Apr 29th

2011

And Then I Fell.

I wrote this just over a week ago, then I took a tumble over a 20-foot wall in Pisa, Italy. Somehow it seems even more relevant now. As for the fall, here are the short strokes: I was trying to get a better angle on a scouting shot, made a poor decision, lost my balance and fell. This was not the kind of risk I’ve been talking about recently; it didn’t seem risky at all, just a bad decision. I fell between 20 and 30 feet depending on who you ask, and landed on the concrete below. 6 days later I’ve been evacuated by an incredible team from MedJet Assist and am now in Ottawa close to my family. I’ll be here a while. I’ve got multiple fractures in my ankles and pelvis and will require surgeries and at least 6 weeks of hospitalization and 3 months off my feet. I am told there’s a chance I’ll never walk the same again, but I’m fighting those odds. I am profoundly grateful to be alive; the last two people that fell off that wall are dead. I am also profoundly grateful not to be paralyzed. But right now the over-riding emotion is gratitude for the incredible outpouring of love from people all over the world, people I’ve never met who are offering help and prayers and such kindness. From the bottom of my heart, thank you so, so much. Thoughts of your kindness and support have brought me to tears more than once today as I’ve finally been able to get online. Thank you!

If you want more info (and photographs) on the incident in Pisa, check out Jeffrey Chapman’s blog HERE or Eli Reinholdsten’s blog HERE. Huge thanks to the Italy and Croatia Within The Frame participants for being so good to me, and my deepest apologies that this accident cut off our weeks together. I was so looking forward to traveling together.

A few photographs, then the thoughts I wrote down last week. In light of everything, they resonate ever deeper now.



 

Risk Part II, The Power of Failure

After beginning the discussion on risk, my brain started churning through some of the responses and push-back left in the comments and I think the discussion isn’t even close to over just yet.

The first thing that needs qualification is that my point is not that we ought to engage in risk for the sake of risk. My point is that we’ve one short life and while we’ll all look differently at what it means to fully live that life with no regrets, it is often the fear of risk that stands in the way. Overcoming that fear gets us to a place where we can more intentionally engage life, become the people we long to be. Just getting over fear for the sake of risking without examining the results of those risks is, to my mind, pointless.

The second thing I think that needs to be picked apart is the “what about my stupid job?” mentality, which I think has been so beat into us we can no longer see it for what it is. We’ve been conditioned (in a non-paranoid, no-conspiracy-theory kind of way) into leaving school, getting a job, working until retirement, and being a productive bee in the hive. it doesn’t have to be this way. People make a living in thousands of unlikely ways and it’s truly unlikely for most of us that we’ll end up dead on the side of the road while people pass by, shake their heads, and mumble, sotto voce, “see, he shouldn’t have quit his job.” Once above the survival line – and I’d argue we need much, much, less to be happy than we think – it’s important to remember that we work to live, we do not live to work. When work gets in the way of you living your life – then that work no longer serves you and it’s time to change.

Clear your debt as fast as you can. Live on less. Pull your kids from one of their over-priced after-school activities and let them read a library book. Give the car back to the dealer and get one you can actually afford. Save some money. And don’t, whatever you do, wait until “the time is right” before you make the changes your soul is hard longing for. I know, it’s not practical. Practical is safe. Practical is boring. Practical isn’t working for you now, not if all this talk of living life to the fullest resonates with you,  and it isn’t going to work for you in the future.  I don’t know that Gandhi, Moses, Jesus, Einstein, Ben Franklin, Louis Pasteur, Albert Schweitzer, or any of the thousands of unknown adventurers, inventors, poets, or general misfits, ever saw much use for practicalities. They lived with the same realities we do. It is they about whom we tell stories.

So all this was floating in my mind and I began to think about possible first-steps for the fearful ones that long for something more. I think that first step might be failure; the very thing we seem to fear. In the years leading up to my bankruptcy I was terrified; i’d seen the writing on the wall and it was truly frightening. I thought I’d lose it all. I thought I’d never recover. I had fear after fear. And then I walked into my trustee’s office, signed away my debt under a heaviness of shame and guilt – and failure. And to my shock I survived. Not only did I survive, I thrived. I learned lessons I’d never have learned. And I learned that falling down hurt less than I expected. It hurt, of course it did, but not even remotely did the brief hurt outweigh the good that came of the risk.

There’s deep strength in failure. It’s a gift to fall down and get up. Coddle a child and don’t let him eat a little dirt or lick the occasional frog and that child never develops the kind of immune system that keeps him strong. It’s the same with our character. Failure builds immunity, gives us strength, makes us familiar with the actual possibilities that come from risk and robs our fears of the power that comes from the unknown. The more you fail, and learn from those lessons, the less frightening future failures appear.

As with risk, failure for failure’s sake isn’t the point. It’s a waypoint, a portal through which we pass. To return to the idea of living a good story, think back to your favorite stories: the good ones require the protagonist to risk. The epic ones, the ones that really move us, require the protagonist to risk it all. They don’t do so for the sake of the risk itself: they do so because the price of not doing so is too high. Without risking it the village will certainly be destroyed, or the love of their life will certainly be lost. Risk is not the point. Nor is failure.

The stakes are so high. We won’t get to the end and get a do-over. This is not a trial run. What we do here matters. Being fully ourselves, fully alive, and fully engaged with the world around us requires we wake up and shake the sleep from our eyes. I sat with a cancer survivor recently, someone who’d fought for her life to overcome odds and now lives cancer-free but in a job that by her own admission is killing her soul. it was a thrill to see the light come on in her eyes as she realized it didn’t have to be this way. My God, if you can live through the fight of your life and beat cancer, why would you not fight tooth-and-nail to live the days you’d snatched from the dragon’s jaws with every ounce of energy and passion and make it worth the fight?

These are just the thoughts of a self-confessed idealist. You are welcome to dismiss them and go back to the cubicle from whence you came. You probably have some very good reasons to suggest that I’m full of crap, and probably crap from unicorns and fairies. My only push-back is that I’ve seen people living profoundly impractical lives as missionaries and bush-doctors and artists and adventurers and I think, without exception, they’d agree: the risk of doing nothing and playing it safe and never falling on your face is a risk they could never live with. If failure gets them there faster, then it’s not so much to be avoided as embraced.

 

Comments (306)
  1. April 29, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    Pray you will get well soon!

  2. April 29, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    Jeez, man, I had no idea…
    I wish you a quick and effective recovery.

  3. April 29, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    keep fighting brother, you’re in my thoughts. speedy recovery and good thoughts your way

  4. April 29, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    Wow. Really REALLY glad to see you back online. Sorry I missed seeing you at Zack’s studio a few weeks ago. Oddly enough, the last time I was there, I was on crutches nursing a broken leg myself.

    Wounds, including broken legs, heal. You’ll be back on your feet and back behind a camera in no time. Who knows, you might just be able to get another book or two written in your down time.

    I wish you all the best as you recover, and will continue to remember you in my prayers. Godspeed.

  5. April 29, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    Your words hit home for me. I will be keeping you and your recovery in my thought.

  6. April 29, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    Beautiful post.

    I almost started to cry reading about the cancer survivor who then went to the terrible job. I mean even Seth Godin never shared an example this drastic in Linchpin, but to know that is what someone has done is heart breaking. Glad she realized otherwise.

    I think people are most afraid of what other people are gonna think if they live their life the way they choose for themselves…I think that fear is bigger than just the fear of failing. It’s more about what will people think of me if I “fail” not realizing that they can define what success is for themselves and live up to and by that model. I’m learning this slowly but surely. I appreciate the way you articulate this in your blog.

    I wish you a speedy recovery. Be well.

  7. April 29, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    sending every possible healing thought and good wish
    that I haveI send to to you david
    you are one of my favorite tireless creative
    creator of thoughts and visual ruminations
    light and more light to you
    hope you are feeling better and better
    I know you have so much yet to do

    so glad you made it through and are home safe now…

  8. April 29, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    Glad you’re able to post and share both your thoughts and the details to your situation David. Hope your recovery is swift and as painless as can be! Great thoughts by the way – it’s all about priority is it not?

  9. Kati

    April 29, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    David, what i have discovered in the last 2.5 years i have been ill, changing my life from photo school and cycling to bedridden hermit, is this experience doesn’t have to own me. I can still laugh and I still have some control to my life, to what I think. Sure, the journey is much much different for me now, and what the future holds is very uncertain. But one can choose to make the best of our own personal situations, and thrive, somehow.

    Best regards. Kati

  10. April 29, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    Glad to see you back… Our prayers and thoughts goes to you and your family.

    Thank you for sharing. Get well soon my friend.

  11. I-Gene Leong

    April 29, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    I think I’ve already said it, but I wish you a speedy recovery. I missed out on meeting up once; there’d better be a second chance. :)

    Thanks to the wonders of Google, if anyone’s interested, here’s the newspaper article:
    http://iltirreno.gelocal.it/pisa/cronaca/2011/04/26/news/turista-cade-giu-dalle-spallette-4039788

  12. Sharon

    April 29, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    Your words are inspiring! Be well!

  13. April 29, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    David, I believe in your speedy recovery! I pray for all the great things for you! I am happy to see you posting. Your energy has no end! Your power is amazing! Be strong! I am keeping you in my thoughts!

  14. B

    April 29, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    Hoping for a full and quick recovery. Apparently, you scared the crap out of a lot of people. Do what you need to do to fully recuperate.

    Appreciate this post more than you can imagine. I’m in the process of making the leap from soul crushing work to living a photographic life. I’m counting on the belief that it is never too late to start over.

  15. April 29, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    David … sorry to hear of your injury .. thoughts and prayers are with you.

    JI

  16. April 29, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    Lord Jesus help us….

    Praying for you David, and I am agreeing with you in prayer that this will not affect your walking at all…

  17. April 29, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    Hi David
    I just found out about your fall from Zack Arias’s creative live talk.
    Hope you will recover soon… =)

  18. Dan

    April 29, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    My thought and prayers dave. Heal up!

  19. April 29, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    Wishing for a full recovery as soon as possible. I find your writing so engaging and inspiring. Your passion will keep you strong, thank you for spreading it.

  20. April 29, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    Oh, no… just heard about your accident, David. Hope you feel a bit better now that you’re at home.

  21. Ka3yn

    April 29, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    I feel even more of a kinship now, though I would never have wished this kind of pain on you – there is a deep integrity about living these choices even when it seems impossible. You are still living the dream, which includes the very highs and very lows, and everything in-between. For the most part, I do believe we choose how to live, whatever our circumstances. I will be thinking of you as well when the newness of this wears off, and the interminable weariness happens. It will seem like forever, but it won’t be – truly, *nothing* in this life is. I’m glad you’ve got all this love flooding your way. Mine, included!

  22. Beate Dalbec

    April 29, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    My best wishes to a speedy and complete recovery!!

  23. Dhaval Jani

    April 29, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    Wishing you a speedy and full recovery. Good to see you are back in Canada.

  24. Peggy

    April 29, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    How horrible! You are in my thoughts and prayers. Please get better soon.

  25. April 29, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    All the best and I truly hope you get well soon.

    An inspiring post as usual. Thank you.

    Just one thing though – “it’s important to remember that we work to live, we do not live to work.”

    I disagree. We should not work to live. That leads to dissatisfaction and a meaningless life that many try to hide with rampant consumerism. Surely we live to work. But we must never forget that we owe to to ourselves to find work that makes us feel alive and has true benefit to society and the world.

  26. April 29, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    Wonderful words David. I’m holding back. Partly out of fear, partly out of the desire to provide for my kids. It’s very hard to sacrifice your dreams for others, even your kids. However sometimes the numbers just don’t add up. I want to believe, I want to jump (not in the duChemin way!) but when I see my kids futures fall apart if I fail, I balk.

