I’m currently in the Northwest, and there were three major components of my visit:

  • unwind from quitting job (actually enjoy traveling with no rush to get back)
  • write
  • take photographs

I’ve written, and I’ve taken plenty of photos.  And I’ve relaxed a lot.  I feel accomplished.  I’ve casually been adhering to the three – ehhh? – “rules”?  I’m feeling good.  A new story in the works that hit me in the chest like a sledgehammer.  A plot line unexpected, and I’m excited to explore the characters and see where this goes.

I haven’t been taking as many photos.  Granted, “I’m on vacation”, but there’s more to the photo than the photo.  There is the story behind it.  I came back with nearly 8k photos from Iceland.  I got a new lens, I was testing it out.  I drove around the whole country, and I was really into my camera.  I met some cool people, had some neat conversations, and there we go.  When I look back through some of those photographs, it’s upsetting that I see some and say, “I have no idea where I took that.”

I took that trip way too seriously.  As if it was going to make or break my photography career (that I’ve never had, and still don’t).  I think I would have come back with better photos if I relaxed more, and let myself have more fun.  And immersed myself more.

I’ve been all over the Northwest, sure.  But each day I’ve been taking my time and just letting it happen.  If I get to my destination, great.  If I don’t, it’s because I let Fate take my hand somewhere else.

The other night I grabbed some Japanese food, and slurped on miso soup as I watched the sun set down the street from my airbnb rental.

It was awesome.  It overlooks the path boats take in and out of Port Angeles, and I watched them become silhouettes against a retiring sun.  There were a couple people on the beach clicking away like crazy, never removing themselves from the eyepiece of their camera.  And I’m not judging, it’s just the description of what they were doing.

But I saw the sun set.  Not my camera, not my SD card filled with tons of photographs.  Me.  I remember it so well.  I remember the smell of the sea, the breeze, and a man grilling heavily from his deck as the smoke slowly glided over the water and you could smell the steaks.

I’m not certain if I’d have this memory if I’d brought my camera.  And there’s the lesson.  Knowing when to put the camera down.  Sometimes, it’s about you being there, in the moment, taking it in.

I sat on the bay for about an hour.  And before I left, I snapped a quick shot of the dying ember on my phone.  A boy was there with a girl and he was teaching her how to skip rocks, and I caught him in the photo.  And it was cute to watch how innocent they were and think about how I’m not that young anymore.  I left feeling really good, and sent hopeful vibes to the couple.