Just down the road from my home, I sometimes stop at the Boalsburg Military Museum to make a photograph of the scooter. I’m not sure why but suspect it’s often a time where I contemplate where I might be going that day. A kind of riding ritual connected that lets me consider options that factor in time, weather and how I’m feeling.
On this morning last weekend I was thinking about the fog I could see in the distance and the appointment I had with my friend Paul Ruby at Saint’s Cafe in State College, Pennsylvania. Conflicting assignments. The desire to ride through fog is always strong, but so are the get together’s at Saint’s to look at and talk about photography. Some quick calculations suggested I may be able to touch both.
There are about a dozen different routes I can take that will lead me to town and Saint’s Cafe. Each has it’s own unique character and will stretch travel times from 15 minutes to almost an hour. With 30 minutes available I had time to approach Tussey Mountain and taste a bit of fog.
Seeing our little rural roads swallowed into the mist still mesmerizes me. For a moment I find myself transported — I’m no longer in an ordinary world and can believe magic is possible. Childish perhaps, but an experience I won’t easily give up. When I get to the end of my life, I think I’ll dream of one more ride in the fog.
Like coming home. For me, a warm and friendly place where for those few moments I can float and watch the world. Funny how a place can engender those feelings. How many of you have places like that?
In a college town, cafes can easily be overrun by students and Saint’s is no different. But early in the morning, especially on a weekend, the adults sneak in.
I think I qualify as an adult now even though I ride a Vespa.
Tea, bagel and the sugar donut. I watch my intake of fat since my heart attack. My diet has changed drastically — especially as it relates to fast food. But I take some guilty pleasure in an occasional donut with my tea. It may not pass muster with serious tea aficionados, but it works for me. The biggest challenge I face is keeping my hands clean so I don’t mark the prints Paul brings for review.
Our photo meetings are part of the 3 Prints Project that my friend Gordon and I started years ago as a way to continue stimulating photographic projects. As many artists know — it’s easy to get lazy and stop working. Paul is still working. I’ve gotten lazy and haven’t made a print in months. Making images isn’t the problem. Printing them is. Since I upgraded my computer I’ve not reinstalled the printer drivers for my Epson P800 photo printer.
It’s on my to do list. It’s been on the list for months. Resistance is high.
Paul is a machine. He continually shoots and prints. I think he hopes to shame me into making a print. So far that plan hasn’t worked.
I’ve been making more observational images of people and the world lately. In part a forced activity to help break the creative logjam, in part a result of using the Fuji X-Pro1 camera which is a similar experience to working with my old Leica M6 film camera.
The camera is quiet and unassuming and makes it easy to capture little moments I encounter. For any of you entering a cafe these days you’ve probably noticed the heavy reliance on electronic devices. The 21st century opium den.
I try to break free with my Moleskin journal and ink pen but the lure of the iPhone is strong. I know these devices have changed the way my mind works. Riding helps break the chains.
If only for a short time.