  27. Andrew Kavanagh

    April 29, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    Sending much Love & Blessings to you David!

  28. Sean

    April 29, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    Actually “meaningless life” is a bit harsh. I mean unhappiness, boredom, and a lack of interest with work.

  29. Mike Fitton

    April 29, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    David!
    Your story really struck a cord with me, and your words meant so much. I have been there with the bankruptcy and learned MANY things I had never been taught before about being self reliant.

    I also took the plunge (sorry, no pun intended..lol) and took off to the Balkans last September for a holiday, and fell in love with the idea you have written about in your post. Getting up and leaving for good is still a bit of a struggle for me right now with family concerns, but dammit all, I WILL get there. After seeing your determination, strength and courage and of course your road to recovery, I know I will follow that dream! You’re truly an inspiration David… Get well soon!

  30. SuJ'n

    April 29, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    Heal well soon. So glad to hear you survived a potentially fatal fall.

  31. April 29, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    I was just thinking that you’ve been awfully quiet in the last few days. You’re forgiven!! Had no idea about your accident until now. Glad to know you’re home now and near family. Hope your recovery is speedy. Keep your many friends, readers, and supporters informed about your progress.

  32. April 29, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    A few quotes that come to mind from this post.

    “If it doesn’t kill you, it will make you stronger”

    “If it’s easy, it ain’t worth having.”

  33. Brett Walker

    April 29, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    Hi David and all the best with your recovery.
    If you are interested in alternative means to help in you recovery then I would have to suggest acupuncture. I have treated many people going through similar trauma recovery such as you are right now. For some it is the thought of needles that put them off but with someone who is skilled at the practice it is quite an easy process and is often very relaxing at the same time.
    I wish you all the best on your healing journey.

  34. April 29, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    My thoughts and prayers are with you David! Please feel the love and strength of all your friends, family, colleagues and supporters.

    A speedy recovery my friend!

    Sincerely,
    trevor.

  35. April 29, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    Rock on.
    Lost my high school best friend to cancer last Xmas. Nam really took him, but that is another story. My fav relative is now going down with pancreatic cancer.
    I hear you. There’s no time for anything but real life. Semantics sometimes get in the way, but we all really know what you are saying. Thanks.

  36. Thysje from Christchurch

    April 29, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    I wish I had this advice 40 years ago. At nearly 60 now, it’s only in the last few years I’ve begun to follow my passion. I guess it’s never too late!
    Thanks for being a great inspiration to me and many others.
    I’m sorry you have had this mishap, but your are alive and then these things make one stronger. People have already wished you get well, but my wish for you is to MEND well. :) God bless.

  37. April 29, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    inspiration whilst in a cast.

    well done sir, well done.

  38. April 29, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    Glad to hear you’re ok. Good luck with the recovery David.

    PS. still waiting to get together next time you’re in Seattle.

  39. Marc Hugentobler

    April 29, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    So sorry to hear that man.
    Hope you are well and get better!

  40. Errol

    April 29, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    Sorry to hear of your misadventure. Praying that your recovery will br quick and that you will return to full function soon.
    Keep writing.

  41. marjan

    April 29, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    You’re in my prayers and thoughts David and thank you for your wise words and keeping us to date with your recovery process – feel yourself surrounded by all whom care for you (and be grateful we don’t all live in Ottawa to visit you :-) )
    Marjan

  42. April 29, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    David,

    So so so sorry brother. I read the updates from Ellie and didn’t know what to think. Life is too short. Sometimes, it just doesn’t make sense. But I’m glad you’re spirit is still in tact. Stay strong, and recover quickly.

    Ryan

    PS. And if you need someone to relieve you of your Land Rover, sight unseen, I think i know of a someone who can help!

  43. April 29, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    I’m glad you’re “home” and with family. That’s where the healing begins! Praying for you and for a complete recovery. Make sure you follow doctor’s orders!

  44. April 29, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    Dear David,

    I’m so glad you have come out of this alive and you are back home for a recovery among your loved ones.

    Your words are so powerful for me. A few years ago I was working away at my business and bringing in pretty good money. I cannot say I was happy. I guess it was more complacency thinking I was doing the right thing building wealth for the future. It wasn’t until the economy changed that I started to feel differently about it. Suddenly the contracts where not there and I found myself not working. I love being unemployed except the money part! Life became so much fun. I know that’s an odd thing to say during an economic downturn.

    Then I got a few contracts again on a part-time basis. But the funny thing was, working those part-time hours was hard! I only had to put in 2 days a week, but I found it more and more difficult to make myself do it.

    That’s when I realized that I was not doing what I really wanted to do with my life. I’m grateful that this realization came to me and now I am 5 weeks away from my life change.

    I cannot help but wonder if I ever would have made the change had the economy not changed. If I was still making the big bucks, would I still be slogging away at it? I have a feeling I would still be complacent and surviving without enough contemplation of what it means to live a life.

    Reading your words has helped me in my contemplation of life and finding my new path. Thank you. Really! Thank you.

    Anne.

  45. April 29, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    Sean – Perhaps we’re saying similar things but I still think the reason we “work” on terms of having jobs etc., is to take care of our needs. Isn’t that why most people fear letting go of their jobs – even though those same jobs are making them desperately unhappy, the need to put food on the table and a roof over our heads is pretty compelling.

    Of course your suggestion that we all find work that satisfies us and contributes is bang-on, but in the end those activities are the ones we’d do even if we weren’t getting paid, and the line between work and play, as we see those ideas now, would be eliminated. And I’m all for that.

    My point was merely that our jobs are meant to serve us, not the other way around.

  46. April 29, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    We’re thinking of you, David. Take care and we hope the surgeries are successful.

  47. April 29, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    Good to see you back online mate!

  48. CJ Kennedy

    April 29, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    So apropos for me too, David. I am in major change mode and taking risks yet knowing the decisions are right for me. I want to take the full brunt of life not sit on my practical arse (pardon my language). Take care and get better soon! You are there for a reason and change often means better things than you had planned even in the middle of this seeming “accident”. Everything and everyone happens in our lives for a reason. Hugs!

  49. Greg

    April 29, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    Have been thinking – and wondering – how you’re doing – Happy to hear from you! Will continue to send healing thoughts to you, David! Namaste, Greg

  50. April 29, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    This entry and its predecessor carry much more power and poignancy against the backdrop of your fall.

    I add my prayers for a full recovery to the multitude of others…

  51. April 29, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    May God bless you and heal your broken bones and your fractured pelvis (Ouch!)
    As you said of the woman who beat cancer, He (God) has snatched you from the dragon’s jaws to fight tooth and nail to live out your days with every ounce of energy and passion that is within you.
    He is the Great Physician, trust in Him to heal your body. I have great faith. For myself and for you, In Christ.
    I deeply appreciate your verbage and vision.
    I don’t always comment, but I always follow.
    Hang tough guy, God is with you.
    Be well,
    Deborah

  52. Deepak K.C

    April 29, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    Praying from Nepal for your fast recovery David !!!
    hope to see your good work again again!
    Deepak

  53. Terence

    April 29, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    All my best wishes for a speedy recovery David – you are a truly inspirational individual.
    Cheers
    T

  54. April 29, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    As a fellow idealist, David, what you have written in your blog so resonates with me profoundly as there is life and encouragement in the wisdom you share. I’ve struggled healthwise and financially and fought fears for so long. Someone once said that the beginning of a new day always starts with a dark night. And the night may be long but there really is a morning and it is full of life and hope.

    With shock I read what happened and I want you to know that my prayers are with you for your speedy healing and recovery.

    God bless you and make you whole in every way.

  55. April 29, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    If you do turn out to be full of unicorn and fairy crap those surgeons are going to have one heck of a surprise! :-)

    You will heal up fast and I mean completely because you have decided to. You are going to need two strong legs to keep climbing into that rooftop tent and I don’t see anything keeping you out of it for long.

    You are one of the fierce and the brave that some of us rely on to keep our hopes and dreams afloat. I’ve gone to bed several times in the last few weeks wondering what it would feel like if that bed was in a rooftop tent in one of the far away places where I know some of my dreams are hanging out.

    Don’t get me wrong, I really do love my life right now, but at least 90% of what I love about it is the fact that I’m sharing it with the people I love. Wherever I go I plan to have them with me.

    I’m so glad you are able to be back home with your family as you recover. They are one more reason I expect to see you on your feet again sooner than expected. It’s incredible the courage and strength you can draw out of meaningful relationships. You are Superman with a camera David – You will fly again.

  56. Andrew

    April 29, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    David, I have been following your story. I am grateful that you are alive and were not more seriously injured. A friend of mine broke her ankle and she is now full of titanium and does great. I wish you well, but please allow some advice learned from various relatives with knee and hip replacements. Both push through physical therapy but don’t push too hard and fast. All the best. Sending good vibes.

  57. Suzanne Offner

    April 29, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    David, my prayers are with you. Hoping you make a speedy recovery.

  58. jon west

    April 29, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    Hey Mister, Sorry to hear abut the injuries, I will miss your photos for a short while till you back on your feet though from the trolley pics it looks like it takes more than a 20 foot fall to knock the camera out of your hand. keep positive, take care and luck be with you. much love to ya.

  59. April 29, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    All the best David. I’ll be visiting family in Ottawa in couple weeks time, I might come looking for you :-)

    Get well soon, keep fighting the odds.

  60. April 29, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    I love this post and the timing is perfect. My partner and I have recently made big decisions for major changes. The real test though will be avoiding cold feet when the time comes to act on them!!

    Great to have you back in Canada and to see you back online. Speedy recovery, David.

  61. Eric

    April 29, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    I was surprised to hear about your fall, glad to hear you are able recover back in Canada.
    Life does have strange twists and turns, wish you all the best for your recovery!

    Here is the Italian newspaper article in English
    http://bit.ly/jWmfT9

  62. April 29, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    Best of luck and well wishes! I’ve been following your journey and am inspired by your strength and resilience.

  63. Sean

    April 29, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    David – Yes. I think we are saying the same thing but in a different way. Maybe the meaning of ‘work’ should be redefined.

    To me ‘work’ means doing something for a purpose with benefit to oneself and society. Money, although obviously important, doesn’t really come in to it.

    A ‘job’ on the other hand to me means something that provides us with money to serve out basic needs.

    So I live to work but I certainly don’t live to have a job.

  64. Darcy

    April 29, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    Wow! Even in your difficult situation, you still find a way to inspire others. Thanks for all the inspiration you give the world on your blog. Sending lots of healing thoughts and prayers your way. Wishing you a full speedy recovery.

  65. April 29, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    David,
    First of all – Get on your feet back soon ! Wishing you all the best..

    About the post -
    I think getting over the fear of failure is one of the main issues.
    Getting the courage to deal with the possibility of loosing it all – This was the major obstacle I had to overcome.
    And I am not sure I totally did. But with some kind of ‘Safety nets’ it becomes easier.

    Once again, be good !

  66. Nick, Hong Kong

    April 29, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    I visit your blog daily, wondered why it suddenly went quiet and then read the news on Scott Kelby’s ‘site. A very nasty fall but as you have recognised, it could have been much worse. A lesson for all of us to be careful in our quest for that elusive image. I wish you a quick and complete recovery – there will be challenges along the way, but I’m sure you will conquer all!

  67. April 29, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    Heard about this and just finished reading your post. God bless you and be well. Will keep you in my prayers. No fear.

  68. April 29, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    Not a single day goes by that I don’t open your blog at least for once. But today I was just so shocked to read about the bad accident. Like people say ” Accidents just happen”. I remember, I fell from a tree when I was In my third grade. It was my bad decision. I shouldn’t have climbed that tree. I am praying for your steady recovery. We all need you. Your works are a huge motivating factor to me. Have faith. All will be well.

