A Beautiful Vagueness

This will have to be quick as my muse will be here in less than three hours and the studio is not quite ready to shoot, but I have to pause for a moment and say that the positive energy I’m feeling this morning is absolutely off the charts. Something big is on the horizon. I can’t say what it is, except that it is a very strong feeling.

Everything is done for the show. No more deadlines. No more scrambling, rush charges. What is done is done. And I am very pleased with it all. I’m happy to live in a neighborhood where I’m a 10 minute bike ride away from a 24 hour post office. I got the February postcards in the mail last night before a 7pm pickup and so it’s very possible they may begin to arrive in mailboxes today. I always send myself one as a test to see if they are arriving when I think they will.

The books are printing. The last of my mad scrambles to lay out and upload a new book of the Underwater work for the show to hopefully sell as well as the prints. That took place on Thursday night into the wee hours and I’m very pleased with how it looks… at least on my computer screen! If I’ve timed it right, those should arrive back in Chicago either Thursday or Friday, in time for the Saturday the 18th opening. And if not, there’s always the reception on the 25th.

So this positive feeling…

I get it usually just before I am swept up in some current that takes me places I have always dreamed about reaching but was never sure exactly how I was going to get there. My mantra for years has been, “The answer is something you can’t yet imagine,” and it has served me well. I tell myself to just do what I believe in my heart… and inevitably things work out in strange and wonderful ways. Beyond my wildest dreams.

Admittedly my dreams have resurfaced with a new sense of urgency as of late, like a butterfly ready to shed it’s cocoon. I’m laying the groundwork for something amazing. I just know it. It seems like there are simply too many forces moving in the same direction now. Too many chance meetings, too many offers of assistance that I’m going to finally take.

I find myself looking back at the last nine months and from here it looks like a road map being laid out in a very specific direction. When I look forward it’s still a little fuzzy but I do see very specific shapes ahead of me. A beautiful vagueness. It’s bright and blue and warm and full of clouds like we saw from the top of la Basilique du Sacré Coeur on the top of that beautiful hill in Montmarte looking down on Paris below.

Derek and Veronika at Echo Gallery wrote a very nice little something about my exhibiting there in their invite which made me so happy I just have to reprint it here:

This is the first exhibition for Chicago Photographer Billy Sheahan in over 5 years. Billy has been a great friend and supporter of Echo and we are honored to be the first to exhibit his breathtaking new series of work.

Delivering the show to the gallery this week was such an accomplishment. But I would be disingenuous if I even suggested that it was all due solely to my own hand. This show is the culmination of hundreds of hours and the support of countless people over the past five years. From the generosity of the models in the photographs for the show, Melissa, Jill and Jillian, to Charlie and the Campbells for the pool, to everyone who continued to ask, “when are you going to show again?”

Being my friend is not always easy. It’s great to be with me during the highs, traveling and talking and feeling like we’re on top of the world, but with it come the valleys of insecurity and loneliness that I know we all go through. Except that as with the highs that are very high, the lows can be just as intense and I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have a group of people close to me that continue to stand there with me, even when the planes have landed and the echo of last call is long gone. These are the people that give me the strength to continue to move forward in a positive, creative and healthy direction.

I’m picking up my French classes at Alliance Français again beginning next week after a chance encounter with my first Professeur on the street the other day. Or was it chance? I thought the next term was beginning a week later than it was and I would have missed it had I not run into him. As he waved and said “Bonjour Billy!” from across the street I began to walk toward him and we talked about how I had to drop out of my second level classes just a few weeks earlier because I had fallen behind. He was so encouraging and I really can’t imagine going on now with my life without continuing to learn French. It’s such a beautiful language and like everything else going on in my life right now, it seems necessary to learn it. I will need it in the future. I’m as sure of it as anything.

So now after this not so brief blog entry (they never are, are they?), I’m going to get back to my day and enjoy the moment of a wondrous unknown horizon as I sip an espresso and try to focus on those positive vague shapes ahead of me. They are most definitely there. Still a bit out of reach for the moment, but they’re waving at me from across the street and saying, “Bonjour, Billy!”

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