One of the things that I find most intriguing about photography is that you can regularly use the image of something other than yourself to very accurately relay some of the complexities of your own internal state. What could be more human, beyond physical interaction and possibly even words? This effect is more pronounced if you were the one to take the picture, as your connections with it are naturally more complex and in that way function in a descriptive, or perhaps illustrative, way. Though there are thousands of pictures that have this same effect for me that I did not take. The relationship is complex, but certain. I know it right away, and I know when it is wrong, regardless of what the images I post here at times might otherwise suggest.
The mind uses more of its resources to process images than any other function, or so I've read.
The immediacy of the connections are fascinating. It is rare that a photograph will demand prolonged contemplation from me. They are usually understood in some essential way upon initial glance. Yet there are images that I have spent months meditating over, in a sense. I have a strong inclination to try to memorize the images that I cherish most. This can be with adoration of the object, or through the image portraying a particular event, a postcard-moment in time, a composition that seems to speak some secret truth, or conveys a specific frenetic or calming energy, or that you develop a private relationship with, and on and on, in varying values.
It need not be a photograph, many visual arts possess this same function.
If the first day alone is any sign, this break was badly needed. I felt more relaxed and in my skin today than I have felt in a long while. I even took the dog for a long walk in the regional park and rode my bike, to celebrate my new freedom.
On the way back from riding, I was just starting to clear my head of the interminable noise that can be my inner monologue, had sang a warming song in my head (something I rarely do, for reasons I am not sure of), and was enjoying the heat of the day and the feeling of demanding oxygen from my lungs and heart, and I moved over to the right of the bike path as there was a mother managing her one walking kid and what appeared to be another in the baby stroller. I caught the smiling eyes of the little boy before I was passing them and I saw that he put on a bit of a march over to where he predicted I was going to be, and his math was pretty much dead on, he marched to within less than 12" of my very suddenly stopped front tire as I pulled my foot out of the pedal clips on the right side so that I could get my foot down and not fall towards him if anything went wrong. My foot went down just in time for me to say, "Well, hi there - look at you!" He was already waving and clapping his hands and laughing and doing that sort of jumping motion that young children do when they are happy. The mother turned and of course immediately thanked me for the obvious care I had been putting into this simple act with a more abundant happiness and gratitude than I have seen displayed in public in what feels like several years.
The previous ride I had felt uncertain, out of practice, a body fragile with nerve damage and the memory of sudden impact not so very long ago.