Summer vacation is a staple for one’s own sense of stability. In most cases, one or two days I’m doing work—either by choice or a directive from someone who signs the checks—even though it’s work I try to avoid from usurping vacation days. At the C-level of management, there’s always a part of your vacation that is, indeed, a “working vacation.”
Anyway, I make the effort to still my mind and settle the angst of all that is life. It’s not always related to work as there are things in life that can be much more demanding of time, energy and other resources.
I posted an article on my LinkedIn page, “A Short Guide to Finding Quiet,” and this post is related to that article. However, what I’m sharing here is far more personal. There are places that are quiet and then there are really quiet places, the kind you savor and want to bottle for another day.
Living in New England means you’re never far from the ocean. I like that. The sea air has therapeutic properties, but when coupled with with the kind of quiet that only Nature can produce, well, then the properties take on added qualities, qualities that make you breathe deeper, think slower if not kinder and move about in less harried fashion.
The sounds of a breeze cutting across tall sea grass, the distant cry of a gull, the “wooshing” sound of water rolling onto the beach, the rthymic slapping of a wake against the side of a boat. All are folded into “sea air.”
If your summer vacation isn’t near the ocean, then I’m sure there are quiet places that are unique to wherever you’re headed. You can make them your own too.
Some call it a creative block. With credit to Franz Kafka, I feel a lot like a chrysalis because there’s something in me dying to get out, to be expressed and heard. How many times have we sat [or stood] at our work stations wondering how-in-$%@!!-name can we get something done. Where are the words, the concepts, the visual elements that when properly assembled, delivers the key message? The message can be one of benefit, of productivity, of prophylaxis, or of exclusivity. You get the idea.
Of course, all of this is figurative, but I would say that the photo of the tunnel suggests that I can see a “way out,” but I’m a bit unsure of how to get there. I’m inside the chrysalis, evolving, developing a collection of ideas, hoping to create something altogether different if not unique.
- Hasselblad 553 ELX
- Zeiss Sonnar 150mm f/4.0 CF
- Imacon Ixpress V16 digital back
- Imacon Image Bank [tethered hard drive to back]
This photo is an enlargement of the top left-hand corner. I was checking for focus and didn’t realize the scale of magnification I was using in post production. I was astounded to say the least. [click on photos to enlarge] Can you read what’s written on the Jersey barrier? Can you see the name of the front loader on the left? Notice the pile of stones to the right of the frame…
Nostalgia has a way of displacing your sense of place—physically, emotionally, even spiritually. We recently returned from Colorado visiting our daughter and her boyfriend. It was our first time in Colorado. I now have a better understanding of why those 2 love it out there. You encounter beautiful scenery, a lot of open spaces, a more relaxed pace of living and so forth. For the most part, 95% of why we wanted to go was to see our kid [no longer a “kid” I might add]. If she was flung further, we’d still find the means to visit her.
The Gold Hill Inn had a strong pull for me. Specifically the place harkened to a time when you knew most of the townsfolk by name, offered a greeting [mornin’ ma’am] and rarely took for granted what was in front of you. Here was an old mining town and an inn that held no pretense. What you see is what you get, as they say. Conversation you might have overheard was direct and nothing of the dialect we hear or read about in media, whether broadcast, print or electronic.
Aside from the obvious modern conveniences of electricity, telephone, running hot and cold water and bathrooms, you can see, smell and hear the straightforward attributes of the time. The wine cabinet looked sturdily built and beautiful to look at. The National Cash Register, while obsolete, still proudly showed off its utility and independence; it required no electrical power but the firm hand of the bartender. No LCDs or CRTs here, thank you. And you better have strong hands and fingers to manipulate the keys and drawer of this handsome machine. And directly above that cash register, what better contrast than the nude portrait positioned just so, as if recumbent on the edge of that register. The fecund suggestions in both portrait and cash register shouldn’t be lost on anyone. Strength, abundance, beauty, even mindfulness, all expressed in just those 2 objects.
The floorboards were just that: a floor made out of wood, perhaps oak or another type of hardwood. When you walked on it, you felt its idiosyncracies. Not all the planks lay perfectly flat, some joints stood higher or lower than the one adjacent. If you happen to wear boots—especially cowboy boots—the firm, “thud” of a heel made known to all that you weren’t innocuous or at least couldn’t be. Try as you might, you can’t ignore that heavy sound on the floor; your natural reaction was to look over to see who was there. Old, young, man or woman, the “thud” sounded and felt the same. In its simplest form, the declarative sentiment nostalgia often gives to us is, “How much more do you need?” Today, “want” versus “need” often precedes more. All the fundamentals of life are laid bare in this town. Aesthete is in the eye [and pocketbook] of the beholder, but standing in that town, in that room, on main street with an open mind and unhurried cadence only enhanced the value of what was genuine. What you see is what you get, indeed, but sometimes I need perspective on what I already have.
The content of this post appears on my LinkedIn page