Outside a Coffee Shop

Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012

A motorcycle buzzes, a car, blaring, rolls by. The waiter dances for a moment, enjoying the sounds, smiling in his bliss. And it is peaceful. A light breeze on a warm summer day. Each sip of coffee pumps my blood a little more, the heat a bit unbearable, the wind my salvation. I enjoy sitting out here, watching the people pass. A rack of bikes to my left, telling me that the people here appreciate being outside. I see couples walk, singles alone, and groups of friends. Some exuberant, others only satisfied, but none somber. There’s peace here, I can feel it in every breath. The sounds of cars and mopeds, the reeling of a bike wheel, a call, a laugh, footsteps on stone.. A baby is pushed by me, feet kicking, smile wide on his face, that happiness of a child can bring happiness to anyone. Today is good, I have no doubt.

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A picture’s worth a thousand words.

Words are like photographs. They are used to express a thought, a moment, something that we feel need to share. But although they are a useful tool for sharing, words and photographs cannot capture the true essence of something, only guess at its translation, refigure an idea into something more simplistic. So the secondhand receiver is missing half the information that caused the original creator to take the picture, or write the words. It is lacking feeling. Sometimes it’s best to put down the camera, silence the mouth and just feel. To live as the first man did. As a photographer and a writer I delight in the notion of being able to capture that beautiful scene, or expressing that particular sensation so that I can review them later. Yet, each time without fail, I hold up that photograph and reread that text and never once am I overwhelmed with the same amount of emotion as I was before its creation. It saddens me to realize that the weight of the world is never carried through the pen. Or captured by the lens. So at times I give up! I just see,I just feel. Straight and raw. I let my body’s senses explore. I experience the true way and let my own memory be my recorder. Because once you are touched by those impressions, you never forget them.

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Notes on a plane ride home::

So just imagine. Suspended between earth and sky, so close to the heavens and still bound to the land, you fly through the night and it is dark above and below. The world above is deep, thick; glittering stars light up a trail of connect-the-dots. Peaceful and old, I wonder how many have wondered upon those same stars. But beneath me the ground is patterned with its own form of stars orange and white; points everywhere, nebulas of neighborhoods, galaxies of life. It’s beautiful, really, almost more beautiful that what I’ve seen in the sky. Although it is said that civilization can take away natural beauty, destroy the land, outshine the stars that are old and grand, (and we can), we are natural too.
And we create a different kind of natural beauty, a mimic of a starry night that is just as beautiful, just as precious. Young and filled with the desires of mankind, the hopes and dreams, the lives of each individual, one cluster of an earthly star can represent more beauty and fulfillment of who we are than the untouched and mysterious lights out in space. A single star can make a few happy; a city can make millions. Don’t doubt that the night sky is beautiful, for it is, but don’t forego human credit to create as we destroy. Life is a give and take; ex nihilo nihil fit.

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