Since taking up hiking and photography again, I can honestly say I now have an inexpensive and healthy, outlet for disturbances in my life. Hiking used to be nearly impossible due to Morton’s Neuroma in my foot. I’ve lost about 25 lbs all told (Initially about 35 lbs. Unfortunately, man can not survive on anxiety, regret, and grief alone, there’s got to be substance eventually .. doesn’t there?). Hopefully I can keep hangin’ around this weight through winter because I’ve absolutely enjoyed getting out and stealing light rays with my time machine (A camera is basically a light stealing time machine; once you capture an image, that image is frozen in time).
Today, I rolled out of bed (After kicking the cats off my legs), brushed my teeth, sipped a little cold coffee from yesterday, picked one of the closest trails to my house on “All Trails“, grabbed my camera bag, and drove over. When I arrived, I was a little unsure, but after walking down the trail about 100 yards, I was immediately free of the city (not the sounds), in nature, and on another path to working through a journey. Yesterday was about as difficult a day as I’ve had in a few months, so it was vital that I get out and renew. So many difficulties in my life right now, they become overwhelming, all consuming, and irritatingly distracting.
I ordered a couple books (then ordered them again in audio form because “impatient”), listened to the first one all night (literally, didn’t sleep, listened, felt uncomfortable, listened, and listened more). The next morning, I started the second book, and that’s when the dam broke. A couple chapters in, and I wasn’t going to be able to stop the tears much longer. By early afternoon, I was sobbing embarrassingly hard, shaking, and absolutely gave in to the process as best I could (men will be men, and it’s difficult to let the tears roll as they wish). I called my mother when I had drained the well a little. I tried to hold it long enough to get a few words out, deep breath, hold it a little more, get some more words out, and after a few hours, I was “okay”. There’s nothing like a mother, cherish your mother if you’ve still got her, if you don’t, put those wonderful memories someplace safe and use them when you’re having a bad day of it. Her voice will still ring in your ears if you focus, remember, soak in the feeling she would have given you in that moment. The advice may not come, but the feelings she evoked will.
I went back out to my car a few hours later, meditated as best I could (I’m still practicing, so it doesn’t feel natural yet), and pressed on with my evening. I went to bed feeling pretty rough, but slept hard for a few hours. Did this hike, received some much needed tough truth before work, and here I am. I’m re-writing this as a direct result of the tough truth I received earlier today. When you’ve hurt someone in your past, didn’t realize how badly because your communication skills are so dismal, and they finally reach the right moment to tell you about it, I feel it is undeniably important to take that tough truth, and start maturing from it. It stings, it sucks I was like that, and it is embarrassing because my ego told me I was a good man through that part of my life. There is probably a trail of carnage along my life’s journey so far. I know I have hurt or damaged people in my past, but I didn’t know “precisely when or how”. With this piece of tough truth I received today, I can speak with my therapist about it for ideas, work on myself in ways I know work, and try my best to not be that disrespectful, sharp tongued oblivious person again. No one should ever have to keep silent after being made to feel anything but first in your life. Especially, absolutely, not a person that was as completely and utterly dedicated to you as they were to me. My heart aches for anyone that had to bite their tongue with me because mine was too sharp. If I could unzip my soul and re-calibrate my “self absorbed” self, I would have done it a year ago when I first realized I wasn’t as good a person as I assumed I was. Today I learned something important and specific about myself, it wasn’t pretty, it stings, but I can’t say thank you hard enough for the way it was worded, delivered, and timed. Thank you.
The photography part of this post was an introspective, recharging experience (grateful for the recharge before the tough truth came. I need the energy to process it in a healthy way). I used my Pentax K100D Super (only DSLR I’ve got), and my 1970’s 28mm f/2.4 lens (Can’t remember the brand, but it cost $19 shipping included from Etsy). About a mile in I started to wish I had brought my (1970’s) 50mm f/1.7, but part of the fun in photography, is making what you have work, no complaints.
Please enjoy the images, I hope a few of them are interesting. I edited them in a hurry, and can now see they’re a little dark. It was/is a very smokey day here, so they’re pretty muted. They were an absolute joy to capture, and a hobby I hope to be doing for years to come. I look forward to the day when I’m a man less dangerous to be with so me and my partner can enjoy the crazy looks we’re given by passers by, goofy crouches as we look for the most interesting angle, squinty faces while we try to see how the image turned out, and ohhh’s & aaaaah’s with.
Clickity Clack, grab your backpack, we’re goin’ on a stroll! ~me
“Don’t forget your phone and bring water!” ~mom