I took this image 5 years ago to the day and can't think of a better way to portray my growth as a person and photographer. This was the first photo hike I ever went. It was a basic Canon Coolpix, no extra lenses, no experience, and no editing software. All I knew of JPEG was that my wallpapers had the same suffix (tsk tsk tsk). I was short-sighted thinking only about getting the hell out of high school and into college with no real regard for the before and after. I would obsess over details and trivilialites, both past and future. I didn't realize how much I wasn't in the present. Mentally, I was focused on everyone else and their perceptions of my actions rather than my actions themselves. Physically, I had no real understanding of the human body or its needs and limitations. But I could weasle my way into any Netflix account. While still having been that person, I can confidently say that I am not the same as I was then or even 6 months ago. In all my years it was never actually explained what focus and presence mean. Listening to nature has taught me this. What it means to treat your body as a temple. To breath. To exist outside of time and experience life as a successive 'now'. To have a goal for the future and get there. I've learned more in 12 hrs of silence in nature than in 13 years of Christian school about the nature of God and the world around us. There is no seperation between humans and the natural world, for that is our origin and future. Therein nature lay the answer to every question worth asking. Whether it be physical, spiritual, mental (I would say that they are one and the same), or technological, mother provides. With the lessons I have learned and seek, this next decade may be only be captured in the wisdom of an Atlanta born poet and philosopher, Clifford Harris. Known better by pseudonym TI. Big shit poppin. Lil shit stopping. . .
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