Tuesday, November 15, 2016

A Road Trip to Arkansas: Just What the Soul Required

It's easy to put off doing what you love, there is no necessity for the body or for your financial state. There is always time to do it tomorrow, always room to assume there will be a tomorrow. I have been talking about shooting the fall foliage in Arkansas for many years and have consistently missed it.

This year,  I lost my job, it seemed appropriate to go and finally shoot autumn in Arkansas. You either have money and no time or time and a lack of funds. There is also the doubt and apprehension that seems to follow you when you do what you want and not necessarily what convention says you should.

I described the ride as melancholy: so many ghosts on highway 30 going east. Several times I would have preferred turning around and coming home, feeling a bit isolated and lonely. I pressed on and what I experienced was that blissful moment of being out there. Freedom is never more evident than the feeling on the road and solitude welcomes great insight.

I've been intent on living on the continent and not necessarily in one state, that's my goal. The apprehension I felt making the break is the muscle that has atrophied with time. It's foreign for someone that has been responsible for a family, a single dad for the last 14 years, to be somewhat emancipated, even if for just a day or so.

I'm always looking for someone to say you're failing, not being responsible. I have an eighteen year old son that insists I get out there and supports me breaking away.  I'm not sure which of us is growing more at this point, all I know is it's a natural progression for both of us despite my feelings of discomfort.

I used to think I'd be a wildlife photographer and yet I didn't think I wanted to be alone for periods of time doing my job. Now everything is questionable- I am open to what ever destiny makes itself known. I am learning more about myself outside the constraints of fear and apprehension.

I realized yesterday, it was exactly what I needed. When we get off the treadmill, we realize the apparatus that surrounds us. The distance between places to go, people to meet, things to discover seems less. You realize the anesthetic we use to keep us feeling comfortable, at ease; waking from that anesthesia is a little unnerving.

With the feeling of being refreshed and renewed, ideas flood my mind, options and opportunities seem more available. Today I went and bought painting supplies, a new palette which will be a clean slate for the next series of paintings.

I feel open and available to create. When you are running in the static of daily life, sometimes the best you can do is jump off and realize adventure is just a drive away. Freedom is truly not only in our grasp but by choice.

Jump in, the water is fine!!!

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Friday, November 11, 2016

Highway 30 East: A Traveler Haunted by Ghosts

Memory lane, A long poignant journey

It was a long ride to Lake Catherine in Northwest Arkansas. I was very melancholy most of the way. Having the hours of time to myself allowed me to remember several eras of my life that passed on the same highway.

When I first came to Texas, the only sunny day of three days driving from New Jersey was in Little Rock, Arkansas. I remember watching the highway pass by, the hawks on fences, the future unknown ahead of me and home too far behind.

There was an unfamiliarity about the highway that made it an adventure. I enjoyed the new landscape, the long open road and the fleeting freedom of having no responsibilities; I was only18.

Over the last few decades I’ve driven this way to Beavers’ Bend, a trip the whole family enjoyed. I was in my twenties, we would bring our huskies, go fishing, my stepfather was always so excited about getting away, it was a special place for all of us.

I remember hot chocolate and autumn weekends in a small cabin. My oldest was twelve, before all the adolescent drama and crisis, we had so much fun, made so many memories.

Another trip, my brother and his new wife joined us with their niece. We stayed in Hot Springs on the spur of the moment decision. It was a time when we did things, we went places, we were all together.

I drove by the Crater of Diamonds and I thought for a moment of stopping to visit. I couldn’t bare the idea of being there without my son. It was one of the most recent trips where we fished for trout and visited several caverns in the area; I felt his absence.

All those hours on this same highway: Interstate 30 heading east. All the conversations, the laughter and all the stupid arguments I can’t even recall now. There are so many ghosts on this highway and I am haunted.

Now I’m alone, everyone is involved in their own lives, my oldest is out of town, my youngest is working. I am lonely and yet I seek a moment, call it a time out. I feel like I am playing hooky from my life, I’m unemployed, even with the freelance work, I feel like should be out there looking but this time is necessary.

The next chapter of my life is waiting to be explored, maybe I just need to gather my thoughts, gather my treasures, it’s a melancholy feeling but I’m sure I’ll get used to it. For now, I just need to write it down…

Sunday, November 6, 2016

A New Journey: The Ups and Downs of Solitude

I'm literally starting a new chapter, as I'm beginning to write on a daily basis. I have talked about the in-betweens of life and yet I have never been so much at the end of one and start of another, than right this moment.

My son is 18, he is eager to walk the path alone, I will be there for every step but at the same time I must remain camouflaged in the background or risk his feeling of doubt. He is testing his wings and soon he'll learn the truth about flying-a future post.

I am in the process of finding myself in a bit of free fall myself. I started last year with a two and a half hour drive to Tyler and I felt pride that I could do it alone. Going alone is not completely comfortable to me but it's beginning to feel more normal.

After that minor trip, I have made a bunch of day trips including bluebonnets of Ennis, The Heard, Hagerman National Wildlife and just recently miles of open space in the middle of Colorado. It is getting to be more and more second nature but still it's easy to procrastinate.

I am about to do something I've been talking about for years, although it was always assumed a family trip, now it will be just me. I plan on getting up to Northwest Arkansas to capture the autumn foliage at its' peak.

I have been following the forecasts on a weekly  basis and it looks like it's getting to be the perfect time to go. I plan on shooting waterfalls, water and of course the interaction of fall foliage.

I am excited about the opportunity to tell more stories about living outside the box, finding my inner child and realizing that freedom is the open road. Once you know this reality, the fact that adventure waits only for your time and money to make it possible, it's hard not to go and find that new discovery.

I look forward to bringing more food, wine, landscapes, seascapes and people to this page. I also plan on getting out on the kayak again and perhaps exploring what solitude brings to the kayaker. I hope you'll join me on this journey.

Please get on my mailing list, I would love to share these stories to a larger audience and especially an audience I have begun to know personally, even if it is just comments back and forth. I look forward to more interaction and sharing in the future...Stay tuned and lets get out there.


I am planning on sending a free ebook for the first 1000 people. It's going to be full of pictures and stuff not on the site.

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