Into the Great Unknown.

Toward the end of the year. Toward the end the day.

A little obsession goes a long way.

I’m not talking about the perfume. I’m  talking about a mental and emotional obsession. I’m talking about the one that I have when it comes the closing of 2019. Normally, I don’t really care. It’s just the pages of the calendar turning. Not this time. I can hardly wait. Even though a lot of people have said the same things about other years in this decade, 2019 seems worse.

Many people who I know feel the same way. They are worn out. They are tired. They are depressed. They feel beaten down. A writer who I read religiously said, that in this year of truth being turned upside down, she’s gotten to the point where she’s not sure she can trust herself.

I fear that in 2020, in a general election year, it might only get worse. I really fear that the worse possible thing can happen. I am scared that a re-elected president who is unhinged and free to do whatever he wants will finally blow up the country. Not physically, but at least existentially.

Enough of that because there are ways to combat the fear and loathing that so many people are feeling right about now.

Go outside. Leave your house. Life will immediately become unpredictable. It will become, well, life. To be lived in. You can work. You can play. You can meet new people. It’ll will also take the daily pressures off of your soul.

If you are an artist or creator, art harder.

A friend of mine said that at the beginning of this year. It helped her. It helped me. Sink your teeth in to a couple of long term projects. You’ll think more about that and less about the state the world.

See the good in everything and everybody who you meet on your journeys outside. Smile at people. Greet them with a friendly face. Ask for help when you need it. Eat well. Sleep well. Play well. Take care of yourself. Whatever you do spiritually, do it more.

Pick a one word koan to keep in your heart and soul. Trust me, it helps. It becomes the guiding principle for your year. Because of all the bad things that might happen in 2020, I’ve chosen my word for the year. “Positive.”

Stay positive.

That drives everything else.


Published by Ray Laskowitz

I am a visual storyteller. I've been making pictures for some 40 years. I travel the world in search of the right image. in the right light at the right time. You can reach me by phone at 505.280.4686, or by email at or For a quick look at my work please go to

15 thoughts on “Into the Great Unknown.

  1. what about embrace it, let yourself consumed then spit out a story, great pieces come out of fire and blood of sunk treasured and broken bits not from cool heads and intact spines.
    I once -to be read cca 2019- fell head over toes in lust. Not any type of obsession but a reciprocated obsession one that burns and melts and transcends your sanity and drags you along and you choose to what the heck follow it And why not? Is magic, magic doesn’t happen often and when it does you wish it to stay a life time!
    It hurt my soul and made my eyes hunger with need to behold the damned …thing I obsessed about.. not dehumanizing it doesn’t reduces the pain. It made my teeth grind and my hands pull suffocation pieces of clothing away burning from desire. Then I wrote, that was the only grasp of sanity of light that blinked at me in this fog of confusion and melted self. I wrote a poem then another than another my fingers could not stop talking what my brain whispered in hunger.
    An entire book of rich, silly, shameless and some quite good bits of emotions.
    Use your passion is what I am saying, employ it, be its slave but steal its bread. Do not go over it with indifference you’d give a walk in the park. You will have that when you lost your teeth and your vigor and you walk around feeding seagulls your digestive biscuits! Steal its craft because passion and obsession are masterful artists! If they can twist your body and your mind and flip your soul through seven hell and whatever heaven is left imagine what it can do to your writing to your life.
    Just ask all the great ones that have come before you 😉
    but only when you are done feeding those damn pigeons.. or seagulls whatever.
    Yours truly and obsessively

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I just couldn’t agree more, Ray. Thank you for saying it so well. I am making many changes this year to support my overall well-being. I am depleted! Spent! And I have at least learned that I cannot go on with the same strategies that used to work for me. A new year and a new opportunity, I suppose!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. So many people are exhausted. Part is political because we’ve never has a president who occupies every space. Part is because a lot of us didn’t think we’d have to keep battling at this point in our lives.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I remember years ago how you chided me a bit for the word I had chosen. I can’t remember the word, but I remember the discussion you and I had about it. Because of our exchange, I choose my word more wisely each year. I thought I had it this year – freedom. And now, after a topsy turvy start to the year … I’m thinking my word is peace. Whichever I choose, thank you for being a POSITIVE influence 💕


    1. I did? Hmmm… You were the one who inspired me to test out the approach last year. Maybe you want to look at peace within yourself or in your world, because I’m pretty sure that the US just started a war. I try very hard not to broaden my words out too much because they can only suit me. Nevertheless, thank you. 📷🎹

      Liked by 1 person

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