  69. Eric Frommer

    April 29, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    Good luck with rehab! Looking forward to your recovery, just finished some rehab on a shoulder injury. Rehab will be tough but you must listen to the docs and therapists!
    Eric in Everett,WA

  70. Doreen

    April 29, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    Your words never fails to inspire me. I wish to all the best and quick recovery. I will keep you in my thoughts.

  71. April 29, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    Hi David,

    We, (my family and I) are very happy to read from you again.
    Although we knew you were Ok, traveling back home,
    it was quite uncertainty, not reading from you because some how it indicated the seriousness of your fractures and kept praying for you and your recovery.
    We kept visiting your blog every day, certain that it was going to be with no new post, but with a deep feeling in our hearts to read new lines from you again.
    And “voila” here you are again, welcome back. We know you’ll have hard days ahead of you, but we also know that you have a brave heart and we and I mean Everybody will be praying so you’ll have the strength you need to surpass your surgeries.
    Thanks a lot, for being an example to all of us.

  72. April 29, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    David –

    You will remain in my thoughts until you are fully physically healed! I say physically because your strength of spirit is obviously intact.

    I wish you a speedy recovery. Thank you for sending such a wonderful email in response to my thesis book.

    You are one of the good guys, keep your chin up!!

    JB

  73. April 29, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    Godspeed to you and your recovery. Inspired by your words, and hopeful for time not lost.

  74. Pinky

    April 29, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    When my dad was alive, he was a firm believer that “God provides’. This was his guiding principle as a missionary which served him well throughout his life. We never did have much but we all turned out okay – I think :) . He was called to mission and never looked back nor hesitated with his decision. He could have been a brilliant lawyer or a doctor but he chose his path and lived it well. So I can indeed empathize with your thoughts. Faith works, this too will soon pass.

    Wishing you all the best on your incredible journey David .

  75. kari

    April 29, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    Dude… That fall was one hell of a way to become known as a photographer!!!! LOL!!! Zach took a special moment out on creativelive today to acknowledge you and ask for everyone to remember you in prayers. What a fantastic guy he is…. Humble and REAL!!

    You are in my prayers and you keep fighting the odds!!! You WILL walk again if you want to… Just believe it and know it with all your heart. Oh, and find a more profound relationship with the “Man Upstairs”. He kept you here for a reason ya know :)

    Cheers and keep on a keepin’ on…
    Kari

  76. April 29, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    Just get well, dude! That sure is a freak accident! My thoughts are with ya mate! Sending some positive energy your way.

  77. April 29, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    So sorry to hear about your fall, but so glad to hear that you survived it and are back in Canada. Loving your post – so inspirational and so needed right now in my life.

    Praying for your speedy recovery.

  78. April 29, 2011 at 11:47 pm

    David,
    It’s great to ‘hear’ you back on here and so quickly too.

    You clearly have alot of friends around the world and yeah many of which you will never have met but clearly think alot of you and wish you all the very best for a speedy and full recovery.

    Best wishes to you from the UK,
    Glyn

  79. Thomas

    April 29, 2011 at 11:47 pm

    I’m glad to hear that you are back with family and friends, and recovering. Good luck with your recovery, just don’t rush it to much and heal up well.

    Your words are insightful, and people would do well to heed them.

    Thank you for your efforts.

  80. April 29, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    Great news! Mend quickly you are missed.

    Warm Regards,

    Ken

  81. April 29, 2011 at 11:53 pm

    David you have no idea how much your means to me. I am living on this edge between staining in the cubicle or taking the risk.

    But right now it is not about me it is about you. I wish you all the power you need for this difficult time and lets be frank it will be difficult but if I am sure that some can overcome this obstacle then it is you. I have so much trust in you.

    God bless you.

    Andreas

  82. Ann

    April 30, 2011 at 12:03 am

    BEst wishes for a full and speedy recovery.

  83. April 30, 2011 at 12:08 am

    May God grant you speedy recovery. Rest well.

  84. olivier

    April 30, 2011 at 12:13 am

    i’m with you in this terrible moment .
    as a doctor i can tell you that your winning spirit will make the difference in recovery.

    best wishes.

  85. April 30, 2011 at 12:25 am

    Praying for your recovery David, hope your local Physical Therapist will make you back in shape…Please try to look at the goodside, at least you will be back home and write another photography book, perhaps “The chronicles of David” : )

  86. April 30, 2011 at 12:26 am

    David, our thoughts are with you! hang in there, rest, recover and get well soon .

    Best wishes !

  87. April 30, 2011 at 12:29 am

    It’s not easy seeing those photos of you, David. :( Maybe you should teach whatever ninja tricks you did during that fall to others … might save a few photographers in the process. ;)

    And, despite what the doc says, something tells me you’re going to be okay through all this.

    “And I learned that falling down hurt less than I expected. It hurt, of course it did, but not even remotely did the brief hurt outweigh the good that came of the risk.”
    :)

  88. April 30, 2011 at 12:38 am

    Wade Heninger brought me to the reports of your accident, and that brought me to your inspirational words which resonate so true to me. Get well soon, and keep blogging as i am now following you.

    Gerry

  89. April 30, 2011 at 1:00 am

    Thank you for the nice and worthwhile thoughts. I am on the edge outside my cubicle now (and might stay there for a bit longer) so hopefully one of these days I’ll take the plunge!
    Keep up the good spirits and get well soon!

  90. April 30, 2011 at 1:00 am

    Hi David, glad and thankful you made it back! (in all sense of that word). Thank you for being such a great source of inspiration and connecting us with our souls. I’ll keep praying for your recovery. Blessings from Iraq.

  91. April 30, 2011 at 1:28 am

    Quite prophetical words (in more than one way, in retrospect of what happened). I can only agree. Your two blog posts will change lives and I think it will change them for the better. I have lived the fancy-office-with-the-fancy-BMW-but-no-real-fulfilment-life far too long myself. I’m happy I no longer have to. I buy less expensive clothes, have a less expensive car but I enjoy life so much more.

  92. April 30, 2011 at 1:36 am

    Hi David,

    So glad to here your words and to know you’re on the road to recovery. As I read your posts I can’t help but feel it was written for me, I know I’m not alone on that score. I pray for the strength to push forward and to be able to earn what I need from my passion, before all I have and care about is gone. The fear of that should be the driving force but sometimes it can be so great it can be crippling. That’s my fear, not the fear of failure to be a great photographer, I will be the best I can be. They are both intertwined yet two different things but each feeds the other.
    Thank you for your brave words and I pray for your complete and full recovery. Take good care.

    Cheers, Jonathan

  93. April 30, 2011 at 1:46 am

    Rest up David! Enjoy your break. Sometimes things happen for a reason, whatever the reason you fell off that ledge will become evident to you and to you alone. Your cameras can wait for you. Godspeed ma brother, Chaz

  94. George Lien

    April 30, 2011 at 1:56 am

    Take care, Teach!

    You are amazing–always giving people learning lessons–even after you got hurt so badly.

    But this is what makes you special!

    Pleasant recovery–the entire world is praying for you, man!

    Sincerely,

    George Lien
    Your Loyal Reader

  95. Simon

    April 30, 2011 at 1:56 am

    Get well soon David!

  96. April 30, 2011 at 1:57 am

    Firstly, I would like to wish you a speedy recovery. I am sure it will seem like a long and slow road, but you have the spirit and drive to make it through ok.

    I completely agree with you that we should work to live and not live to work. Once your work is constantly invading in your ‘living’ time then it is an indication that a change is needed.

    I’ve been in that situation before, without really realising at the time. It’s only when you are out of the situation can you look back and see it for what it really was, which in turn helps you recognise something similar in the future.

    It is much more difficult to see what is under our noses sometimes as we just get carried away with the flow of things as they happen.

    As Ferris Beuller said, “life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it”

  97. April 30, 2011 at 2:14 am

    So sorry to hear this, I hope you will get back on your feet soon, and keep up your fantastic work (and your super blog)

  98. Jeroen

    April 30, 2011 at 2:36 am

    Get well soon, David. The world needs you as a photographer, teacher and just an all-round nice and down to earth (no pun intended) person.

  99. Andy Wilson

    April 30, 2011 at 2:40 am

    Wow, David, I just took a break from the house move to find this. So glad you survived and with spirits generally intact. ‘Someone’ obviously reckons this world needs you for a good while longer and we are all grateful for that. I’ll be praying for a full physical recovery. I’m sure that your creative juices will be working out ways to make the most of the convalesence period and get over the frustrations of not driving Jessie for a while.

    Hopefully they’ll let you back on the micro-brews before too long!

    Cheers. Y’all mend quick!

    Andy

  100. April 30, 2011 at 3:31 am

    Wishing you all the best for a speedy recovery David. Hope you’re back up and on your feet again soon!

    Thank you for the inspirational words too. Words that I couldn’t agree more with, and which quite frankly, I should probably write down on a piece of paper and glue to the end of my nose as a constant reminder and inspiration.

    If I can offer you some back in return, then they would be to keep ‘fighting the odds’ and remember the story of Douglas Bader who I always thought of as a great inspiration, right back to my childhood http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_Bader Never listen to those who tell you ‘you can’t’.

    All best wishes to you
    Ian

  101. JF

    April 30, 2011 at 4:22 am

    Nice to still have you around D, speedy recovery….

  102. April 30, 2011 at 4:22 am

    Sorry to hear about your injuries. Good wishes sent to you from Colorado.

  103. Martin

    April 30, 2011 at 4:34 am

    David,

    Get well soon and get back to what you do best inspiring the rest of us without your ability to take risks for what you believe in and the determination to make it happen. Yet!

    Martin

  104. ron carroll

    April 30, 2011 at 4:36 am

    David, I’m happy to hear you’re back home with your family, a very good place to be while recovering from a fall. My thoughts and prayers are with you all the time. Thanks for the update. I wouldn’t worry too much about not “walking the same again.” It’s the gift of life that matters, not how you walk. Besides, your real walk — walking the talk — can’t change. Take good care of yourself. All the best, Ron

  105. Ron Kochanowski

    April 30, 2011 at 4:43 am

    Thank you, David. Incredible. You wrote this before you fell? So much of what you’ve said is right on. We paint ourselves into boxes and hide behind what has been come to be known as the “Ameican Dream” and forgotten that the read dream was freedom! That freedom comes from taking the risk to overcome failure. Amen, brother!

    My prayers are for your recovery and more successful risks!

  106. nate parker

    April 30, 2011 at 4:49 am

    you have a way of putting it that is very inspiring to hear. wow- this is an amazing post to continue the discussion you began with Choose Your Risk- especially since you undoubtedly are not feeling your best right now, you answered my stupid question, which i began to feel guilty about- regarding jobs. certainly my job isn’t too bad, i’m a cook in the summer then have 6 months off for photography in the winter, and i can still photo in the mornings in the summer and have plenty of time to get to work. but all i ended up thinking about was ” remember to be careful first, safety first”, again. which may be slightly contrary to “Choose Your Risk” but at least we’ll live to photo another day! i’ve been waiting for your update all week and must say you look a lot better than i thought you were gonna. and at least now you’ll have plenty of time to watch the hockey playoffs!? -Nate

  107. nate parker

    April 30, 2011 at 5:06 am

    also, since you may have some extra free time now, i’d be honored if you had a look at my maine landscapes here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/47218202@N02/
    recover quickly!

  108. April 30, 2011 at 5:12 am

    Hey David, glad to see you got back to Canada safely. Have a speedy recovery so you can keep on taking photos, writing books and inspiring us all.

  109. Mark Parsons

    April 30, 2011 at 5:12 am

    Toughts and prayers for a speedy recovery…

  110. Patti

    April 30, 2011 at 5:27 am

    All the best for as speedy a recovery as possible. I’m sure your remarkable attitude to life will help a lot in your recovery. Blogging from your bed somehow bears witness to that, made me smile that the doctors are getting photographed already. Take very good care, all my best wishes winging their way to you.

