Autumnal Thoughts

I may be wrong (and I usually am), but I reckon there are a huge number of people out there, who have never known life without the internet, or ‘smart’ (and I use the word advisedly) phones.

I remember, for example, when the news was only on a few times a day, and most information needed to be looked up in a real live book – with pages and everything…… some of us even had a set of encyclopaedias in the house…..

Now though, we have a 24 hour rolling news, which repeats itself every hour or so, with them looking frantically for new things to talk about all the time. No matter how trivial or banal.

Photography is going the same way. “Quick quick” they yell, get that image sorted NOW! Don’t wait and see how it works, just post it for the most ‘likes’….

Don’t hold anything back…

Oftentimes, I go out (and this mostly when I’m on my own), and I can spend a long time just looking, and this before I even get the camera out of the bag, never mind press the shutter button.

Whilst I was out at the beach the other day – I stood staring at the sky, the dunes, and the sea – the smell of salt air was all around, and the wind was lifting my hair. Clouds scudded across the sky, and I waited, breathed, and watched. Gulls wheeled about, and redshank skittered around the water as the tide receded.

Next to me, a lady wandered up. “What are you doing?” she asked…. “Nothing”, I said, “just watching”.

“Why?” she asked “Are you not taking any photographs?”. “I will, eventually” I said, and she wandered off, obviously confused, back to the car, after taking one quick shot with her phone.

Taking photographs, making music, writing – you have to be ‘in the zone’, and it may take time to get there. Once in though, it’s a delight – time goes past, and fast, and before you know it – it’s time to walk home for tea…..

I see this a lot, with folks not taking the time to really look, smell, taste, experience the when of where they are. They miss the sounds, and sensations beyond the narrow view of a car window. They can be in a place of amazing beauty without actually really being there. When we don’t pay attention to our surroundings, we may as well not go in the first place.

Autumn is well and truly underway now – the leaves are turning, and it’s time to get out and look at this new season. Who knows what the coming weeks will bring…..

New Beginnings

It’s Sunday, and it’s cold and wet, and already I’ve had one soaking whilst walking the dogs – but now I’m home and showered, and thinking about the week just past.

I met a friend I hadn’t seen for years yesterday, and we spent a couple of hours just walking about the promenade, and drinking tea.  It was one of those weird meetings really, when you find that over the years, you’ve changed – and they’ve changed.  I sat and watched as she uncomfortably snapped in half the wooden stirrers that came with the tea.  

“What’s the problem?” I said, “Why are you so nervous?”.  

“I was worried that we couldn’t connect any more” she said

Later, we both relax, and then the flow of chatter doesn’t stop.  Turns out that we haven’t changed that much really – we just didn’t know quite how to get started again.  Once into the flow, and it was like we hadn’t been apart.

In a couple of weeks time I’m doing two talks over three days, and they’ll be ‘in person’.  I’m not sure that I haven’t forgotten how to do it.  Pretty sure I’ll muddle through though, very much like meeting that friend we haven’t seen for a long time.

She gave me a kiss on the cheek as we parted, with promises to ‘do this again very soon’…… I really hope we do.