“It is the nature of a man as he grows older to protest against change, particularly change for the better.” John Steinbeck, novelist.
That quote always makes me chuckle. I could never understand the pure craziness of preferring a worse option rather than changing. Then I had a scary thot – it might be happening to me. The next thing I knew I was trying to photograph ravens.
This story actually began when I was a teenager with a real dislike for crows. When I was sleeping in a tent, the worst alarm clock on earth was an obnoxious crow repeatedly announcing its presence just outside my tent. That was a declaration of war! My friends and I sent quite a few lead projectiles their way but our general lack of accuracy only served to keep them in good flying order.
As the years went by, much-larger ravens took over from the crows. I naturally carried over my dislike to them for reasons that were so obvious I can’t recall them now. As I took photography more seriously, I studiously avoided ravens as an ugly bird even when I had great opportunities with the birds quite close.
This past year, I stumbled upon a number of photographers who had taken impressive raven photos. What to do? Remembering the quote above, I decided I better change to avoid being the punch line. I decided to like ravens and photograph them even though it wasn’t easy to change. Of course as soon as I made that decision, ravens scattered for miles around wherever I went. I couldn’t get anywhere close. How frustrating!
That’s when it hit me. No wonder older men don’t want to change. Even if a choice is better, chances are it will still cause more trouble. I may have to view changes more suspiciously in the future.