reintroducing the regular


Unplug for Wonder


Words by Christian Padron 

Photos by Rayneutron

I’m choosing window seats a lot more these days. Contrasting the noise with some quiet.


I'm not going to say which nightly news I'm watching from this wi-fi enabled plane, but damn, why can't they just report the news instead of all the opinion, distraction, hand gestures and attempts at meme-making?

I guess the reporting of "news" is not supposed to be exciting in any way…

…and then, someone created ratings.

Tech fooled us.  Even the future used to be better.  How to grow old, truth be told.


Everybody is an expert. 

Nobody is an expert.

The only expertise I have is a belief that things are possible. 

I don't think we're ever really solved. That would take the wonder away. I wonder in ways that surprise me these days. I’m not a poet. I’m a dreamer. Dreams seem to come and go. Purpose seems permanent. Something that could maybe live beyond you.


Facts. I guess imagination is the foundation of reality.

My imagining on my place in this world has me racing. Like a Formula 2 Lotus going 200 mph. Except maybe there is no finish line? Maybe that’s immortality…but I’d rather a classic that keeps going…and going…at peace with its pace, beauty, and legacy it's left. What type of legacy did I ever envision leaving? Did I at all? Or was I locking myself up in another man’s idea? It's a tough prison to escape from. The guards say different things, come in different shapes. Shit, the locks aren’t even tangible. So I’m trying not to judge. Everyone has their truth & if I don’t only focus on mine, well, I’m just another flashy Lotus. I’d turn my nose to certain things that I had no right to judge.


I learned pretension is a poor joke that you play on yourself. Snap out of it, bro. Recognize your strengths, work on your weaknesses. Real self-actualization is liking what you see in the mirror every morning. For some time, I was confused on how to move on from depression and anxiety. I was distraught & exhausted about all the effort I thought it took to unlearn. 


My host, Roy, in Cuba bought me beers and food. He doesn’t have much money. I wonder if I would do the same to my Airbnb guests in the States. Or would I just be aloof? I’m not sure. But I know I’m putting in the work for that legacy. That perspective. I think God sees that. Guess it doesn’t matter if nobody else does. I’ve come a long way to find peace & I hope I refuse to let the materiality of the physical world deter that. I hate money…but it comes with a sense of access. I pray we are all allowed to function as the vessels we want to be. I’m an artist. It just took some time to believe that. I'm done explaining myself, and I intend to make the next phase of my life, actions and work do that for me. 

Opinions and onions are not easy to digest. Convince those who can handle it. At what cost, sacrifices, and lessons will that come with? Enough to make me regret it or flourish in it? I don't want to sell things. You probably don't want to sell things. But somebody needs to do it. Maybe that's the missing ingredient in many of these operations?  I could easily fall into the trap and hold on to material + money as my values. My values are…truth? That's so cliche and lame, but I guess also the sense of knowing who you are and your purpose. I’m aware of my mortality more than ever before. A diamond is forever. We are not. And passion and values explored endure more. So what do I value? I can list some things: family, my wife, my friends, art, expression, vulnerability, black lives, prosperity in the pursuit of goals and dreams, a good story, A1 ramen, film, good light, good business, clean air, blues + greens, my health, the health of those important to me, waking up with a good idea, then forgetting that idea and beating yourself up 'til it manifests again in the shower, a nice taper on a Thursday, analog things, Noritsu scanning, my wife giggling, Cuba, Italy, Africa, my DNA, breathing, seeing, touching, smelling, hearing…




...What do YOU hear when YOU talk to God...I guess at times, we are in heaven for a minute.

Christian Padron is a New York based image maker.