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Man plans and the god(s) laugh. Last year, I took the first steps backwards towards my beginning. You see I had originally set out to build a life, a vocation, my visual expression piece by carefully placed piece, each revealing more of the overall picture. Shooting events, architecture and interiors, food, urban landscapes, fine art, and nature wasn't a slapdash approach but instead aspects that touch on and tells the story of our everyday lives. Travel photography being the intersection of them all.
It's coming together... one day... I still need to build up my... Then there was no more reason for delay. 'No time like the present' became a daily reality.
Fast forward to now and I barely recognize my old life, self, and way of moving through our big blue marble. Make no mistake, I'm still focused and flawed, this isn't an I-achieved-enlightenment-that-I-sell-for-only-79.99 type of story, just my opportunity to share bits of my journey. Opening up more: to imperfection, to discomfort, to the re-affirmation that our experiences are indeed unique and meant to be shared, not sublimated or morphed into easily digestible memes and like-bait.
Where am I now? Almost daily I ask myself the same question; sometimes it's a practical query considering how often my (digital) nomad lifestyle has me hopping from city to city. But just as likely, it's a gut-check. Where is my focus? Going into the Memorial Day weekend, honestly, a bit scattered and anxious. Solution? The great outdoors and an 'unplugged' getaway and a shared warm beverage and new connections.
What next? Savoring, working diligently towards unlearning and releasing myself from self-imposed limitations. You're welcome to come along.
Jackson Demo SP.1Entrance to Cal Fire's Jackson Demonstration State Forest where "demonstration trails have been developed with trail guides to inform visitors about the ecology, history and management of the redwood forest". Glow sticks to hang from tent guylines. A little trick I learned from friends. "I grew up in a forest. It's like a room. It's protected. Like a cathedral... it is a place between heaven and earth." Anselm Kiefer Primarily for meditation, but heat ranks is a close second. Brought my own tinder in the form dryer lint in a used paper towel roll. Kindling takes a little more work to find.
Chiracahua National Monument
San Simeon Beach
Contrary to our usual way of perceiving the world, you really can see more in the dark. Away from the city clutter and far from de bruit of the 24-hour news cycle, I found myself standing in a freezing parking lot looking up at the stars which were, frankly, out-glamming the flora and fauna of the day. (Note: after hearing the raucous coyote football game going on in the woods, I chose a less isolated area to shoot in.)
The expansiveness was humbling. Knowing that I was actually seeing a 3 dimensional tableau with thousands of points of light and having that register in my brain were two different things. It was distracting and hard to know where to focus and this was just one arc of the visible sky. But stillness and patience and alertness were rewarded with clarity and the occasional captured shooting star (or airplane). Then there was the unexpected feeling of reassurance that comes with the reminder that we too are part of the larger expanse being from and of one of these little pinpricks of light.
Boundaries - real and manmade - in the natural world are only obstacles until we find a way to transverse them. Ocean, land, sky, and space, one by one we've traveled farther than we thought possible often risking the wrath, or disappointment, of those left behind. On an earth this small and interdependent, insularity is no longer an option if it ever truly was. So, we voyage onwards foregoing everything from minor comforts to hard won safety and security. Brief road trip and lengthy excursion alike re-affirm a fundamental desire and need to explore, better ourselves, and make connections beyond our sphere. For me, traveling will always be the search for those brilliant guideposts best seen in the dark.
Enchanted Rock SP-005Information pavillion at base of Summit Trail leading to Enchanted Rock Enchanted Rock SP-008One of several North American batholiths including Georgia's Stone Mountain and California's Sierra Nevada (Half Dome) Enchanted Rock SP-020 Enchanted Rock SP-025 Enchanted Rock SP-049Mini car sized boulders on top of Enchanted Rock Enchanted Rock SP-112View from Scenic View Trail at sunset. Enchanted Rock SP-141 Enchanted Rock SP-144Evening star EnchantedRock astro -005Star field above Enchanted Rock with Milky Way visible to the naked eye. EnchantedRock astro -006Light pollution is intentionally limited in Dark Shy designated parks and reserves. Enchanted Rock SP-149A lone coyote roamed near the campsites at night but kept its distance. Enchanted Rock SP-159Camp site had a covered picnic area with a table for four. Close access to parking from across a small bridge. Enchanted Rock SP-176Interpretive Loop Trail Enchanted Rock SP-191
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