  111. April 30, 2011 at 5:35 am

    Hi David, so glad you are safely back in Canada and in good spirits. Sending you positive vibes for your surgery. Just keep wiggling those toes :) At least it seems you have full use of both hands and your laptop, phone and all those hundreds of people who love you…

  112. April 30, 2011 at 5:35 am

    Stop making me want to quit my job! And get well soon David, thank God you are ok.

  113. Bruce Sexton

    April 30, 2011 at 5:57 am

    Glad you are back home among family and friends. This will end up being but a minor speed bump and you will be back with Jessie before you know it. Get well soon!

  114. April 30, 2011 at 5:59 am

    You are in good hands with the hospital staff here in Ottawa – I know from personal experience. My wife broke her ankle (while I was going through chemotherapy) her recovery was long and often painful but ultimately successful thanks to physiotherapy and perseverance. I’m sure you will get through this. Glad that you have family close by – I expect they have told you there’s a Apple Store in town, also Carbon Computing is a reseller an likely has the iPhone4 per your twitter question.

  115. April 30, 2011 at 6:06 am

    For someone whom I’ve never met, only read about online or in books, you sure gave me a scare. This blog entry would have been powerful enough even without the accident to put things into perspective. We’ll all be praying for your quick recovery. (Also…love the photo of the doctor…don’t think I would have had enough wits about me to make an image like that.)

  116. April 30, 2011 at 6:08 am

    GET WELL! GET WALKING! KEEP SHOOTING!!!

  117. CJ Kern

    April 30, 2011 at 6:11 am

    David, I soooo agree! This is the reason I walked away from my very well paying corporate job to follow my bliss as Joseph Campbell would say. Before I left I was scared to death but I look back now and realize it was one of the best decisions of my life. Sure I make less money these days but I’m happier then I’ve been in years.

    I glad you are going to be OK. Take the time to heal yourself and get strong, Jessie will be there when you are ready.

  118. April 30, 2011 at 6:12 am

    Get well soon, David.

    Appreciate your blog and your work very much.
    Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

    Karsten

  119. April 30, 2011 at 6:59 am

    David:
    Wishing you a speedy recovery. I’m enjoying the wisdom in your narrative. Your thoughts remind me of the Mark Twain quote, “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do, than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
    If you’re ever in Arizona, I’d love to meet you. Best wishes.

  120. Bruce Bachand

    April 30, 2011 at 7:00 am

    Peace, brutha… here is some love for ya.

  121. April 30, 2011 at 7:10 am

    …and I quote…

    “And I learned that falling down hurt less than I expected. It hurt, of course it did…”

    I really appreciate the point of view… but next time a fall off the couch might serve your point just as well…. :-) :-) :-)

    Glad to hear you are on the road to recovery… and I do believe you will beat the Doc’s prognosis

  122. April 30, 2011 at 7:11 am

    My thoughts are with you for a speedy recovery, David. You have been such an inspiration to me (my wife is probably getting tired of hearing your name). The human body is capable of miraculous recovery, and I’m looking forward to more photos, writing, and you and Jessie getting back on the road.

  123. April 30, 2011 at 7:33 am

    always trying for the better angle, eh! hope you recover quickly and continue on your journey.

  124. April 30, 2011 at 7:39 am

    Please know that you’re in my thoughts and prayers as you heal and recover.

  125. April 30, 2011 at 7:52 am

    Keep the faith bro… thinking of you here in Mombasa.

  126. April 30, 2011 at 7:54 am

    Some beautiful wisdom here, David. Thank you!

    Get well soon!

  127. April 30, 2011 at 7:54 am

    David,
    First of all I would like to chime in with all the others here in wishing you a good recovery. The news of your fall was quite a shock. I think I will need to come back and read this post again when I can read it on its own merit.
    As for your recovery, in my previous career I helped plenty of people with similar injuries with braces, rehab tools, etc. If my experience can benefit you then just let me know. I live in the Vancouver area as well.
    God Bless.

  128. Laurie Iten

    April 30, 2011 at 8:10 am

    So glad you are home to be near your family while you recover from your “fall.” Wishing you the speediest recovery ever.

    BTW, thanks for explaining why I don’t have any allergies–my mom let me eat dirt and lick frogs. ;)

  129. April 30, 2011 at 8:20 am

    David,
    I took a similar fall some years ago, did the surgery thing and know how it changes your life. I appreciate the focus that you’ve taken and know that you will not only recover but find a deeper focus. My prayers are with you for a speedy healing.

  130. April 30, 2011 at 8:25 am

    Hi David,

    At least with you cooped up in bed, that leaves you time to read through all your comments, right? I hope so, Because I’m about be number #130.

    I’ve spent years trying to do something “rational” to make a career out of, while my love of photography hid under the rug. Then a few years ago I was brought back to it, at a point where I had pretty much given up completely – I didn’t even own a proper camera when I was asked to shoot a wedding. Since then I’ve established a business that has been pretty successful given the modest amount of time I’ve had to promote it, but it still can’t sustain me full time.

    Along the way, I have bought countless books – including yours, and have seeked out other educational opportunities. I have to admit, your books sat on the bookshelf for a long time unread. Working two jobs doesn’t leave a lot of time for anything else. I finally started reading Within the Frame about 2 weeks ago and was halfway through it when I learned of your accident. I went to your blog and saw your previous post and it really resonated with me. It was exactly what I needed to read right now.

    While I’ve enjoyed some wonderful successes since starting this endeavor, I have to admit it is my own fear holding me back from taking this full time and getting out of a day job that I completely despise, which is sucking the soul out of me.

    We are about to embark on another transition in our business, and your words and wisdom couldn’t have come at a better time. It is hard to have perspective or even keep from being discouraged when you are working two full time jobs, one you love – but are too exhausted to enjoy properly, and one you hate because it’s meaningless and tears you away from your calling.

    So I thank you, for forcing me to think about stuff that I really never should have stopped thinking about to begin with. And I do hope you have a speedy recovery. One of my cousins took a similar tumble a couple years ago – ended up breaking his legs, ankles, feet – it was a long recovery and he’s still struggling, but he also doesn’t have your passion. And I really think mental outlook is as important to the healing process as repairing bones and tendons.

    Best wishes to you and thank you for your contribution the the photographic community.

  131. Sarisa

    April 30, 2011 at 8:39 am

    So glad that you are still with us! Your words and images have been an inspiration to me.

    Best wishes for a quick and full recovery…

  132. April 30, 2011 at 8:58 am

    Send healing thoughts your way.

  133. Tod

    April 30, 2011 at 9:16 am

    Your words and your life in photography are such an inspiration and encouragement to me. Many thanks for taking the time to use your gifts of photography and writing to teach and to encourage your fellow image makers! I am praying that the good Lord will heal you up completely.

  134. April 30, 2011 at 9:17 am

    David you are truly an inspiration. Your beliefs are deep and profound…and luckily for all of us you have the writing skills to communicate your vision, hope and motivation to all of us. Your words change lives.

    Thank you so much!

  135. April 30, 2011 at 9:20 am

    Oh my gosh!! Definitely praying for your recovery!!

  136. April 30, 2011 at 9:30 am

    Holy crap David, hope you are back on your feet and feeling better soon!

  137. April 30, 2011 at 9:36 am

    The only think to do when you fall, is get back up.

  138. Ron Burkell

    April 30, 2011 at 9:40 am

    David…to be truthful, I had no idea really who you were until this happened. My buddy, who got me into photography, sends me an e-mail that says, “Did you hear what happened to DuChemin?” I figured he was talking about a European leader of some sort. So, I finally find you and your writing. Your heart that pumps with red-hot blood and a soul that soars at lightspeed. Dude, I hope you end up with full walking capability. But, quite frankly, you already have the key to the universe. This is just a blip on your screen. Taken in context, and measured against your courage, it’s a drop in the ocean. Get well, my new friend. The world is a btter place with you in it!

  139. April 30, 2011 at 9:45 am

    Another thought. There is no doubt in my mind that you will treasure this video. If possible please take a few moments to view. http://bit.ly/mvKYUw

  140. Andre Harden

    April 30, 2011 at 9:55 am

    Thinking about you David. You’re an inspiration to live a fully engaged life. May your spirit continue to soar as your body recuperates.

  141. ed lizardo

    April 30, 2011 at 9:58 am

    I’m sure there’s gonna be a lot of thinking while lying in that bed, but i’m sure there’s nothing that gonna stop David duChemin (probably more cautious).You’re a very talented guy and again you’re gonna bounce back fast.You have a very strong and good spirit.
    Will continue to pray for your early recovery.Meanwhile, just relax.

  142. April 30, 2011 at 9:59 am

    David you have been my inspiration and teacher. You have really influenced my life and made me discover myself. NOWAY we are gonna let anything happen to you. WE LOVE YOU MAN !!

  143. April 30, 2011 at 10:10 am

    David-
    Sending much love your way for a full and speedy recovery. A piece of your last post now hangs on my door. “And don’t, whatever you do, wait until “the time is right” before you make the changes your soul is hard longing for.” Wonderful.

  144. David

    April 30, 2011 at 10:16 am

    David, I’m so sorry to hear about your accident. I really hope you get well soon. Jessie will still be waiting when you’re back on your feet :o )

    Take care

    David

  145. April 30, 2011 at 10:19 am

    GOOD GOD. Get better David. Lots of us are with you and you’ll be “running” with the glass soon enuf! Best wishes.

  146. April 30, 2011 at 10:26 am

    Yikes, get better soon! Best wishes.

  147. Ron

    April 30, 2011 at 10:47 am

    I was shocked when I heard the news of your accident, and its good to hear you are home with family and getting good care. You are in our thoughts & prayers – hope you are back on your feet soon…

  148. April 30, 2011 at 11:09 am

    Whenever I’m in need of inspiration I know I can find it by reading your words and enjoying your photos. You find and share your inspiration regarding all the little things in life, so although the next few months are likely to be painful, frustrating, and emotionally challenging for a free-spirit such as yourself, I know you’ll come out stronger because of this big thing, with incredible ideas, determination, and a further zest for life. I previously would have said I hope you feel better soon so you can get back to your plans and “real” life, but this is the true real life and your new reality, and I know you’ll be making the most of every step along the way (figuratively and practically). Your bones will heal with time and your infectious spirit will never pass; stay strong.

  149. April 30, 2011 at 11:17 am

    so sorry for your accident, hope you get well soon, and thanks good it didn´t got worse. Remember that we all fall sometime, but some get up on his feet and keep walking, i beleive you are one of those.
    best wishes and a hug from Madrid.

  150. April 30, 2011 at 11:25 am

    David, you gave SO much to so many and it’s no wonder that many now give back, even if it’s just with a little comment here.
    Many of us seem to know you well, because you open yourself to us all the time. And therefore I am not worried for you at all. you’ve come to realize the value of your life and once you do this, falling off a wall is just a scratch in the long run.
    Get better, stay awesome!

  151. April 30, 2011 at 11:28 am

    By the way, there’s a song from the beatles that might go well in this moments it´s call “Getting better” from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

  152. Scott

    April 30, 2011 at 11:42 am

    I’m amazed that you can even function function now. Best wishes.

  153. A Canuck

    April 30, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    My goodness, I’ve had my nose buried in grading and this is the first I’ve heard of The Pisa Incident. I’m glad to hear that you were not even more seriously injured in such a serious fall, and hopeful for a speedy recovery now that you are back home with your family. Best wishes from Alberta.

  154. April 30, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    So sorry to hear that, David! You will be in my thoughts, hoping for a full and speedy recovery.

