Fist bump

14th August 2020

Maybe 8 weeks into lockdown?
My camera was gathering dust.
Exploring other mediums felt fun but didn’t quite hit the spot. A pleasure but not the untouchable high of image making.

The sun hugged us as we darted down the empty motorway. I gripped tightly to Sam’s waist, my face aching from a fixed smile. I felt lucky.

Meandering country lanes we danced through tunnels of trees, the light flashing in and out.

After a blissful ride I knew we had arrived when the smell of the sea hit my nostrils and I felt the drop in temperature. From 29 to 21 the seaside was a sacrifice. Temperature for freedom of the city. It was still a good deal.

Demounting, my legs were giddy as we walked towards the waves to choose our nook. We settled on a empty bay, bar a family of locals. I lay down and closed my eyes listening to the sea and Sam and I wrestled with the idea of biting the bullet to swim. We procrastinated and the lack of brave souls didn’t motivate us.

After an hour we needed to pee. This was now the motivation we needed. Sam went first as I watched. I was still not sure my body could handle it.

I observed the family next to us again and admired the tableau. A small pile of children nestled onto a young mans chest. I grabbed my camera and framed up from a distance.

I walked over and asked if I could shoot. They eagerly agreed. Like a butterfly the young girl bolted from her position and ran to play in the sea. She was preoccupied so I explained I would head for a swim then return and shoot.

I walked into the waves fearless and took a plunge into the icy water. It was an exhilarating rush and overwhelmed expectations. This was bliss. Swimming far out I gazed at the horizon, a sense of absolute silence and calm ran through me. I felt so content.

I returned, dried off and grabbed my camera. They applauded my bravery and I encouraged them to take a dip. Dancing around them I tried to recapture the scene but it was gone. Impossible.

This was the most blissful and infuriating situation. The rush of the craft filled my veins. An unmatchable meditative focus. But it wasn’t working. The puzzle wasn’t fitting. I couldn’t navigate the composition. It felt ‘off’. Regardless I embraced the moment and a rare interaction with friendly strangers at a time of such social anxiety.

After what felt like the ‘right’ amount of time to impose I thanked them and the youngest sprung up again to return to her task. Before she departed she turned and held out an outstretched arm towards me. Her tiny hand curled into a strong fist. I gazed back at her confused.
” She wants a respect,” Her father explained
I bumped the tiny spud hand back with a ‘respect’. Content with this she turned and sprinted towards her sibling near the coast to help dig a hole.

I laughed and nestled back into our picnic spot feeling excited and relieved that taking pictures still felt available. Not for any purpose or project but just to feel present and engage…oao x