The past few weeks have been a collection of exquisite riding weathers — fog, warm days, cool mornings. For many riders it would open the door to long rides and adventure. I wish I could say that’s what I’ve been doing. But I’ve been doing some aimless wandering, on foot and on the Vespa scooter, but it’s not so much about the physical act as it is about engaging the senses. Relishing the perceptions of being out in the world.
I stood for a long time at this railroad crossing gazing at the edge where what’s visible disappeared into the fog. I wasn’t looking for anything; just feeling life flow around and through me.
That’s often the case when I’m riding the scooter.
Morning always involves dogs and walking. Pacing through pathways as the pups investigate a new day. I say a prayer of gratitude for another day of life as my arthritis laden body unwinds from it’s night of sleep. I love to walk, take in the scent of decaying autumn leaves, feel spider webs drag across my forehead, feel the insistent noses of the dogs wanting me to play.
There’s much aimless wandering in the garden.
I’ve been spending more times with a camera — wandering alone, practicing my eye to observe the world. Lately the desire to make images has been stronger than the desire to ride the Vespa. Not sure what that’s about. Pretty sure I don’t care.
Photographing people on the street is not something I do. Or rather, haven’t done. Suddenly, while engaged in aimless wandering, I’ve found myself photographing people while they’re lost is their own little worlds. It’s an interesting activity. Intrusive in a way I’m not used to. Examining the way bodies and gestures are frozen in time is fascinating.
There was a stretch of morning fog that I took advantage of. Riding and making photographs, secretly looking for elves and other creatures of a run amok imagination. Fog does that. So does riding alone when the world doesn’t appear as it should. Aimless wandering untethers the child posing as an adult.
Dogs seem to rule my life at times. The pressure to pick up that slimy, filthy tennis ball is strong. Lily has made it her life’s work to cause some human to hurl that ball (or one of a dozen others around the garden) over and over and on toward infinity.
It’s ok though. I’m just engaged in a little aimless wandering anyway.
My dog Junior and I have a lot in common. We’re perfectly content to wander and watch; see what the day serves up. As we both mature, we don’t need the intense physical stimulation once sought.
Or so I tell myself.
My aimless wandering with the camera, a Fuji X-Pro1, led me to the Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State. Looking at these paintings I could remember those emotions. Gratefully, I’ve been delivered to a more “chill” existence.
That’s the lie I tell myself.
My old office is just a short walk from the Palmer Museum. Mike Houtz has assumed the photography and video production responsibilities that I once handled at Penn State. He’s also inherited my office. He’s made a more elegant use of the space than I had.
I’m not sure if this guy is a musician or a roadie. He and some other people where carrying gear into the State Theater for a performance. I didn’t pay much attention to who or what was happening as I wandered down the sideway saying hello with the camera.
It feels good to ride. Even though of late I don’t know where I’m going. Doesn’t matter. Being in the world does. Aimless wandering along roads and paths knowing I’ll end up somewhere.
Somewhere, just around the corner from nowhere. And interesting place to be.