While rummaging through old journals, of which there are many, I found some gems. It was a grueling sieve through the pans of teenage angst and break ups and over-elaborated feelings, but somewhere along the way I managed to record some of my interactions with the world outside my own head.
This is 2007 for ya.
Foot Bridge over Speed River
Today I met a man. I was busy trying to set up a photograph of the river when he approached me. He asked me not to take his picture. He told me that on this day he was not feeling very photogenic.
Looking up from my work I asked him why. He said it was because he dropped his glasses in the river. I told him I was sorry. He told me I didn't need to be sorry, but thanked me for it.
He asked what I was trying to take a picture for.... was I a journalist or something? I told him I was not. I was trying to take pictures of what I saw.
Picking apart the past is a peculiar activity. It seems to change over time, you reassess and chose your prized memories for the walls of your mind, embellished and framed squarely. Meanwhile other details go into storage or worse, fires, where the passions you once felt can finally burn to ash and leave you alone, or so you hope.
I am currently looking to rediscover what made me a vagrant dirtbag.
I think I have pin pointed the first adventure, the turning point. This idea came by reading an inspired memoir of Alabama in the middle of the twentieth century. All Over but the Shoutin' by Rick Bragg. It has taken me back to the southern lands where I cut my teeth on climbing trips and adventure living. The place that remains to have delivered the biggest culture shock I have ever experienced, with a history rich in passions, both the ones we are proud of and the ones we most certainly are not.
So here we go, down the gravel roads.