Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Why I Do It

Sometimes it feels like a sickness. Why isn't it enough for me to look at things with my eyes, stamp it into my brain and move on? Why must I want to capture it in a frame from every angle and add it to my ever mounting collection on my hard drive?

It's the world as I see it or so I tell myself. But who really cares? I do.

As I drove up Interstate 5 last night, I shot what I thought was hundreds of pictures. Turns out it was less than 40. I couldn't wait to look at them and examine my bounty. The trip took me longer than it ever had before, but not as long as it could have since I knew my sister and niece were waiting for me.

Once upon a time, I would make the drive from our home in Southern California up to my sister's in Sacramento and try to beat my time. First it was almost 8 hours, then it was down to 7 hours. I once made in over 6. It was about efficiency, it was about getting to the end, it was the way I learned how to travel. Even with children in tow, I wouldn't even stop to eat at a crummy fast food restaurant, it was grab and go.

Now, as I got to the farmland, I wanted to pull off on almost every exit. I soothed myself by pulling off four different times. It was wonderful...driving record be damned!

There is a friend of mine whose great (or great great) aunt came to California in a covered wagon. He knows all about her adventure because she wrote about it in a journal. I remember being jealous of her. The world had changed. There were no longer those types of adventures. Ah, but there are new and different adventures. Adventures that in a 100 years from now will never be. How can we know that the farmlands will still exist? That the sky will still be as blue with the stark white clouds beautifully contrasting in view? That the sun will set, it's rays sparking in all different directions? That one will be able to just get in a car on a whim and head wherever one's heart desires?

It may be that no one ever reads this, no one ever looks at my photographs, no one ever cares. I do it for me. I do it for my heart. I do it because for some reason, it's what calls out to me. Maybe, though, just maybe, one day someone will read it and they will see the beauty as I saw it. They will know what our everyday was like. They will be inspired to also leave their family a footprint of who they were and what they loved.

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