I was out this morning, trying to get yet another photograph of that crazy gorgeous orchid just getting ready to bloom, a LOT of tries. Because of camera wonkiness, operator error, the limited ability of trying to capture real life beauty or all of the above, it just didn't work out the way I wanted it to. It never does.
And I started thinking about what I did yesterday morning, snorkeling with a group of friends, seeing a world below the world we live in, full of incredible wonder, some of it literally just a few feet from the shore.
There were turtles that seemed almost as big as the hood of a VW beetle. There were big fish, with colors both bright and subtle and small fish that were banded and mottled in colors that, if I wasn't trying to breath through this tube, would have made me gasp, even if I'd only seen just one. There were rays, two in particular, a big one and a small one, that, as one friend put it, were like a little brother tagging after a big one, finally having the inevitable dust up of big brother effectively saying, buzz off, face point to face point. Little brother backed away and swam for more friendly water. Every turn of the head brought a silent oh wow.
One friend had an underwater camera, and I wished I had one in my hands as well, but then let go of that pretty quickly. There was too much to see, with all of my eyes, with all of myself and since I couldn't capture it, or even try, I could just let go and be in what I was in, an underwater living garden.
Which- back to what I was thinking - led me to think about a time before cameras and those writers who looked at the world with relentless curiosity. I thought about how they observed and described the places and people they experienced, how rich some of that writing is, rich enough to last generation after generation, in ways that give us pictures in our minds that stretch our imaginations farther than any image might. And how photographs give us that slight chance to visually share what we can't always say. And wondering if we see less deeply, because of the ease of a snap, versus a thought.
Of course, if you look at say, Rachael Carson, you also have to look at Ansel Adams. And we have Thoreau, who, though I personally think him a bit of a fraud, was a brilliant writer and probably has influenced as many people in how they live their lives as Carson and Adams combined. Plus some. Endless lists, endless possibilities...
Well, I was just wondering.
Have a think about it Thursday. Do something tangible.