    Guy

  155. Rudy Roth

    April 30, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    wow – a small out-of -balance and big consequences ; hope you recover completely – your attitude is inspiring
    best wishes Rudy

  156. Ben

    April 30, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    Really sorry to hear that – looks very scary. I hope you have a complete and speedy recovery.

  157. Anja

    April 30, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Just one sentence from the book “Merry your Muse” from Jan Phillips which I recently read: ” To create is to make something whole from the pieces of our lives and,… to become more whole ourselves, seeing with more clarity each of those pieces, understanding where they fit, how they matter.”
    I hope that one day you will discover how your accident fits …
    Best wishes for a quick recovery!
    Anja

  158. April 30, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Unbelievable. I hope you get back on your feet and walking normally again soon.

    Keep up the positive thinking and good things will come. Thank you for so much inspiration and helpful insight on your blog, in your books, and via email.

    Feel better!

  159. April 30, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    Jeez David, that’s a big fall!
    I do not believe, but just in case Im wrong (again) I’ll send off a wish for your full recovery. It’s worth a shot right?
    I owe you so much. Your book visionmongers got me to start freelancing. It brings me endless joy and fulfillment, even though I didn’t quit my day job – and probably never will. I highly recommend it.
    Get well soon my friend.
    Best regards
    Jørgen

  160. April 30, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    David, I’m glad you’re safe, and on the road to recovery, surrounded by your family in Ottawa. The remainder of your article struck a deep chord with me; thank you for your words. A speedy recovery to you!

  161. Heath

    April 30, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    Best wished David for a speedy and complete recovery. You and your vision are an inspiration.

  162. Match Grun

    April 30, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    Sorry to hear of your misfortune. At least you are back close to home. Best wishes and a speedy recovery.

  163. April 30, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    David,
    good to hear you are on the road to recovery and blogging again. Your posts are always inspirational.

    Maybe there will be a camera out soon with built in airbags ;-)

    Seriously though, my prayers are with you for a full and speedy recovery.

  164. April 30, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    David,
    Your post about risk and living life fully… very well said. Being one who lived/worked in the safety of the corporate world for years, and is now living my dream w/ less $$ but so much more “life”, what you say rings very true.
    So sorry about your fall. Sending healing thoughts and prayers your way.

  165. April 30, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    Timely, relevant, necessary post. It’s definitely struck a nerve inside me. Thank you.

    I also offer my wishes for a speedy recovery and to prove the experts wrong once again that yes, you will indeed, walk normally again.

  166. April 30, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    I think it is also important to be aware of that happiness is not necessarily found “elsewhere”. I believe in finding happiness where happiness can be found.

    That sometimes mean that we have to look a second time at what he have today.
    That said – when one is sure happiness is not “here” I agree about not letting fear stop us from moving on.

    A friend of mine went to a workshop with the photographer Morten Krogvold – and he had asked his group – what would you change about your life today if you KNEW you would succeed?

  167. April 30, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    Thanks God we can see you here again. I wish you a quick recovery. All of us are waiting for some amazing travels photos from you!!!
    I’ll pray for you.

  168. Uli

    April 30, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    David, in the few months since I started reading your blog and your books you have become not only a source of great advice on photography, but nothing less than my personal hero, and I can’t describe with words what an inspiration your idealism, your optimism and your thoughts and opinions about photography and life in general and your love and respect for the human race are to me.

    As for me, I am still one of those fearful ones who are struggling to to make the first steps towards the kind of life they long for, so every single word you wrote resonates with me (and makes me feel ashamed, because I have had the same thoughts many times before, but still haven’t done much to make the necessary changes in my life).

    So I’d like to say Thank you for being a role model for what I am aiming at doing about my own life.

    I don’t believe in God (yes, you can call me an atheist), so I cannot say that I am praying for you, but since I have read about your accident, I have been thinking of you almost every hour of the day (although you are – in some way – a total stranger). I wish you a fast and complete recovery with all my heart, and I can’t wait to see you back on your very own journey, which is a good story indeed.

    Take care,
    Uli

  169. Stephen McCullough

    April 30, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    David,

    I felt great sadness when I saw the accident mentioned on Scott Kelby’s blog. Reading the details provided by Jeffrey and now by you just reinforces the heartfelt concern.

    You, and your approach to your craft, have been much on my mind as I am re-reading Within The Frame.

    You are in my prayers for a full recovery.

    Thinking of the recovery phase, I feel you / we should consider ways we can interact with you. The direct recovery time is measured in months, and some impact may last longer. Let’s think of ways that we, your friends around the world, can keep you busy and give you things to think about that drive you to push through the tough bits to come. Just something to pondert.

    I suppose this means you will have the time to put together another book…

    Hang in there. If you need to interact and get your mind off the frustrations of recovery, there are lots of people here for you.

    Blessings David,

    Stephen

  170. April 30, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Just back from an internet-less trip and catching up, absolutely devastated to hear of your accident. Rejoicing that you’re still with us though, it sounds like one pretty horrendous fall! As ever your post – as one trapped in a cubicle! – resonates strongly with and will consider the points therein further.

    But for now just wanted to send good will and much love. I hope the recovery goes well – and with your burning spirit I’m sure it will – and you are back on you feet sooner rather than later. Take care.

  171. BigFernowski

    April 30, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    So good to see you back, both on the blog and home with your family. I’ve no doubt that your mental strength will carry you through to recovery sooner than we all think. And you know you can count on a fair bunch of us all over the world to cheer you up and give you all the support you need!

  172. April 30, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    I was really saddened to hear of your accident when Zack Arias mentioned it on his creativelive show.

    You and your photographs are a great inspiration to me. Everytime i go out shooting your words in creativelive and in your blog resonate in my head.

    I’m still looking for my vision but without you i would have never known where to begin or that i needed to find it.

    I consider you to be my mentor (whether you like or not)

    Get well soon David. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Mark from the Philippines

  173. theron

    April 30, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you David, for a complete and speedy recovery. Thank you for being such an inspiration.

  174. Bill Kearney

    April 30, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    Yikes, sorry to see your plans derailed for now. Wishing you a speedy recovery and return to your travels.

  175. Dorothy Brown

    April 30, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    You are such a wise man, David. We all know life can turn on a dime, but you show us how to deal with those changes with humor and grace. It’s hard to always be a role model and inspiration, though, so it’s okay to whine occasionally. We’ll all understand. Also? So impressed by how coherent you are under the circumstances. Best wishes for successful surgery. So glad you are home.

  176. Brian Powell

    April 30, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    I’m one of those cancer survivors who had a pretty literal brush with death. Twice. Took me four years but I gave my employer a “12 months notice” last week (coincidence with your post?).

    it’s true what they say, you get a new perspective on life. It truly is too short to do anything else than what you were MADE to do!

    Get well. At least you can still do one of the inspiring things you do well from that bed :) . Keep it comin,

    -bp-

  177. April 30, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    David, Here’s hoping you can beat the odds on the Dr.’s predictions and recover “good as new”. Hang in there. Like the message on the front of one of my fleece tops “Attitude is everything”.

  178. andrew

    April 30, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    David, I ‘m praying for your quick recovery. thanks for the inspiration you have been in helping My wife and i move towards our goals.

    Andrew

  179. Paula

    April 30, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    David,
    So sorry to hear about your incident. But I just know you are one of those rare beings who, no matter what, will survive, rebound, thrive, and continue to create and inspire others with your generous spirit. And with your abundant grace, humility and thoughtful insight. Sending positive thoughts your way…
    P

  180. OwenS

    April 30, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    Sorry to hear about your accident David. Maybe it’s the worlds way of saying “have a break for a while”?
    Nietzsche spent a lot of time ill and off his feet, and Miyamoto Musashi spent 6 months locked in a room, and yet they both managed to wrthat works that will last throuhout the ages.
    Good luck mate, all the best.

  181. April 30, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    David,
    I am so sorry to hear of your accident. I met you at B&H when you spoke there last. I was inspired by your words and wish you a speedy recovery. You will bounce back, continue to create wonderful images, write books, teach others thru your workshops, and most importantly, enjoy life! Be well and get better, fast!
    Alex

  182. April 30, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    Hi David,

    I’m hoping for a good recovery and rest for you.

    You sound like you’ve already read it, but you might want to check out “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years” by Donald Miller. It’s right up your alley in terms of risk and the story of our lives. Fantastic book.

    cheers
    james

  183. April 30, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    Thank you for this post and I’m glad you are back with family. I hope it speeds your recovery! Praying and believing you will continue to defy all odds.

    I am walking this struggle. It is a constant battle with the fears of doubt and failure, but not for failure’s sake but what comes with it. I’ve played life safe far too long and it took a boot in my behind to change it. There is a poem called, “Don’t Quit” you might be just one step away because success is failure turned inside out. There is a lot to be learned in life and it starts with embracing the risks, continues with perseverance and does well peppered with love.

    One of my favorite quotes is by Winston Churchill, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

  184. April 30, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    Zack mentioned you and your fall this evening, during his bonus sunset shoot, on CreativeLive.
    Yeah, you probably saw it. Get well soon.

  185. Nicole

    April 30, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    Here’s wishing you a speedy recovery! I am sure you are glad to be home near your family… I’ll be following your blog over the coming months and will be hoping to join you on a workshop when you’re out there again!

  186. April 30, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    So sorry to hear about your accident David. Hope you have a speedy recovery. Rest well.

  187. April 30, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    To use good Australian vernacular — What a bugger! But as you say, its looks like you came out lucky. Best wishes for a speedy recovery! Cheers mate, Keith

  188. April 30, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    Holy SH*T!
    Recover you will, I’m sure of it. Thank goodness for healthcare in our wonderful country.

  189. April 30, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    Still praying for you, Mr. duChemin. Your words are ever so inspiring and please know that they have impacted at least one life in a most profound way. I hope you and your family find joy and peace through the coming weeks and you find even more strength to continue on your journey to recovery. Keeping you all in my thoughts throughout the coming weeks.

  190. May 1, 2011 at 12:12 am

    Wishing you a full and quick recovery David! I’m sure you’ll be back on your feet in no time. Best wishes from Australia!

  191. Jeremy

    May 1, 2011 at 12:39 am

    Vision is good. Being alive is better.

    You are always thought-provoking. Especially now, you’re in our thoughts. Get well.

  192. May 1, 2011 at 1:11 am

    Dear David, I was shocked to read about your horrible accident. Hope you will be looking back on this fully recovered in a few month.

    On topic:
    I think there might be a second reason for why people don’t quit the jobs they hate. It’s not just the fear of earning no money, it’s also the fear of being fully in charge of theire own lives. If you have a job you hate, you can always hide behind that, saying: “Oh, if I only had a job in which I could express who I am.”. But if you are free to do whatever you want, there has to be something you want. On my opinion a lot of people are too scared to confront themselfs and think about who they truly are and what they want. If you want to express yourself, you should know what it is you want to express first. And I guess there are a lot of people who don’t know what to express, because they don’t know who they are and what they want. In these cases it might be more comfortable to stay in that job you don’t like and dream on “oh, if I only could…”.

  193. May 1, 2011 at 1:25 am

    Dear David,

    Don’t worry .. you will be back .. jumping .. thumping around .. take a good rest and recover.. keep the spirits up !

    Take care !

  194. Richard Laurence

    May 1, 2011 at 1:35 am

    Get well David – you have many many friends and we will help you through this.

  195. May 1, 2011 at 2:21 am

    Sorry to hear about your accident David and hope you get better soon. Your books, especially VisionMongers, have inspired me so much. I found my passion relatively late in life and your words really resonate with me. Taking the risks to pursue one’s dreams is scary and exhausting hard-work, but it’s certainly a whole lot more satisfying and fulfilling.

    Get well soon!

  196. May 1, 2011 at 2:34 am

    Wishing you a speedy recovery, get well soon.

