It's on nights like this that I remember with fondness another time. A time of sitting in a log cabin in the middle of the pines, windows thrown open, listening to the night while reading Stephen King. The air is filled with the distant smell of campfires and the tang of evergreens. The sounds of night-jars and spring peepers. All these things work to lull me gently to sleep.
Nights like this are about full moons, windows down, unashamed belting of heart healing lyrics. The rush of the wind, the feel of the car as you change gears, the empty road consumed in darkness beyond the piercing of your high beams.
Simple things. Energizing things. Healing things.
Of course, most of the time these things don't happen AT THE END OF JANUARY!
On nights like these, I revel in 60 degree weather. But then I remind myself that Missouri is fickle and cruel. She will give you this one night and then take it all back with bitter winds and unmanageable road conditions.
Sure, weather forecasts may predict beautiful weather for the week to come. And then take snatch it away in the blink of an eye.
Living here you learn to get used to it.
That doesn't mean I love it. I'd rather have consistency instead of these wonderful teasing days.
I was out among the trees today, with grasses emerging on the forest floor. Buds peeked from branches and birds called merrily. Brooks bubbled from the thaw (incidentally 90% of the trails were muddy as a result of the weather), and the air smelled of spring.
BUT IT'S NOT SPRING. And when I remind myself of that, I think of how much further we have to go.
That's right. I'm glaring at YOU, February.
But that's okay. Because right now, this moment, I have a night like this. And with it, memories.
Long car rides, just because (when gas was MUCH cheaper). Walks around the block (when the neighborhood was safer). Letting thoughts waft to you through an open window. The white curtain waving to get your attention out of the corner of your eye. Falling asleep to the mild scents and sounds of the season, knowing what the next day would hold. Knowing what the next MONTH would hold. Things being certain the way they are when you are younger, still tied to the anchor that is high school, or college.
Nights like this are made for inspiration-taking advantage of the flow of energy. Every particle feels it. All I want to do is stay up until past midnight riding this wave. To forget the responsibility of tomorrow.
But it is still there. Not going anywhere. The routine, which is good, but still makes you feel like your creating the beginnings of a rut. So you try to make a change and end up saying yes to something you may no may not regret.
Inter-State Studio (we're moving part memories and into reality now). I applied. I interviewed. They asked. I said yes. And now I am committed to 9 weeks of early mornings and taking photo after photo of elementary school kids in their polo shirts and frilly skirts with gelled and sprayed hair. Don't take my lack of enthusiasm as a sign that I am not excited for this job opportunity. I am.
I guess I was just hoping that it could be a replacement. Instead I have allowed my inability to say no to make it my day job. And while I am excited to have a chance to gain some formal photography experience, I dread those days of 10-12 hours of work when I do both jobs.
Will I regret it? Only time will tell. The most disappointment comes from the fact that this was NOT the escape I was looking for. So I am still in that position. The one where you are caught on a spinning hamster wheel that provides me with a living, looking for something more progressive.
Isn't that the story of most of our lives? I don't mean to complain. This post was meant to be reminiscent and positive. But I let my mind take me where it will. And apparently it's feeling a little uncertain (big surprise).
It's okay. Work is easier (except that once I get used to one thing they throw me into another bowl of uncomfortable and uncertain stew). I have some semblance of purpose. I find it in those little things day to day. I'm building up a different part of myself. One that is necessary.
This is not forever. But it is for now. And for now, I will live my day to day knowing that "for now" will someday be "back when".
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