Monday, March 10, 2008


Cayote, Texas 2008

I had gotten out of bed, showered, and gone in the kitchen to make coffee, and a strange thought occured to me. I said to Ellen -- "Is it me? I feel like this 10-day trip we just made doesn't seem like it happened." By that I meant being back here at the house, our home, waking up in my own bed, the dog wanting to be let out and given breakfast....being back so instantly in our daily routine makes it seem as though I only "thought" the trip. It's not that we didn't totally enjoy ourselves by doing interesting and memorable things, making some new good images, renew old friendships, eat good food, toasted everyone I've ever known with too many rounds of some very good tequila and single malt, etc., but you come back, go to bed, and open your eyes on a new morning and it's as if nothing has changed. The dog still loves me, there's still a big pile of snow in the side yard, my trusty Pathfinder steed is still in the garage almost painted white with dried road salt, this morning's coffee still tasted the same -- you get my point. I'm back in totally familiar surroundings, and it's like I never left. My long trip this past summer didn't seem that way. I came back to a different season than when I left, slept in my bed but it felt unfamiliar, woke to vaguely familiar room -- but I had to re-establish or think about where things were, stuff like that. But this trip seemed almost virtual. I wonder if that's not a sign of our times what with rapid (however grueling) air travel, and being able to "keep-up" with everyday business even though we are not here. Maybe after I go through the images I made, I'll feel more like I actually got away.


Steve Williams said...


Kim and I have felt similar things after returning from Maine. Even visiting with you and Stephen wasn't enough to ward off the effects...

I think that phenomena is one of the more frightening aspects to life. It reminds me a bit of what Bill Murray's character in Groundhog Day experiences.

I find that I can alternate between the experience you describe and one where the memory of something is fast receding into infinity and that it will be gone forever.

I think these things in part fuel my continued interest in photography--perhaps an attempt to hold on...

Perhaps your summer trip felt different because of the number of pictures you made.

pitchertaker said...


I think it was more the length of time of the summer trip that caused me to feel I really had taken a trip. I was removed from normal routine long enough to develop a new routine, only to be forced to re-establish my old routine. And as I said, the season's changed while I was gone -- I left in late spring and came back in late summer (for these parts, that is). Also, I wanted to stay longer in Texas for this current trip -- I had been out long enough this summer that I was ready to return home. I guess what I was trying to say is that short trips are never long enough.


Libbie said...

I'll be sure to rearrange the furniture in your house the next time I house/dog-sit. Maybe that will help. :)

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