  197. May 1, 2011 at 3:29 am

    David…
    …just catching up with your journey this early morning before dawn breaks here in Austin, TX, where we are with our daughter celebrating her 35th birthday
    …wow…so thankful you are still with us…sincerely!
    …know my prayers are with you on this leg of the journey
    …when reasonable, I will welcome further conversation
    …my hope and prayer is that this will be a tumble into God’s unlimited grace for you
    …keep your thoughts coming
    …I commit to praying for you, often, and for healing in all 8 dimensions of your own life

  198. Sophie

    May 1, 2011 at 3:57 am

    Keep Pluggin’ David, we’re all with you! xxxx

  199. Jan

    May 1, 2011 at 4:20 am

    I am so thankful you didn’t go head first for I am afraid you wouldn’t be with us any longer. Get well soon, David. You have truly been an inspiration to me.

    Blessings!

  200. Michelle

    May 1, 2011 at 5:11 am

    Lol, I’m a missionary. I will take being spit on for loving street kids any day over the cubicle. I. Do. Not. Miss. The. Cubicle. Ever.

    Leave the cubicle.

    Please keep posting and you are in my prayers for a complete recovery.

  201. Walter

    May 1, 2011 at 5:14 am

    Wow. So thankful it wasn’t worse; hope you have a smooth and full recovery.

  202. MYLENE PINARD

    May 1, 2011 at 6:00 am

    I am so glad to read your blog again! We know that you will be back on your feet pretty soon. We hope to see you in Montreal pretty soon:)

  203. May 1, 2011 at 7:09 am

    I wish you a quick recovery David! I am sure that the rehab is going to provide you an insight in a challenging life phase that concerns a lot of people. I am sure you are going to find inspiration from it and you are going to be of great support for those who are living the same situation! Sincerely, Nonac

  204. May 1, 2011 at 7:37 am

    Good to hear you are in Canada. Best wishes to you and luck for the journey that is ahead of you. Greetings from Venice, Carsten

  205. PY

    May 1, 2011 at 7:40 am

    My first response to this post was “OMG! Did you really fall off that wall??” And then when I read more, I felt thankful that it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. I wish you well, and hope you get up and about on your feet in less than the 3 months they tell you!

    You’ve been an inspiration to me for quite a while now, and your ordeal has made me even more inspired! I’m trying to live my dream too, and though it may be tough, it’s definitely worthwhile, like you say! I can’t believe your words after your fall is that you’re living your dream.. Thank you for sharing life, and for encouraging others to live it :) Have a most speedy recovery! Well wishes all the way around the globe from Singapore :)

  206. May 1, 2011 at 8:13 am

    Fear of failure is definitely the wall I find I keep running into. Although your post made me look back at several recent (relatively small) failures in a new light.

    Instead of just licking my wounds and trying to figure out what went wrong, I feel a little better about acknowledging the fact that I took the leap . . . er . . . chance, at all.

    Stay strong, and keep that optimism up in the coming months!

  207. Laura

    May 1, 2011 at 8:32 am

    David,

    As is everyone else, wishing you God speed on your recovery, but I think your guardian angel will still be looking out for you. We all know you will find some special purpose during this time of healing, and no doubt, you will come out of this charging with new thoughts and ideas.

    Am waiting with anticipation to read your next book–the subject so important, and I know you will provide insight in thought-provoking ways. Perhaps you will have yet another one completed by the time my copy arrives. Or perhaps the next few months will bring other surprises….mostly, take good care during these months. You will be again traveling the world in no time.

  208. May 1, 2011 at 8:54 am

    David Wow, thats a long way down. Glad to hear you are “ok” and I pray for a good recovery. But want to thank you for the second for of you post. it really spoke to me. Thank you

    Kris

  209. May 1, 2011 at 9:27 am

    Oh boy, looks like a terrible fall. Sorry to hear this about you. This should help the rest of us remember to be aware of our own safety when trying to get that great shot.
    Speedy recovery!

  210. May 1, 2011 at 9:49 am

    Best wished during recovery, I hope you are up and on the road again sooner than what you think.

  211. May 1, 2011 at 9:59 am

    David, I was very happy to see you are able to write, though got a lump in my throat at the pics which give visual to the gravity of how seriously you were injured. However, you amaze, & it was quite poignant to read the second half of your post on Risk (after I’d retweeted your first post). You really give me some pause for thought. Healing thoughts & speedy recovery… Janine
    As Seen by Janine: Eyes of the World Images

  212. May 1, 2011 at 10:55 am

    David, it is such a blessing that you are alive! By this great outpouring of love and caring, you can see how much you have impacted others through your photography, teaching, and writing. You are a such an inspiration to me. Thank you! I send you healing goodness and pray for your speedy and full recovery.

  213. Jak

    May 1, 2011 at 11:03 am

    You set off on an epic journey, and life threw you a major curveball – but I’m sure the inner journey continues and you’ll milk this time of healing in creative ways. We appreciate your honesty, spirit, and know you’ll be running up hills with as much camera gear as you like on your shoulder again very soon.

  214. Tim Graedon

    May 1, 2011 at 11:23 am

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and it has really helped me navigate some of my own fears about my creative life. You have an incredible outlook on life that shines through in your writing, particularly in the face of this difficulty. Heres to a speedy recovery. Thanks for all of the support you give to the creative world through this blog. Peace.

  215. David Kelly

    May 1, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    David, wishing you all the very best for a full recovery from this incident.

  216. LP

    May 1, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    Bon rapide rétablissement !!

  217. Wayne Elliott

    May 1, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    Jeesh, some guys will do just about anything for a photo op :-) …now you’ve got to make sure you get back on that horse and get yourself back to Pisa and get that shot. Get well soon, my prayers are with you.

  218. Marta

    May 1, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    oh, your words above moved me very much as they are so true, so wise.
    Everybody knows how to live but not many people dare to follow their dreams and live fully according to them. I think that sometimes life “offers” us such surprises like your accident but i dare to say the time of illness, being weak and dependant from other people is not waisted time, it’s proper time to slow down, to think about what is the most important in life, to be grateful for all these happy moments from the past we had, when we were “on our feet”. I know what I am saying about as in the past i have t broken my backbone twice during some years. I am, thanks God, still full of life, i realize my dreams one by one, i can travel, make pictures and live as if nothing happened. Sometimes it pains… well… it only remembers me that I am only a human being and not a machine from iron / so from time to time i simply slow down/. Hold on, David and keep smiling in spite of all :-)

  219. Pam

    May 1, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    I was so sorry to read about your fall, and now to read about how serious and how high :-o – I must echo the above – so glad you are ok!! With your spirit and courage, I am sure you will be up and running in no time.

    As for the rest of your post, unicorns, fairies.. and truth.. it is so true! and I am still so amazed daily at how many people are missing the bigger picture. I can’t articulate my alignment with it very profoundly in a response, so I will just leave you with the vision that this girl will be running around Dubai tomorrow with the reminder that she should be looking for a frog for her son to lick!

  220. Hanemu

    May 1, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    Wishing you a peaceful recovery. Impressive to see that you are taking this unfortunate experience with philosophy and wisdom. All the best!

  221. May 1, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    Wow, talk about suffering for your art!

    But on the bright side, you now have a documentary about your recovery process.

  222. May 1, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    Hi David, I’m in the middle of reading your great book and I am saddened to hear the news. I really hope you recover well, and somewhat quickly (although the “well” part is much more important!). Take care and stay strong!!

  223. Steve

    May 1, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    David – Rest assured, this experience will change you in ways that are at the moment totally unpredictable. Be open to and savor the changes in your life as you have in your photographic vision. Grace.

  224. May 1, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    Not sure you’re reading these but I figured I’d send my love and best wishes along too. I’m so sorry to hear of your mishap. I too am thankful that you survived. God bless you and speedy recovery.

  225. May 1, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    I can see that obviously I’m in the minority, but I don’t think it is about taking risks, but about making good decisions.

  226. May 1, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    Holy crap! Dude – sorry to read about your mishap. Here’s wishing you a speedy recovery and rooting for you to walk the same again. My sincere best on that.

  227. May 1, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Wishing you a fast recovery David…

  228. May 1, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    First things first – put the nasal cannula back in place; it’s doing you good ;-) and secondly wishing you a full recovery.

  229. May 1, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    So sorry to hear about your fall. Best of luck in a full recovery.

  230. Basp Uant

    May 2, 2011 at 1:45 am

    Hi David,
    from someone who broke both feet and cracked his skull in a rock climbing accident (it seems not as bad as yours) do lots of physio and exercise and you will walk better than the doctors think. the told me i would not be able to telemark, ice climb and that i would be impeded in many sports… well guess what… i can do all these sports and rather well… sure it hurts sometime, sometime for no reason. I notice that when my feet get cold i get pain during the night, so keep warm and stretch a lot, a lot of the pain i have is from ligaments not being back to how supple they were. the rest is bone pain and lots of beer take care of that ;o)
    all the best for your recovery!!!!!

  231. May 2, 2011 at 1:58 am

    David, I was so shocked to hear of your fall, but glad to see you are starting your recovery. All the very best and hope we can catch up again down the road.

  232. May 2, 2011 at 3:57 am

    Hi David,
    After I read your post, I’m glad you’re alive and ready for what is going to be your next months. Be patient, and I wish you a fast recovery.
    Well, now you’ll have plenty of time (I suppose) to read and write even more!
    All the best!

  233. Duncan Bell

    May 2, 2011 at 4:06 am

    Hah!

    I win! Mr Feed-your-soul pays the price! The farthest I can fall from my cubicle is down a pay grade! Who’s laughing now!

    Lifelong monotony trumps adventure and passion! For the win!

    (Thoughts are with you buddy)

  234. May 2, 2011 at 6:17 am

    David

    I just heard the news, thank goodness you are ok and on the mend. Take it easy, and like everyone, look forward to seeing you back to full strength soon.

    Very best wishes,
    MarkB
    http://www.X100Photo.co.uk

  235. Anita Shaul

    May 2, 2011 at 8:05 am

    David -
    My husband & I decided a couple of weeks ago to pack it up and move to Latin America. You have been one of my inspirations along the way to making that decision. We are applying to the Peace Corps – Warren did a stint in Jamaica many years ago. We are both over 60, and have already had many adventures along the way. One of the biggest fears is something medical happening, and not having insurance. Discovering yesterday what you are going through put me face to face with the reality of what can happen… I didn’t reflect long on whether or not to continue with the plan, but the brief reflection did reinforce how strongly I feel that it is time for this new page in life. We expect to leave in fall of 2012. Don’t know if I’ll get a chance to meet you before we go, but you will be traveling with us in spirit.
    Anita Shaul

  236. May 2, 2011 at 8:25 am

    David, I add my prayers for a speedy and peaceful recovery. And I pray that this can be productive, fruitful time for you, even though it isn’t what you had planned for yourself. I pray that your creative desire can still move in these circumstances that have been given. I look forward to sharing the fruits of this unexpected twist in the journey!

  237. Heather

    May 2, 2011 at 8:29 am

    Praying for a quick recovery for you David, have been since Mike let us know about your accident. I am touched by your insight from the accident….amazing how we can take a tough situation and teach others about this….

  238. Jason

    May 2, 2011 at 8:45 am

    I read about your fall via Scott Kelby’s blog last week. Wishing and praying for your swift recovery and that you can be back out as soon as possible to complete your circumnavigation of the USA. You remind me of Freida Kahlo lying in the hospital bed. Swift recovery.

  239. Bao

    May 2, 2011 at 10:08 am

    Love the post. Keep up that great attitude and inspiring us to do more with our lives.

  240. May 2, 2011 at 10:21 am

    David, thank you for all the time you invest in us. You inspire me. Praying for a speedy recovery.

  241. Abhimanyu

    May 2, 2011 at 11:16 am

    David, you are and have always been an inspiration to me. I wish you a speedy and complete recovery!

