Spring Updates and Double Rainbows

A double rainbow.
Double Rainbow by John Fowler. CC BY 2.0

It’s been over a month since my last post; and, like I said in this update, I’ve been considering abandoning this blog in favor of a new platform that’d allow me to earn money without getting abducted by copyright lawyers.

However, a friend whom I’ve never met helped me remember why I started this blog, and put my goals into perspective.

The Wisdom of the “Double Rainbow Guy”

I’m sure many of you have seen the classic video “Yosemitebear Mountain Double Rainbow.” If not, watch it below! It’s the purest expression of joy you’ll ever witness:

While I never met Paul “Bear” Vasquez, I became good friends with his daughter in grad school. We’ve kept in touch since we graduated, and this past Sunday I learned some terrible news: Bear had passed away.

I like to say that I’m not superstitious – despite being addicted to Ghost Adventures – but the night before I heard of Bear’s death I’d had vivid dreams of double rainbows. So, I knew I had to learn more about this man.

That brought me to the following video by CNN:

Many of Bear’s lines struck chords with me, especially when he said:

I never put ads on it [the double rainbow video]. I turned down all that money because it’s a video of God, and you can’t put ads on God. And the other thing is that I wanted to gift my most popular work to humanity. Like, ‘Here, here’s my heart, here’s my best thing that I ever made, and you can have it for free.’

Paul “Bear” Vasquez

That last sentence hit me hard. I’d been so worried about money, and it had gotten me nowhere. By contrast, here was a man who was giving away his best work, and he was genuinely happy.

It put things into perspective.

The Jaguar and Allies is Sticking Around

Bear’s words also reminded me that when I started this blog, I simply wanted to help wildlife. It was only when I started feeling desperate that I began thinking about money, and that nearly killed this site.

This website is my greatest creation, although I hope to contribute more significantly in the future. Like Bear, then, I’m going to continue giving it away for free.

(Here’s a great tribute to Bear from someone who worked with him)

Life Updates

It goes without saying that COVID-19 put an end to many of the plans I discussed in my last update.

I’m no longer going to Belize, and I’m not sure if I want to keep pursuing paid writing opportunities. I hate sending out pitches, sitting at a desk all day, and working alone.

As such, I’m not sure what I’ll do. My goal for 2021 is to go back to grad school and begin working on a Ph.D. – assuming we make it to 2021 – but the rest of this year is a blank for me. I’d like to spend as much time as I can outdoors, although I haven’t figured out how to do that while still earning a living.

I guess that just like the rest of the world, I’ll have to wait and see what happens. At any rate, I’ll keep maintaining this blog, for free, until something better comes along.

16 Thoughts

  1. Hello Josh,
    So happy to read this latest update. And thank you the wonderful tribute to Bear, and for deciding to keep up your website. (You’re certainly not alone with “money worries” and it’s completely understandable that you were considering the option to monetize.)
    Yes the COVID-19 situation has affected us all, but let’s all try and take it one day at time.
    Hope you and your family continue to stay healthy and safe.

    Takami

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Takami!

      Thanks for your wonderful comment! I’ve managed to stay mostly healthy, but I can’t wait until we have a handle on this virus…though I suspect that might take years. I hope you’ve been well, all things considered :)

      Like

  2. Hey Josh, thank you for sharing Bear’s story. Very inspirational. I too decided a while ago to make all my writing available for free even though some formats will be on sale (eventually). For example, I have created an Archive dot org account and have started uploading the final versions of some chapters of my books that are in progress on my blog. That way everyone can benefit as it is being written.

    It’s a shame about the cancellation of your trip to Belize. Yes, this situation is hugely disruptive and inconvenient and (i.m.o.) out of proportion (surivival rate: 97% or more for people under the age of 60), but in the meantime it seems the only option is a wait and see approach as you mentioned. I too have plans that are now on hold. Well, let’s hope that sanity returns soon – wishing you the best with it all. Glad to hear you will be keeping your blog operational.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Josh

    That is some inspirational stuff, recently I turned down a paid opportunity to migrate my blog to a self-hosted one with potential for monetising because I did not quite agree with the content they wanted and I could tell that churning out content at various the rate they wanted would quickly burn out my inspiration.. I had to decline, even if a part of me missed the money I could have made, it wasn’t a lot, but it was better not getting anything at all for all the work I put into my blog…

    Anyhoo glad to know that this blog will still get updates

    2020 is the year we learn how plans can go so out of kilter for the entire world

    Stay writing
    ~B

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi B, I think you made the right decision by turning down that offer to migrate your blog. If you’d lost your creative freedom and burned yourself out, then your writing would’ve lost its power.

      2020 has been quite the year so far. The dysfunctions of many of our societies and ways of life are clearer now than they’ve been in a long time, and it’ll be interesting to see what kind of world evolves next; I’m just sorry that so many people won’t get to see that world, and that so many of those deaths could’ve been prevented.

      Liked by 1 person

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