20 September, 2020 | Day 182 | FujiFilm X-T2 | XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR f/5.6 | ISO 800 |

Uncertainty about the future, challenges with physical health, continually existing in the same unchanging environment, and having to stay distant from my friends and colleagues are just some of the things affecting my ability to focus. I told her I was feeling isolated.

While we walked, I photographed whatever caught my eye. It wasn't until we were home that I realised that our talk might have inspired my photography that evening. I had subconsciously opened the aperture of my lens and used the narrow depth of field to isolate my subjects from an otherwise crowded scene. Is this how inspiration finds us? Is it a random thing that just happens?

Cross Farm Park | Sunday 20 September, 2020 | Day 182 | FujiFilm X-T2 | XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR f/2.8 | ISO 400 |

Bhavna and I continued walking and talking. My belief in my abilities, my self-esteem, and my optimism are low. We talked about ways I could find to push past this low point, but we both struggled with things to do to change my mental state. I have very few options during this global pandemic.

At the end of the walk, I realised that even though I dislike online training, it’s my only option right now. No in-person courses are being taught. My main concern is how I will be affected by learning while sitting for hours at the same desk and computer where I sit for hours to work?

We drove home in silence. I ate dinner, then cleaned away and organised the mess on my desk, which had become a reflection of my mental disarray. Removing the physical clutter may clear the mental clutter, and I’ll find the inspiration to find a way forward.

Tomorrow, I’ll plan Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely training goals to accomplish before the end of the year.

I must not fear.

Fear is the mind-killer.

Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.

I will face my fear.

I will permit it to pass over me and through me.

And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.

Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.

Only I will remain.The Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear, Dune by Frank Herber

Submitted for the 100DaysToOffload project and Lens-Artists Challenge #115 – Inspiration.

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    Sylvia Bacon
    26th September 2020 at 11:48 AM

    What a lovely post and beautiful pictures of flowers. Perhaps your walk, talking about how you are feeling and taking pictures are just what was needed to help you open another door and move forward. All the best to you.

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    22nd September 2020 at 9:49 AM

    Your post is inspiring, Khurt. I think it's absolutely true...that as you were talking about the things that were bringing you down, you were also opening up to the beauty of nature. Your captures are wonderful! I applaud your goals, too. My son is doing the same thing. He is finishing a contract next month and will spend some time learning new software programs online. It's the best way to move forward right now.

  • Reply
    I. J. Khanewala
    22nd September 2020 at 12:37 AM

    That's the flower which I think I know as Queen Anne's Lace. Is that the same one? And do you have a better name for it?

    • Reply
      Khürt Williams
      22nd September 2020 at 7:17 AM

      It is indeed Queen Anne’s Lace (Daucus carota) which is a species from Europe. It is not native to the USA.

  • Reply
    21st September 2020 at 7:14 PM

    Great photos, thoughtful comments. SMART goals! Well done.

  • Reply
    Tina Schell
    21st September 2020 at 5:33 PM

    Lovely images Khurt - I think many are feeling and thinking as you are. I am also not a fan of on-line learning and it makes me feel guilty that I'm not doing it which makes it even worse. But today, like you, I went out to shoot and felt better afterwards. These are strange times. Do not beat yourself up that you are feeling unsettled. I think we all are.

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      Khürt Williams
      22nd September 2020 at 11:01 AM

      Hi Tina, the day after, I went to one of my favourite quiet places and got some needed nature therapry. it's been 195 since New Jersey went into a pandemic state of emergenty and executive orders were issued and I guess knowledge of that is triggering some emotions.

  • Reply
    Daniel Brinneman
    21st September 2020 at 3:51 PM

    Nice simple compositions. Thank you for sharing your outing. Talking helps but within that is the part where I realize that I have listened far too much and had nothing to say in response and now I am being encouraged by my own lips speaking words of wisdom that my mind needed to hear to be encouraged to move on. And even better when there is a person who cares and lives life with you to be your soundboard and speak into your life. Additionally from my own experience, prayer to my Holy Father in heaven, Jesus Christ, helps fill the empty void of loneliness within this body and mind. That is the ultimate answer I get to hear that changes my mental state every time I ask for it. He completes me.

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      Khürt Williams
      22nd September 2020 at 11:10 AM

      Daniel, it seems you have found a great way to find strength when life throws challenges.

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