A Life’s Work

October 2, 2018 1:37 pm

A Life’s Work

Robert McFarlane

This past weekend, I had the privilege of visiting Robert McFarlane’s Still Point photographic exhibition in McLaren Vale, South Australia—a remarkable showcase of his life’s work for over 50 years. Robert, who I have now met twice imbues humility, alertness and genuine warmth.

The exhibition notes read: “This exhibition will show just how he captures the extraordinary in his images, from the famous and well known to the everyday moments. The images encourage you to look deeper, finding your way through the layers and exploring the many points of stillness within.”

I wander reflectively through the exhibit, finding myself at times apprehended by gratitude. Here is a man whose work was that of capturing life through the lens of which I now, am the recipient of—making my life all the richer from his passion and activity.

It caused me to reflect on two things.

The first was the importance of work. The combination of following our interests and curiosities; having a sense of purpose in what we do; building on our natural talents and developing skill sets, and then the corresponding follow through activity—all compound over time into a life’s work. The second reflection was simply, ‘what am I building?’ Does my work and my life contribute to the betterment of others or is it purely a self-centred existence?

This intimate and timeless showcase of Robert’s work indeed brought me to a point of stillness. Similarly, for us, a life’s work with intent will have its own effect on others as it compounds over time.

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