I photographed these ice-fogged trees only a minute after the one used in Steadfast in Dormancy. Both scenes and pictures inspired me to write free verse poems on having strength of character. Trees tend to do that quite frequently with me.
What I started off writing for this image didn’t end up as a poem. Instead, it transformed into a short introspective list of how to develop and sustain strength of character. Not anything that I would consider genius just some fundamental rules for living that I was raised with that, although I’ve lived by them for most of my life, I’ve never written them down before. Rules that I know work from a lifetime of experience.
“Firmly Rooted and Growing with Strength” was a name I thought to give to the image and treatise because I thought “Grounded” would be too common. In the end; nevertheless, I settled on the less long-winded title.
- Rule No. 1: Never repeat your mistakes; this applies just as much to your relationships with acquaintances, friends and family members as well as everything else, and of course requires being able to recognize and admit to your errors.
- Rule No. 2: Strive to forgive yourself and others; if this is truly difficult and not in any way due to your own stubbornness, see rule number one.
- Rule No. 3: Avoid allowing yourself and others to compromise your virtues and ambitions; denying your oppressors the freedom to put you down and hold you back is not an act of betrayal but an act of standing up for yourself.
- Rule No. 4: Strive to live with good purpose and let this way of life shape your goals; of course this requires knowing the real difference between right and wrong.
- Rule No. 5: Dream; others will try to steer you away from this practice but do it obstinately for dreaming is the mother of ambition.
- Rule No. 6: Strive to eliminate all addictions and suppress compulsions; you are your own worst enemy and are doomed to failure without self-control.
- Rule No. 7: If anything you think of doing is not firmly rooted in simple logic, don’t do it; why complicate your existence with things that don’t make sense?