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Looking for a flash

August 2, 2012

I got drenched last Thursday at the fair. I promised myself that if another storm came through like the ones that came through at the end of June, I would try to stay out in it and get as many pictures as possible until my own safety required me to move. I’m not normally a daring person, and I have no idea what I was thinking, but I didn’t want to go stand in a building somewhere. Word in the news was a derecho might be coming through and I didn’t want to miss it. We didn’t get anything like that here, and with concerns about power and the safety of others, I’m glad it didn’t happen that way. Still, we did get a pretty good rain and lightning that filled the sky. I don’t know if there was any spot on my clothes that remained dry. I walked in the rain trying to find the perfect angle and the perfect flash of lightning so I could have a good storm picture. I didn’t get any that were amazing. I didn’t even catch the lightning at all. My clothes were soaked. I literally took on the storm so I could catch a picture of its face as it angrily looked down on our county, but I missed the opportunity. I didn’t reach my objective, even though you could tell, just by looking at me, that I had walked through the storm.

Isn’t this the story so many of us tell of our own lives every day? Missed opportunity comes to us one right after the other. I’ll tell you this, I’ve faced the storm and sometimes I feel like I haven’t reached my objective. My clothes are tattered, my face is pale, I’ve given my all while the rain fell in my face and the thunder clapped in my ears. The lightning can’t force my steps, though. I am braving the storm. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem success is following these efforts. My personal life is strained, my emotions are drained and I’m over all worn down, but I’m trying to catch a flash of something beautiful for my life. I saw it through the lens of my camera but my trigger finger wasn’t quick enough to catch it. The flash is gone and I feel like I have missed my goal. Sometimes you have to risk everything only to get nothing back in return.

It’s hard to believe it’s August already. This month marks a year that I have been doing The Commoner Journal. In that year, we have picked up more than 1,100 Facebook “likes” and have surpassed a quarter of a million views on our site. I feel like people love what we have started in this community and I feel like I have given it my all. I’ve walked through a storm to provide a service to the community that I feel like is needed here. I love what I do. I wouldn’t trade this job for any, but to be honest with the readers, I’m starting to feel like I’m missing the flash. It seems it has been in my lens a few times, but in the end, I’m losing a lot to do this. In June, the storms devastated our advertisers and I pulled from my own pocket to help several of those businesses because I want to continue to provide this service to the community. I’ve reached into my pocket a lot, actually. In the face of the storm, I’ve continued to walk, but I’m not getting the flash I was hoping for. I want to ask all of my readers to bear with me as I continue to try to make this work. July is no better than June. I haven’t gotten very many advertisers lined up. Our print edition doesn’t pay for itself. This isn’t my way of telling you I’m quitting, I’m not saying that at all. I’m just asking my readers to understand and bear with me as I walk through the storm trying to bring you the best picture possible of what I think news should be. Thank you for your time.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. jane lawhead permalink
    August 6, 2012 11:51 am

    Paul, I think you are fantastic at what you are doing. Just trust God to see you thru it. And I still will donate when I hit the lottery! lol. Just hope to encourage you that I think you are following the right dream. Prayers for you. and God bless. Jane

  2. logcabingirl permalink
    August 6, 2012 3:10 pm

    Dear Paul, We are not from Vinton Co., nor do we live there full time, but own property there and if we are blessed to retire, will probably move there. We have come to love Vinton Co., and it’s people. We have made true friends with our neighbors, and have tried to be good neighbors in return. I really enjoy receiving the Commoner Journal, to stay up to date on things happening in the county. I also enjoy reading “When Life Whispers”, especially the one after the big storm, and how everyone pitched in, and how the best in people comes out in times like that. Keep up the good work. Someday, when you least expect it, the flash will come, and you will realize what important work you have done. We can’t catch a photo of lightening on purpose, but have to be taking the pictures anyway, hoping that just as the shutter snaps, the lightening happens at just the right second. Just keep taking the pictures, and writing the stories, keep chasing those storms, and rainbows, and the flash will come. Good luck!!

  3. Leona Sanecki permalink
    August 7, 2012 1:55 am

    You’re doing a great job, Paul, and I wish I could help. I can at least pray for your continued success.

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