  242. phil

    May 2, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    God’s speed on your recovery David. And if you have a bit of a limp, so be it. It’ll make a good pub tale down the line.

  243. Kent

    May 2, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    David, I always enjoy and receive inspiration from your blog and I know you’ll find a way to continue to enhance your vision and inspire others.

  244. Gladys Hedaya

    May 2, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    Get well soon!!

  245. May 2, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    David,
    Your imagery and thoughts are nothing short of inspirational. I have and will continue to enjoy your work and musings into the future.
    Heal fast so that you can continue to live the dream.
    Here’s to a speedy recovery,
    Regards bruce

  246. May 2, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    Holy smoke, I must be living under a rock! You are a truly inspiring man, even when you’re down.

    Hope your road to recovery is a speedy one!! Hang in there and get back at it soon!

  247. Rob l

    May 2, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    Time for us to inspire you. Hope and pray for your complete and speedy recovery.

  248. May 2, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    The irony of “risk” you wrote about before you fell runs deep…but the fact that you lived thru it is the message the correlates.

    I learned so much (and felt not so alone!) from reading this post…and…I can think of two people immediately, I will send this post to. One of which will file it under Unicorns and Rainbows in the file cabinet of their cubicle….but the other might see the potential of working hard at both life and work…and that’s kind of exciting.

    I”m glad I found you via a tweet tonight…then clicked on the “and then I fell” link.

    Best wishes for a soulful recovery!

    @zaneology

  249. May 2, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    Very glad you survived your physical fall and will recover (as you did from your metaphysical/philosophical fall). Hope the recovery is not too long & painful (although a little pain can sometimes be a good thing).

    Thanks for writing these blog posts on risk & fear. They’re very challenging and thought provoking. They do take a fair bit of time & energy to read & digest, but it’s time & energy well spent IMHO.

    All the best for a speedy recovery. I’m sure we’ll be seeing all sorts of iPhone hospital staff portraits in the weeks to come. ;-)

  250. John DeConstanza

    May 3, 2011 at 6:37 am

    I understand your point about risk but you must also balance risk versus responsibility. You and a lot of other people do not have a wife and you do not have a children, therefore your risk only involves yourself.

    Risk is more difficult when you are responsible for other people. Remember that.

    For instance what if I took a risk and stood on a wall just to get the correct angle for a photo and fell like you did? Who would pay my bills while I am in the hospital? Who is paying for your hospital bills and the airlift back to Canade from Italy? My guess is that either your parents are wealthy or the state (and the hard working people in the cubicles) are paying your medical bills.

    Remember some people have responsibility and cannot say f*** all and prance about the world like children. Someone has to pay the bills.

  251. anita

    May 3, 2011 at 8:19 am

    Nice to see that a 20-ish foot fall has done nothing to dissuade you from throwing down a gauntlet yet again. :) ..love your spirit.

    “..it’s a gift to fall down and get up.” It’s a gift that you are here to post those words!

    Your words remind me of a story I heard about an attorney who took a vacation in the Caribbean to escape the responsibilities of his 60-80 hour workweek. He was sitting with the man who owned the local dive shop, looking out at the water and said, “Wow, what a great life you have here.” The dive instructor answered, “I chose this life.”

    Acknowledging that we have the power to chose is hard because we also have to accept responsibility and because sometimes our “choices” have been made by abdicating choice.

    Not sure that I’m completely ready to jump, but here’s to eating dirt, licking frogs and mistakes made along the way!

    Many prayers for an excellent recovery!

  252. David

    May 3, 2011 at 8:21 am

    John, I think you’ve misunderstood me. I’m not suggesting anyone say “f*** all” nor prance around the world like children. Forgive me but your comment sounds pretty condescending and judgmental.

    When I fell I saw no risk. I’ve climbed for years and saw no reason not to look for a better angle. It was a bad decision not recklessness.

    My bills are paid for by multiple and expensive insurance policies, and my parent’s income is none of your business.

    You’ve misunderstood my article and I’m guessing you’ve come here with no previous connection to who I am or what I stand for. You’re welcome here but not if you treat me or my community with presumption or unkindness.

    My discussion of risk and fear is about overcoming things that stand in the way of us doing the things we long to do with our lives, being the people we long to be – including responsible parents, lovers, spouses, and citizens. I linked the post above to my falling off the wall because failure – no matter what the context – contains lessons that, when we learn from them, will make us stonger, wiser, and better.

    Clearly this post hit you the wrong way, and pressed some buttons. I’m not looking for a discussion, but I find it curious that you’d respond this way. You sound unhappy.

  253. May 3, 2011 at 8:43 am

    To everyone else, thank you again for the beautiful comments. I’m in good hands here in Ottawa and awaiting surgery, which we’re hoping will happen tomorrow (Wednesday May 04). Every day I get a little less bruised and some of the sore spots go away, while my muscles also turn to jello.

    I get free wifi in the hospital and no shortage of visits and phone calls. I also get countless comments and emails and notes on FB and Twitter and if I could be healed with love and kindness I’d be walking out of here whole right now. Thank you so, so much. I’m deeply grateful. :-)

  254. May 3, 2011 at 8:43 am

    Thank you so much, David! I am so sorry to hear about your recent mishaps but very thankful that everything is turning out for you. I stumbled across your website this morning and have not been able to devote as much time as I want to your posts (I’m at that “stupid job” now) but I wanted to express my gratitude for you and the things you’ve written here. They brought a tear to my eye and have inspired me! I can’t wait to get home and read more! Blessings and best wishes for a speedy recovery!

  255. May 3, 2011 at 9:22 am

    I would like to throw something out there, in the spirit of community and discussion. I have read a few people say here things to the effect of “get better fast so that you can continue to live the dream.” I would like to suggest that this isn’t the best attitude to take toward the often uncontrollable and unpredictable circumstances of our lives. If “living our dreams” is dependent on the perfect mix of circumstances, as our mentor DD himself has said, we will never accomplish those dreams.

    I would offer, instead, the fact that it isn’t so much our “dream” that we should be living, but rather, our desire. A dream (i.e. a particular idea of what our life should be) can often be blocked, delayed, and denied due to circumstances wholly outside our control (illness, accidents, death, war, natural disaster, etc). Our desire, on the other hand, can never be denied except by ourselves. It can live, no matter what the circumstances. The circumstances merely dictate the form that our desire takes in reality. But the circumstances can never eradicate that desire itself. (As a profound historical example of this, see the documentary about Alice Herz-Sommer. http://www.nickreedent.com/).

    As a personal example, I have a dream of being a full-time vocational photographer. And I am striving materially toward that dream as much as I can each day, taking all the risks that I can without impairing the material and psychic wellbeing of my wife and children. But a variety of circumstances (current employment, family needs, etc) may very well delay or entirely prevent that dream from becoming reality, no matter how hard I work or how much risk I take.

    My desire to express the beauty that I encounter in the world, however, is not blocked by these circumstances. It can never be blocked. No matter what, I can always do something to allow that desire to breath, even if it is only a solitary exposure made on the way home from work of something that strikes my eye and heart.

    Here’s to living our desires. The dream is in someone else’s hands.

  256. May 3, 2011 at 10:07 am

    Wow, I really hope you can heal well! Good luck with all the surgeries and physical therapy!!!

  257. Larry

    May 3, 2011 at 10:51 am

    Wow. Fantastic essay. As a happily recovering alcoholic, much of it resonates with me. However, I would like to add one caveat to your point about living your life and doing your job: there is honor in small things.

    Since becoming sober, I’ve started to embrace necessary risk more in the pursuit of my passions and dreams. However, what’s also made me a more contented person is to simply appreciate where I am and to enjoy being of service to others in the moment. So while I might not love my 9 to 5, I have developed an ability to derive a sense of well-being by doing my particular job well and helping those around me. Going to bed at night without the anxiety of being “in the dog house” with work or family members because of under performing, having a bad attitude, or living a double-life has done wonders for my happiness. That isn’t to say that I don’t have future plans and that I’m not taking concrete steps to work towards them–I most assuredly am. But rather than just saying “take this job and shove it”, I’ve learned to be contented where I am while still working for the future. Of course if a person were to be in a highly dysfunctional or abusive relationship or work environment, then it’d be a different story. But as far as being in a “boring cubicle job” goes, I’ve discovered contentment in life even with that, so long as I approach it the right way. Bloom where you are planted until you can engineer a transplant for yourself.

  258. Andy Stanislav

    May 3, 2011 at 11:27 am

    David,
    I sit here reading and viewing your post in total shock, holy shit !!!
    Mend and recover as time allows, stay positive and focused. I can’t imagine how hard it will be but I think you have many people’s best wishes.
    I hope to partake in one of your courses in the future so get well !
    APS

  259. Lisa

    May 3, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    Holy spit. All thoughts for a quick recovery….

  260. muzz

    May 3, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    Hi David, sounds like it’s time to make lemonade!! You know in your head and your heart that people are able to recover physically and mentally from these events, but it takes a considerable amount of energy and support, not to mention faith and determination. Without diminishing the severity of your injuries and what lies ahead for you in your recovery, you will put it behind you steadily. In the meantime, I hope you can grasp this incredible ( ;-) ) opportunity to give the time and consideration to all those important little things that always get pushed into a lower priority by those which seem to have a higher demand, are more fun or easier to deal with, but nevertheless lurk irritatingly at the periphery of consciousness. Kind of like being forced to shoot with nothing but a 50mm lens for a few months – some of your choices are taken away but it forces a different way of thinking and doing things.

    You have broken some of your gear but you still have your vision! Shape, focus and sharpen it to it’s maximum potential while your gear is getting fixed.

  261. May 4, 2011 at 12:42 am

    Great post David. Wishing you a full and safe recovery.

  262. May 4, 2011 at 6:16 am

    Wow, David. Just heard the news. Very sorry to learn that you’ve been injured. Glad that the outcome was not worse, although certainly sounds bad enough. Wishing you all the best for a full and speedy recovery. Your spirit will see you through! Cheers from Chicago. -Matt

  263. May 4, 2011 at 7:01 am

    You dont know me… but I’ve admired you and your work for a long time. Praying for your speedy recovery and thankful you are still with us. Thanks for what you wrote here… I needed to read this today. :)

  264. bk

    May 4, 2011 at 7:32 am

    Hi David, I’m not adding any quality to this post, only quantity, but wanted you to know (in case you’re slow, which I know you’re not) that you are well loved/admired. I hope you have a quick recovery, and continue to be fulfilled, inspired, and inspiring.
    - BK

  265. Nadia

    May 4, 2011 at 10:35 am

    WOW – so glad that you are not hurt as badly as you could have been – and thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us – I’ve been thinking this way for awhile now but haven’t figured out how to take the next step – maybe, I will begin the journey now – you have inspired me. Have a speedy recovery and maybe one day we will meet. I hope so.

  266. John

    May 4, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    Wow, wondered why I hadn’t seen postings lately. So sorry to hear but glad you a relatively OK. Plenty of time to finish that next book now huh! Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

  267. May 4, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    Dear David,

    wish you all the best and a complete and early recovery! I do really hope that the only sequel of this unlucky accident will be you to be a bit more wise! Keep well,

    Daniel

    PD I would be really glad to see you again on the road very soon, fulfilling your dreams. And just in case that you would like to organise a workshop in Spain, do not hesitate to contact me. My country is as wonderful as Italy and offers also fantastic views for a magic view like yours.

  268. Hemant Anand

    May 5, 2011 at 1:02 am

    Dear David

    My heart goes for you. I pray for you to get well soon and real soon. It’s also great to see that you are back online. My best wishes are always with you.

