Jim: Portrait Project Day 15

"If something starts rolling away from me now, I don't run after it, I just let it go." 

Creases and deep lines in all directions are peeking through the dust and grime that he has accumulated on his face while working the tractor all morning. When you first see Jim, you notice the fifty shades of brown that cover his weathered frame.  Then he says hello, and the lines fade, and you realize you are in the presence of a stellar human being, humbled by that very dirt and those rays of sunshine.  As we chat about taking a photo he says "Some people wake up in the morning and wonder how they look, spend a lot of time trying to make themselves look good.  I just wake up and go to work."  I get a flash of myself in the morning and how I do indeed worry about how I look, to myself and to others.  He continues, "And those people who don't care, they can spend that time doing so many other things with their day."  It has never really occurred to me just how much time we waste making ourselves up before we can ever go out and live our passions.  "The ones in Hollywood who care way too much, well, they are missing out on a lot don't you think?"  

I asked to take a shot of his hands, as they were so full of character, and he said "Sure" without hesitation.  My lens zoomed down to his humble hand and through the viewfinder I see his finger missing at the knuckle.  Embarrassed for seeming insensitive, I spurted out "Ah, wow, er, what's the story behind your finger?"  He smiled, laughed, and shook his head, gathering together the details from a day 35 years ago.  He colorfully told us his story while we stood in a circle around him on the top of the hill, captivated.  It all came down to moments in which he thought he could change something that was clearly out of his control.  We all nodded our heads in agreement when the metaphor became overwhelmingly clear:  "Yeah, if something starts moving away from you on it's own inertia, just let it go!"  

Jim.

Jim.