Friday, June 18, 2010

Mental photography

I want to be able to write you something. I want it to be something profound, too. I don’t know what happened to me. Somewhere along the line of the last three years my blogs have become overly poetic and almost brooding.

Experiencing writers block is not something I’m used to. I feel like Carrie Bradshaw, sitting in front of a blinking cursor.

My room on the cruise is not necessarily the most stimulating place. It’s full of mirrors so I can watch my lack of progress from about eight different angles. But I’d be lying if I said I had been at all motivated even a month ago to inform you of what I have been doing.

In fact, you really have no idea what I’ve been doing. Two years ago my blogs consisted of a very structured pattern whereby I would debrief about the week on the project and update my blog on Monday with what I had done on the weekend.

There are certain aspects of this last trip that I cannot share with you, or will not share with you, because this trip was more of an experience for myself than events that I can exploit for your readership.

Take for example the fact that I took about 20 pictures over the last fifty days. The majority of the pictures on my Facebook page have been taken by other volunteers. I lived my last two trips through my camera lens and my laptop and I vowed that this trip would be different. Sometimes I would even sneak off just to be by myself to take in my surroundings, particularly in Drakensberg.

I wanted to remember everything through a mental photograph instead of a file on my computer. I wanted to remember the feelings and the emotions around a particular sight of situation rather than pull out my camera in an attempt to capture it visually.

So I perfected my mental photography on this trip, and as a result I can remember scenes and how I felt at a certain time. It is a perfect medley of feelings and sights that I can experience all over again when I shut my eyes.

Some of the scenes are beautiful and serene, others are full of guilt or sadness and fear. A picture is worth a thousand words even if it’s inside my head.

Traveling is not just seeing the new, it is also leaving behind. Not just opening doors, also closing them behind you, never to return. But the place you have left forever is always there for you to see whenever you shut your eyes. - Jan Myrdal

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