    Lots of love.
    Hemant

  269. S.Selvasekar

    May 5, 2011 at 1:53 am

    My dear David,

    I was shocked about your accident. You are the one of the man who inspired me very much through your photography journeys. I always wish to live like you guy since i love these kind of journeys very much though there are many risks. what happened is happened. And yep as you said life is short and uncertain. But don’t give up whatever happens….
    I pray to God for your speed recovery and let him give you more strength to overcome this downtime and i am sure you will rock again.

    With lots of love
    S.Selvasekar

  270. Misha

    May 5, 2011 at 5:05 am

    David,

    I’m glad to hear that you are doing okay. I wish you easy and complete recovery. Keep your spirits high.

    Misha

  271. May 5, 2011 at 5:06 am

    David my prayers go out to you for a quick and full recovery. I had a similar incident on Memorial Day of 2010 when I was photographing waterfalls and took a step I shouldn’t have taken and ended up snapping my tibia in half and cracked my fibula about three inches. Ended up being a very, very long summer of surgery, rods, pins and recovery. It would be easy to want to never take that same chance again but we know as photographers that we live for the shot. The shot is never handed to us on a silver platter. Sometimes you have to go beyond safety and sometimes that ends in disaster, but most times not. Your creative spirit is an inspiration to us all and I know it will help you get through this ordeal and make you a better person and a better photographer in the end. If nothing else, this experience will probably spurn a hell of an eBook about vision and perseverance.

  272. May 5, 2011 at 7:16 am

    Hi David,

    I cam across your story on the Singh Ray blog and it moved me incredibly so! 3 years ago my wife lost half of her right leg while riding a motorcycle and being hit by a drunk driver. Her outlook on life was amazing! Not once did she ever complain or whine. You remind me of her!

    I can only hope that you make a full recovery and that you continue your amazing work!

    All the best,

    Craig

  273. May 5, 2011 at 11:15 am

    I’ve forwarded this post to several friends, it’s an excellent piece of thinking and writing. God bless you and may you return to health as soon as possible.

    MC

  274. May 5, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    David – What a beautiful post… one that resonates so much with where I find myself once more in my life. My previous risks all worth it and I would definitely do again. I also know it is again time for a change, even bigger and more meaningful. And yes, I can understand why this resonates so much with you right now during your recovery. Take care and best wishes.

  275. May 5, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    David,
    On so many levels you are a blessed man.

    1) What you do and say affects many lives both on a technical/photographic level and an emotional grab-life-by-the-big-toe level. Not many people have an opportunity to have that impact on such a large and diverse audience.

    2) You are skilled beyond words. You have an effortless ability to both create striking images and write technical books (that make clear sense).

    3) Your fall clearly could have resulted differently. But because of your positive outlook and trust in healing, I really believe you’ll be back to almost normal.

    Thanks for encouraging a full life through your words and your example.

  276. May 5, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    [...] The story of his heartbreaking fall and a timely post on taking life-risks can be found here: http://www.pixelatedimage.com/blog/2011/04/and-then-i-fell/ [...]

  277. May 5, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    David, I just found out about you, your book, and your blog the day before you fell. I gotta tell ya, you are a true inspiration! I love the positive attitude! Get better soon!

  278. May 6, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    I am terribly sorry to learn about your fall! But even more glad that you’re still around to write about it!

    The world needs more people like you.

    Your writing has helped my photography, and your story helped to convince me that going pro was the right thing to do.

    You’ll be back on your feet… and hopefully the next time you’re in Seattle, or I’m in Vancouver, I can buy you a drink :)

  279. Donna Osborne

    May 7, 2011 at 5:42 am

    David, you are an amazing person who I have never met. Thank you for sharing your story on The Power of Failure. I will share it with my sister and her husband who lost their home to foreclosure. A difficult time for them. And also this story reminds me of who I am… I love challenges. I always have. I thrive on them. One day few weeks ago, I made a bad decision when I fell into an icy river while photographing sunrise on icy lake. I realized I have never had a “normal” sense of fear when it comes taking risks. David, glad you are alive to share your story and many more stories too. Get well soon David. Good to know you keep the good spirit.Take good care! Praying… Donna

  280. May 8, 2011 at 5:12 am

    David, wishing you quick recovery! I keep you in my thoughts and prayers and believe your body will heal quickly and with no complications.

  281. Glenn Dixon

    May 8, 2011 at 7:16 am

    I wish you all the best and hope your recovery is speedy! You have had a profound impact on my work and outlook on life since I discovered your online culture and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Soon enough you will be back bigger and stronger than ever before. All the best.

    Glenn

  282. May 8, 2011 at 9:28 am

    David,
    I wanted to add my good wishes for a speedy and complete recovery. (And don’t let doctors tell you what you will or won’t be able to do – they’ve been proved wrong so many times before.) I also look forward to seeing where you go photographically while recovering as I have no doubts you’ll find something interesting to work with, even if you’re immobile. All the very best to you, and hope you’re up on your feet again soon.

  283. Di

    May 9, 2011 at 3:10 am

    I came bouncing in here, having just recommended you and your website to yet someone else and almost cried reading this. I’m so glad you’re healing and that you’re still writing. Anything you need from Belgium (the healing property of good chocolate is spoken of in hushed tones here, as is Belgian beer) do let me know.
    Well … I shall go and read the rest above. I had to scroll to find out what had happened. Sterkte! as they say here. It means ‘Strength!’ but I’m sure you have a ton of it.

  284. Maciej

    May 10, 2011 at 6:47 am

    I wish you a very quick recovery David. Recover quickly !

  285. May 10, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Hey, if you’re ever in LA, I’ll treat you for nothing. If you know any LA Phil or Hollywood bowl musicians, they probably know about us. Get well soon!

  286. May 10, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    [...] humanitarian photographer, David duChemin speaks about his experience falling off a 20-30ft wall in Italy.  I first heard of him when Junshien bought me the awesome book, Within the Frame. [...]

  287. May 10, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    David,
    A friend of mine sent me your incredible story. I am so sorry that this has happened to you from the bottom of my heart. I know what it feels like to want to get that “magic” shot so badly that you will do anything to get it. Your work is truly amazing and speaks volumes. You were meant to stay on this earth my friend. Although you are in pain and agony now, this experience will make you an even stronger man.
    My brother was 29 when he had a very bad fall and he died on his way to the hospital, so I truly understand how you must be feeling. I am in tears just thinking about it. Life can change on a dime so you really do have to live it to it’s fullest.
    I wish you a speedy recovery and let this be time for you to reflect on your life and what’s ahead.
    Beverley

  288. May 13, 2011 at 11:53 am

    God bless and I pray for a full speedy recovery for you and strength to get through it all. I look forward to reading more of your blog you have a an ispiring and outlook on life and I for one appreciate you sharing it with us.

  289. May 14, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    Your writing is honest, which is something I greatly appreciate. Can I add one more to your list of things that make life real and really interesting? Have children. Really… have children. =) Or not. Sending you a warm hug.

  290. simone

    May 16, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    hi david! damn i knew right now about ur accident! i’m italian and it’s so strange find a picture of an italian newspaper talkin about you!! hope everithing will get better soon…
    best wishes!

  291. May 18, 2011 at 5:19 am

    Good luck recovering man!! Happy you survived.

  292. May 24, 2011 at 8:21 am

    Praying that your recovery is progressing. Thanks for the thoughts — lots of us think them but not many of us act on them.

  293. May 28, 2011 at 8:53 am

    Hi David,

    It was great meeting you online. What an interesting story you have to tell. I am on your side on this. I left my lifelong cubicle 2 years ago and don’t want to go back ever.

    Best wishes for your recovery,

    Harald Kanz

  294. Todd Roberts

    May 31, 2011 at 7:02 am

    David,

    Thanks for reminding me that I made the right choice of leaving an advertising agency. In 22 days it will have been 10 years. It lead me to making movies, traveling the world, getting closer to nature, marveling at life and rekindling my love of photography.

    I switched from MedJet to Global Rescue. Thankfully, I’ve never had to use either.

    Cheers.

  295. June 27, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    [...] har skrevet flere blog indlæg om sin ulykke, og andre har også skrevet om den, f.eks Jeffrey Chapman og norske Eli [...]

  296. June 28, 2011 at 2:12 am

    [...] talk about their processes to develop technique and improve your personal style. However after a well documented and serious fall on one of his more recent photo tours, David is back with another book exploring how to bring [...]

  297. July 6, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    [...] have their work out there, to be seen, to be appreciated, and if there’s one happy result of my accident in Italy, it’s that I’ve had time these last two months to finally begin the work on printing my [...]

  298. July 29, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    Super late to the comments, and reapeating common sentiments: Get well soon, become a superhero.

    Thank you for the inspiring post. I whole heartedly agree with your no-reward-without-risk philosophy. I’ll be jumping off that proverbial cliff with an out-of-the-blue move next month.
    You’re right about the risk takers in life. Never have I heard someone who truely embraced the trial and overcame it talk about not having learned a valuable lesson that helped them later in life.

  299. August 12, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    David I actually missed this post about your accident, I just heard about it on Facebook, so I came to the blog looking for it. I wanted to find out what had happened and follow you on your recovery journey. Like everyone else I wish you a easy road! I’m pretty sure you’ve already come away from this a more powerful person, lessons learned (on how NOT to fall of a wallk, gratitude, the value of time and friends, and perspective).

    This part of your post ” Coddle a child and don’t let him eat a little dirt or lick the occasional frog and that child never develops the kind of immune system that keeps him strong. ” really hit home for me. I spent my childhood and early adult years always hearing “don’t do that, be careful, you’ll get hurt” – so guess what I didn’t DO anything. I never learned to swim or ride a bike. I never really played with the neighborhood kids. I didn’t have any boyfriends in high school. NO – all those things might cause pain!

    Only since a divorce in 2001 have I really opened my eyes and my life to risk. I’ve learned to ride a bike (on my own!), sky dived, bungee jumped, rapelled into a cave, traveled to non-English speaking countries on my own, quit a high paying job to travel Canada and the US in an RV for 6 months with a new husband and 2 cats. People said we couldn’t do it, and had reasons why we shouldn’t. But we did it anyway and they all said how they envied us. Just do it – I told them.

    Agreed – this spin around the marble is short. Live it!

  300. August 24, 2011 at 10:14 am

    [...] of writing 4 truly amazing books in 3 years, his workshops, his thought provoking blog posts and his positive spirit as he faced life-threatening challenges – is David [...]

  301. August 26, 2011 at 11:55 am

    very late in stumbling upon this post, but it just resonated with me so much! I thought for months about going to school for photography or trying to explore it while I worked at my “real job.” But I did nothing. It wasn’t until my job fired me and I had no choice but to slink back to corporate america and find another job I hated, or take the risk and go after photography. 9 years later, I would still say that the failure & humiliation of getting fired was one of the best things that ever happened to me, and I thank God for it!

    I hope you are well and totally healed! (but I’ll look at the rest of the posts since this one and will probably see for myself :)

  302. September 20, 2011 at 10:41 am

    [...] really seems to be “Gear is good, but vision is better.” Earlier this year in Italy, David fell off a 20 foot wall and fractured his both his legs and pelvis. The previous two people that fell from the same wall [...]

  303. September 30, 2011 at 2:08 am

    I had to do a find on all of the comments to discover that only One person (Ieuan) referenced the Wizard of Oz as the Cinematic archetype for this paradigm? I wouldnt be so concerned with the lessons Pixars visions of the future might hold, as a lot as what many appear to have already forgotten (or never learned).

  304. October 4, 2011 at 8:53 am

    [...] was listening to this podcast where David duChemin talks about his fall in Pisa and how he’s recovering from it today. duChemin is a photographer very far away from my core [...]

  305. March 5, 2012 at 11:41 am

    [...] him on an amazing 11-day road trip through 4 western US states… and there was the whole not dying thing. I’m excited about this new era of [...]