Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Remembering Good Times

Parked on an ideal overlook, nothing but the best company to indulge. Shot on the Olympus E-P3 paired with the M. Zuiko 12mm f/2.0, f/3.5 at 60" and ISO 200. Simpler times, simpler tools, easier focus.

Spent last night talking with a very close, very dear, friend who I haven't seen much of in the past couple years on account of his relocation to majestic (compared to the East Coast) Colorado. Ted. It's always a pleasure to engage him in conversation again, even though I wind up being a verbally befuddled mess with him over text messages. My mental agency inevitably regresses to my impressionable and scatterbrained early 20's whenever I engage with him, like a time capsule of developmental personality traits opened whenever we talk.

Hunting for things to write about today, I dove into the storied annals of my Flickr camera roll to get an idea of just what I'd been up to in past Octobers. Cruising the time wave back to 2012, I was pleasantly reminded of a damn fantastic trip he and I took down to Shenandoah National Park. Seems like I return there with some regularity anymore, deep down knowing that it's essentially a desperate reach to re-live the emotional bonds and states of mind discovered in those early, formative trips into the mountains with Ted.

I can't help but feeling, looking over those old photos, that I had a better sense of direction in those days. Suppose that's colored by the cognitive rose colored glasses of memory and nostalgia, but speaking strictly from the soberingly quantifiable analysis of my photos at the time, I was doing something different and can't for the life of me figure out how I ever had things so "figured out".

Rocks overlooking Shenandoah Valley proper. Shot on the Olympus E-P3 paired with the M. Zuiko 12mm f/2.0, f/4.0 at 60" and ISO 200. I am unyieldingly reminded of my oft overlooked passion for the square.

Frequently in our conversations, Ted remarks that he's never known someone so unyieldingly hard working as myself. I'm sure he means that statement with only the best intentions and encouragement, but particularly after hearing (reading) it last night, I couldn't help but incorporate the statement as a strong criticism of my unrelenting "battle rhythm" (damn corporate culture for coining this business lingo). He's certainly not the first person to indicate bewilderment that I manage to find time to breathe, but it's also not as poignant coming from anyone else. Ted happily confesses his experiences since moving out West have fostered a more hedonist (his words!) lifestyle. Meanwhile, I've doubled down on photography as my sole conduit of impact, sole hobby, the only thing from which to extract pleasure (and even then, the well is dry at times). Today, photography is integral, and I am incapable of imagining a version of myself not wholly driven by the pursuit of the image. It makes me wonder who I was, from Ted's perspective, before slowly narrowing my war path. I can't even turn my head enough to see where I came from anymore.

Sometimes the mountains feel alone, no matter who or what your company. Shot on the Olympus E-P3 paired with the M. Zuiko 12mm f/2.0, shot at f/2.0 and 1.3", ISO 200.

I'm working on plans to fly out and visit Ted next month. Of course there's lots of crap to deal with at the onset of the new month, but it's a trip that needs to happen. Basic needs for a vacation of some sort aside, time with him helps me refocus, remember who I am (which sounds stupidly cliche, but applies quite literally). It is entirely possible I would distill into a logical automaton if not for such critical influences snapping my attention back to the disorganized, frantic beauty of human impulse, intuition, and glorious, unbridled passion.