A lot has happened since the last email. The Kickstarter campaign to fund my new book, thanks in large part to your support, was a success. Now, after making thousands of design decisions and catching mistakes and misspelled words in the 13 "Final" transcripts, the book is off to the printer!   

The opening "Hi!" shot is an iPhone shot taken by my Scandinavian friend, Onelia, on her latest yearly trip to San Francisco with her family. Having just written a book about remembering what we knew as children, why it was important to forget and how great it is to remember, it was especially great to be hanging out with her 2 year old son, Silver. He is the one who I described as my "Master" and whose laughter was heard on the Kickstarter video.

The cover for the book wasn't finalized until a couple of weeks ago. Seeing the two of them on the seashore, I saw the whole story of the book. Silver was lost in fascination, discovering first hand, the nature of earth, while Onelia, with a camera in hand, was looking towards the nearest star, each finding themselves in the glory of being in a new world.



Innocence of eye has a quality of it's own.
It means to see as a child sees,
with freshness and acknowledgment of wonder. It also means to see as an adult sees who has gone full circle and once again sees as a child, with freshness and
an even deeper sense of wonder.

-Minor White, photographer  



 Writing the book helped me find myself and the wonder that I knew so intimately as a child. It also helped me see how my thoughts influenced the way the the world looked.  


On our first trip to the ocean, I found a single sand dollar. I received it as a priceless gift to be taken home and treasured. On our second trip we came across a section of seashore where the ocean had made a deposit of hundreds of dollars.

I watched my thoughts making value judgements. Now that the sand dollars were no longer scarce were they any less valuable? Were the ones that had an imperfection unworthy of my appreciation? Were the thoughts that I was having actually robbing me of this magical moment?     

I do not know what I may appear to the world;
but to myself I have been like a boy playing on the sea shore and diverting himself and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary,
while the greater ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.

-Sir Isaac Newton



I caught myself thinking, let it all go, and once again, found myself awash in the wonder of it all. Writing the book helped train me to see my thoughts as something separate from myself. They are now just objects to examine, learn from and let go. 



Of course, I don't walk around in some perfect state of perfection. What fun would that be? Trying to relive or maintain past joys immediately makes them disappear, as well it should. The prize requires surprise. Movement makes the magic. 


Of course, I love seeing, as my mother called them, "God Fingers," in a sunset.

And, I love the way divine light plays upon the waves when I look away from the sun.

There are so may ways to experience the world, so many things to learn from nature. I always called both these birds species "sandpipers." I decided to give them a Google and learned:  "Sandpipers are a large family. They include many species called sandpipers, as well as those called by names such as curlew and snipe. Different lengths of bills enable different species to feed in the same habitat without direct competition for food." (Wikipedia) 

Watching Silver, my 2 year old friend, and everyone else on the beach, it was easy to see that we each have our own unique and infinite way of experiencing the world.

On one of our outings we went to Mussel Rock Beach. It's near SFO (the San Francisco airport) and near a garbage dump. The beach, itself, was particularly lovely. I went there hoping to get some beautiful nature pictures. I did, but my favorite picture of the day was taken in the parking lot next to the dump. Once again, I saw the infinite nature of all things and was reminded that I/we can choose to concentrate on the part that stinks or the part that holds a gift to uplift and amaze.





The only way to make sense out of change 
is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.
-Alan Watts


Thank you for sharing the events of the last few weeks with me. Looking through the eyes of a 2 year old and getting to play tourist with my friends from around the world helped me see my own world in a completely new way. My wish is that my book will help you find yourself in your own infinite world of wonder. As I say in the introduction,
"The reason I can title this book, Why You Were Born, is simply because I remember and because I have every confidence that you can remember, too. I won't give you some magic number of steps to follow. I won't be telling you what to do. I hated that when I was a kid and I still don't like it. There is not one universal way to discover why you were born. There is only one way: the way you invent yourself. If you don't do it your way, it won't be yours. This book is not designed to tell you a magic formula. It's designed to foster a feeling that will help you get in touch with the answer, yourself."

The book will be in my hands and ready to send out in 6 to 8 weeks. Again, thank you for your kind support and encouragement. It means the world to me.

I'll leave you with this shot taken during our trip to San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf. This couple asked me to take their picture. Per their request, I took a standard flash filled shot of them standing in front of the sunset. Noticing how they were with one another, I knew that they would play, if I asked. It didn't take long until they dropped into this tango pose. Life is like a dance. We don't dance to get done dancing. We dance to feel our self moved.   
Let's Dance!

Love, Jerry


Jerry Downs Photography
P.O. Box 1082
Larkspur, CA 94977


From without, no wonderful effect is wrought within ourselves, unless some interior, responding wonder meets it.

-Herman Melville