I feel like everything is so formal.
In the old days, I grabbed the camera, went out shooting, and that was that. Sure, we had film back then (wasn’t that a pain? Well, maybe not so much, as we didn’t know any other way.) I had to get it developed. Everything cost so much money back then, as it wasn’t “free” to shoot, kind of the way digital photography is. I used to run around, looking at prices of things, and mentally think, “oh wow! That’s like 3 rolls of film. Kind of expensive, that is.” But, there was something special about those days too. Some days, nowadays especially, I really wish I could get that magic back again. I yearn for those simpler times.
In A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens wrote,
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way…”–A Tale of Two Cities, opening paragraph, by Charles Dickens
Looking back on those days, I realize now I was kind of carefree. Exploring the world on a whim, I had a hobby I enjoyed. Checking out the back alleys of small Texas towns, my biggest concern was always, “yeah, but how will it print?” Sometimes, I miss those days.
Many things have changed, some for the better, some not. I still see some of the old friends from the crew in the early days. I’ve traveled more, got to shoot some of my dream locations and people too (Eric Clapton in London, anyone?) I’ve had my dream rig and gotten attacked by packs of wild dogs down Mexico way. In some ways, it’s all a blur. It also feels like it happened only yesterday. My good fortune and luck has not been lost on me. I love that I get to travel and shoot and am continually amazed at how far I can go with just my little old camera in tow.
These days, the world has really changed a lot around me and my simple camera. Everybody now knows the meaning of the word “pandemic,” and we have charged election cycles which seem to go on forever. There were murder hornets (remember them?) Masks, murder hornets, mandates, and a lot of crazy times, we’ve lived them and, sometimes anyway, they make me miss the quiet life.
Occasionally, I go to the water gardens, very near my house, walk around, just me and my camera, enjoying the world, exploring the small, intimate details of nature and the ponds. I like that. It reminds me of the good ole days. I’m not naive, I know that it wasn’t all wine and roses back then either. Our memories tend to weed out the bad stuff, and, yeah, there was some of that back then too.
But, somehow anyway, it feels like it was all just a lot simpler. For all the trials and tribulations, I think it’s the simplicity I miss the most. It’s almost Thanksgiving here in the ‘States. I’ve got a lot to be thankful for this year. While I remain forever grateful for all that I do have, part of me really misses those early days. Maybe it’s time to think about a new project, one which will bring me back to all of that?
We’ll see about that. For now, I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and a few more simple days in your path.
Until next time…