Not Taking This Seriously

Recently, while I was teaching a class we got off on some tangent, as we frequently do, and I love it, about the challenges of portrait photography.

After quite some time of discussion I grabbed a camera and started to walk around the students and rather than discuss methodology I just sat down beside one and started to ask about their life.

At first they did not know what to say but soon we got into all sorts of topics about politics, work, so on.

Before they even realized what was going on I had crafted a couple images of them.

I then put one or two of these images up on the wall to help illustrate the need to engage. Not ridicule or pander, just to engage on a human and real level.

A few days later I took the class on a walkabout exploring some streets and trying to take some of the theory we had discussed in the class room into practice.

At one point I am lying on my side on the sidewalk playing with a little boy and managed to create
an image of him just playing.

In a way we both were playing.

To my way of thinking one of the key elements of creating meaningful art is humor and play.

There are many many serious things in our world. Sadly the list is long but having the ability to keep a sense of humor is essential in not only surviving but thriving the complexities of life.

The seriousness of the students in that class gave me the idea for todays blog entry.

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"If I had no sense of humor, I would long ago have committed suicide."
—Mahatma Gandhi

“So we won't take ourselves too seriously. Because taking something serious doesn't make it go away any faster. In fact, it keeps making it a little bit worse.”
― Ram Dass

“Let me give you a wonderful Zen practice. Wake up in the morning...look in the mirror, and laugh at yourself.”
― Bernie Glassman

“—Yo no estoy acostumbrado a tomarme la vida a broma, querido marqués. La frivolidad no es lo mío, y menos aún en cuestión de travesuras; porque hay travesuras y bromas que deben tomarse muy, muy en serio…, o nunca saldrán bien. Una gran broma sólo llega a serlo cuando uno ha invertido en ella toda la seriedad del mundo.”
― Thomas Mann

“What are humans? They are unserious creatures in this serious universe! And because they are unserious, they appear and disappear quickly!”
― Mehmet Murat ildan

“I would hate to be taken seriously. Serious people are always so grim and uptight that they make me want to dance naked on the lawn playing a flute.”
― Robert Anton Wilson

“Art is play. When it turns serious and ceases to be play, it is no longer art but propaganda.”
― Marty Rubin

“Seriousness is too boring to the playful human condition. A heart of stone that has a long face can never express love.”
― Michael Bassey Johnson

“One must be serious about something, if one wants to have any amusement in life.”
― Oscar Wilde

“The first step towards true enlightenment is to lighten up on yourself.”
― Bashar

“I like to think serious thoughts but I don't like to take them seriously.”
― Marty Rubin

“I don't believe in being serious about anything. I think life is too serious to be taken seriously."
― Ray Bradbury

“I am so tired.
I have grown old from being serious.
I have grown ill from being serious.
I want to laugh at myself.
I want to forget myself.
I am so tired.”
― Kamand Kojouri

“Take a step back. Draw in a deep breath. Now ask yourself 'so what?' Then, after answering, ask yourself again 'so what?' And then a third time—'so what?' Chances are you'll come to realize that the issue at hand is not as dire, detrimental, or important as you first thought.”
― Richelle E. Goodrich

“I would hate to be taken seriously. Serious people are always so grim and uptight that they make me want to dance naked on the lawn playing a flute.”
― Robert Anton Wilson

“We all have to live, but we don't have to take it seriously.”
― Marty Rubin

“When your madness is creative and necessary, people will not notice the fact that you are crazy.”
― Michael Bassey Johnson

“Folly consists not in having desires but in taking them seriously.”
― Marty Rubin

“You should not take old people who are already dead seriously. It does them injustice. We immortals do not like thing to be taken seriously. We like joking. Seriousness, young man, is an accident of time.”
― Herman Hesse

“My personal guide to living: don't work too hard, don't think too much, and don't take anything too seriously.”
― Marty Rubin

“It is easy to be solemn, it is so hard to be frivolous.”
― G K Chesterton

“Total absence of humor renders life impossible.”
—Sidonie Gabrielle Colette

“The more I live, the more I think that humor is the saving sense.”
—Jacob Riis

“Humanity takes itself too seriously. It is the world's original sin. If the cave-man had known how to laugh, History would have been different.”
― Oscar Wilde

“When a person can no longer laugh at himself, it is time for others to laugh at him..”
― Thomas Stephen Szasz

“I like to prowl ordinary places.
I feel sorry for us all or glad for us
caught alive together
and awkward in that way.

there's nothing better than the joke
of us
the seriousness of us
the dullness of us”
― Charles Bukowski

“Laughter is the closest distance between two people.”
—Victor Borge

“A little perspective, like a little humor, goes a long way.”
—Allen Klein

“Humor is everywhere in that there's irony in just about anything a human does.”
—Bill Nye

The irony of this blog post is that without exception every one of the people you see here all had the best laughter, almost constant smiles, and virtually irrepressible good humor. My challenge was working with them to try and get a glimpse of their serious side.

I look forward to seeing you out there. -laughing!

Thank you,

Julian Ray


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