But I still think it may be….
I’ve been back less than two weeks and I feel ready to climb aboard a plane. The banality of Christmas sends me into a coma. I can’t take the slow pace colliding with the consumerist frantic rush …where has this moaning rant come from…I sound like scrooge? Has the once twinkle eyed excited child in me died?
I’m being a hermit and delving through old films, attempting to consolidate negs and figure out why I travelled to where I have and what I have learnt. Albania, despite it being cut short was one of my favorite adventures this year. The mountains, weather and refreshing sights were inspiring and relaxing. Revisiting the images I’ve realzied that running away may not be the ‘answer’ to find inspiration but it can allow space. Space from the familiar, from the obligation of responsibilities and the nature of routine.
One of these images I have posted a similar frame of before (the pool club). This gent illustrated such effortless calm. He was playing pool with what seemed like an old friend or spouse and sported a consistent grin and chuckle throughout.
This one is from a stroll alone. As I meandered through the back streets of a town I saw a group of young boys playing football. They were using the parked cars as goal posts and were alive with boisterous energy. I stood and watched but was soon ambushed and surrounded by the clan. They asked me questions with excitement, speaking over each other and pointing to my cameras. I entertained them and shot a few frames. They began to propose and I struggled to feel comfortable. I smiled politely leaving them with a Polaroid.
I can’t explain this without it sounding dreamy and full of crap but here goes…One of the happiest experiences I have when ‘urban hiking ‘ is feeling the elements and being acutely aware of every sound and smell - immersing myself fully in the moment. The feel of the sun on my face as I share an encounter with a stranger. Perhaps witnessing a scene in the haze of the evening light or that tense awkward silence when you pass a stranger.
This man was the only person around me despite the maze of residential streets. We weren’t far from the bustling main road but his shop was empty and void. There was no exchange of words when our eyes met and time moved slowly. I didn’t even feel myself shoot the picture it was odd. It felt very silent.