Ray’s Right


After a Rain

“Photographic technique is no secret and โ€“ provided the interest is there โ€“ easily assimilated. But inspiration comes from the soul and when the Muse isnโ€™t around even the best exposure meter is very little help. In their biographies, artists like Michelangelo, da Vinci and Bach said that their most valuable technique was their ability to inspire themselves. This is true of all artists; the moment there is something to say, there becomes a way to say it.” – Ralph Gibson

Last June there was a comment left by Ray Ketchum on a posting by Sabrina Henry that really got me to thinking. Ray suggests we don’t lack for inspirations and in fact are inundated with them, but we lack “the execution of said influences or the interest in completing them.” He suggests we “tap that energy and we will make something worth the effort.” His words have been rambling around in my head every since.

As a young man I would lay on the couch or in the yard dreaming. I would dream of scoring the winning touchdown, be the most popular boy in school, be a hell-and-damnation preacher and change the world (way over that dream), ย be a rock star (over that one, too), travel the world and of course a photographer. Those dreams were wonderful to experience, but since they were just dreams there was never any risk or effort involved. So, I lived on my couch in a fantasy world for many years. The goals I did reach were associated with everyday life such as: graduating from high school, four years in the military, a college degree (one I really didn’t want), getting a job to support my family. These goals were not my dreams but the expectations of society. The dreams to be creative and take risks were always suppressed. Even at this age in my life I still find times when I dream on the couch and times when I move forward. It is always more rewarding to move forward.

Once I started getting up off the couch some of these inspired dreams have come to bare fruit. So, when we get off the couch we will find our muse has followed bringing along even more inspiration. How often do we have inspirational dreams and just lay on the couch and how many times do we get up off the couch and take the necessary steps to fulfill those inspirations? Ya, know, Ray’s right.

This entry was posted in Art, Photography, Quotes and tagged , , .


  1. sabrina October 2, 2010 at 11:21 am #

    Love the quote from Ralph Gibson and a great post, Monte–even the title. I for one, am glad that you’ve stepped off the couch and are on your photography journey. Thanks for sharing your images with us all.

  2. pj October 2, 2010 at 11:37 am #

    It can be difficult at times to recognize which are the voices of your own dreams, and which are the expectations of society. It’s true enough though — once you know what you need to do, once you give yourself permission to follow those dreams, it’s time to get up off the couch and work on making it happen. Fine post Monte.

  3. Don October 2, 2010 at 11:40 am #

    Very nice image and a great post to think about, have a nice weekend.

    • Monte Stevens October 2, 2010 at 6:10 pm #

      That’s been part of my past. is I think too much about it rather than doing something about. And, I hope you guys have a great weekend. It’s going to be a nice up your way.

  4. Ray K October 2, 2010 at 12:58 pm #

    Thanks Monte I am pleased that resonated with someone. Daydreams are really important and even more is the dedication to action on them. Daydreams are the map, but you still have to travel the road.

    • Monte Stevens October 2, 2010 at 6:13 pm #

      Thanks, Ray. I, also, love having inspirations “after” I’m up off the couch. Some of those turn out better.

  5. Ove October 2, 2010 at 5:02 pm #

    Amen to that. It seems most dreams never leaves the couch (and it’s probably good some stays there). II think everybody have inspiration from time to time, but from where do we get the drive to make in come true?

    • Monte Stevens October 2, 2010 at 6:14 pm #

      Yes, Ove, where is my dedication to get up off the couch? Once, I’m up it’s always worth it.

  6. cc October 2, 2010 at 6:49 pm #

    Beautiful photo and inspiring thoughts. Thanks

  7. Paul October 3, 2010 at 8:43 am #

    Great post, Monte. Keep those dreams, inspirations, and posts coming. You said early in the post that there were a couple of those dreams that you got over, but what about the one about being the most popular kid in school? ๐Ÿ˜‰ You didn’t say if you were over that. Haha!

    • Monte Stevens October 3, 2010 at 9:25 am #

      I consider the desire for popularity to be my insecurity and am still working on that in different areas of my life. The imagined consequences of anything, whether those are good or bad consequence, can paralyze way too many people.

  8. Mary Ann October 3, 2010 at 7:56 pm #

    Okay, here’s one for sitting on the couch–I haven’t had time to get to either writing my own posts or reading anyone else’s. Sitting on the couch, as I am doing right now, occasionally provides me with the few moments of peace I need to catch up on my internet friends ๐Ÿ™‚ Lol…but I get the point, and I agree. This is a great, thought provoking post.

    • Monte Stevens October 5, 2010 at 8:53 am #

      Oh, I agree, time on the couch is necessary as is getting up when needed. Hope you had a wonderful weekend.

  9. Chris Klug October 4, 2010 at 12:25 pm #

    You are an amazingly brave photographer.

  10. Judith Perkel January 19, 2012 at 8:11 am #

    How did i get here? I was on wordpress at Thornberry’s bog and then……I just don’t know how I ended up here but it was meant to be. Love the words, the pics and the tone. I am in the process of getting off the damn couch and living!

    The Lioness

    • Monte Stevens January 19, 2012 at 9:00 am #

      It is amazing to me how you came to this post that was made about a year and a half ago. Glad it somehonw resonated with you and gald left a comment. I also find it interesteing that we can so easily be pulled into the web and never really know how we arrived at such random places. Enjoyed looking at your blog and will make a few more visits. Thanks!

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