Paragraphs of Daily Thoughts, some Mental Therapy and some reviews of our “well seasoned” Gear and Services we utilize. Published Weekly or so.
In the Real Life…
"The Glory of Friendship is not the outstretched hand, not the kindly smile, not the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when you discover that someone else believes in you and is willing to trust you with a Friendship"
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~
Within the Social Media Life…
“I consider conversations with people to be mind exercises, but I don’t want to pull a muscle, so I stretch a lot. That’s why I’m constantly either rolling my eyes or yawning.”
~ Jarod Kintz ~
It is yet another morning here at "The Oasis". These will not be for that much longer. It is a bit of "luxury" I must say as Life here is easy even if some might find it difficult to not having power or running water. It has become the normal. Normal as always also having Lance’s photos laid out in front of me while having my cup of coffee and putting it all in perspective, priorities jumping as the little guys on a checkerboard. Some vanish with afterthoughts, some come back wanting to regain their certain importance . His photos can transform themselves into a resemblance of a certain reality present, they animate themselves and become real even if just for a few moments, and then on dropping me back into "this reality" of an absence so devastating. Spirit tries his best to fill in the void, the path remains lonely quite too often however. It is just a fact of Life, no one but me needs to understand as such.
On the other side of this imaginary wall separating us from what I call the "Real Life", onto the masses, Social Media I find is ever so present, and in our lives comes in waves often of different colors, the force of it never however changes. I feel myself at times so disconnected, so distant from the ones we have corresponded with, and today they are gone with the tides lost somewhere, I must say as we often are. It is kind of sad I cannot truly keep up with my correspondence as I would like to, it is however the price to pay when on the road and living such a Life. Only the ones pounding the keyboard incessantly I know will gain the entourage for some so needed for an inner ego that would truly instead like to surface versus true Friends kept at bay and nurtured with a personal feel.
Life is to be lived as the few I have met. The couple from Europe on the road since 2000, each on their nice size 650cc motorcycle, without ever having been on the Internet, without a cell phone or a GPS for that matter. Only maps and stamps. The man a Friend told me about who rode Iceland for months without ever taking a single photo or writing about it, even less talking about it upon his return. A family bicycling throughout the States in the same fashion. Most everyone today has stopped moving on for themselves, it is only for a Tweet, a post on Facebook and a Book cover as maybe some day the nail they stepped on will get into the wounds a bit too deep and realize they truly missed as they say "the boat". True Friendships.
Just a lesson learned this winter as sometimes I ask myself the same question more in the sense "if I am keeping my balance" because Social Media "is a way" for us to stay in touch without seeking for the throne. One can get so easily caught up in that turmoil, the climbing of the numbers of "Friends" amassed by the quantity and not quality. It is disturbing I find to enter one’s Home and as such a short while later only listening to a silence broken up by the same pounding of the keys of a keyboard as the conversations stops, "that computer" calling in and taking over with a louder voice than ever. The differentiation today between a Friend or an acquaintance is a page of the past. Letters [real ones] are gone, the phone which was at one time impersonal, now personal and live, does not even ring anymore. No one has much time to speak, to hear a voice throughout the deluge of fonts imprinted on screens by the billions. But truly even worse, no one has the time to read, only skim a surface without reaching the depths of the true meanings someone has taken the time to expel. Yes, words are powerful.
I don’t know if all of this matters. I have my true Friends here with me as always teaching me a few of those lessons here and there. My sounding boards when a situation needs a solution. An anonymity they exercise throughout their own sojourn. Spirit does not know he is popular, the depth of his true Life just does not go as far and in return has the ability to enjoy the moment always so present. How about that for a Dog. There is a relationship I feel Social Media is so totally overlooking. It is the true feel of the Earth surrounding us, the one we step on, hike, ride on and even sail on, sometimes fly as then on we can observe it’s vastness and richness. It is that path from one Heart to another. Missing. It is as playing a guitar or a violin with a couple missing strings, we cannot connect, beautiful Music is absent. That fact is a certainty. We think we are but it is all so not real masked by too often only gibberish paragraphs of non sense entailing a so strong calling of the "me… me… me…" syndrome in it’s various colors. True?
This day goes on, the Sun has risen and warmed us up inside and out. I smell the dirt of this wind picking up the loose layers transforming them into a scent I am now so familiar with. Spirit is done with his clowning and running his circles while his eyes fixated on me as for approval. Yes Buddy, I approve your thoughts and gestures all while cheering me up in this arena of ours where the crowd is only myself and you are the only live player as yet I know Lance is also watching you approving all that you give me so unconditionally within this one on one relationship we have. It has been a long Journey, hasn’t it? Days and days, nights over nights as the yet the path remains endless only filled with the upcoming lessons and realizations not yet present, the ones that will surprise me, the ones staring at me and awaiting to make sense as I know they will at some point and time.
How fortunate we are to have followed such a past decision which had at the time no foundations, only while cornered taking on the escape route dipping so deeply with Mother Nature’s womb, those unknown roads as all transformed themselves into our present reality enabling us to cope within this game shuffling the cards dealt. Today it somehow feels as winter is over as the heat has risen, as only a T shirt worn all day is enough protection, as the winds so common in this Desert pick up shaking loose everything around us. Clouds are scarce these days, I look for them to break up this uniform blue sky always so endless from one horizon to the other as the sun unobstructed gives us our free power and the stars by the millions and more throughout the clear nights are my only channel of entertainment. We are getting to not know anything else even thoughout the memories of an Urban setting is still vivid as I cringe at the thought of it. So much the compromises are worth it. So much this stage puts one’s self together with no voids in between.
More time has flown by these days. Daily I am trying to clean up the slate only so we can leave here with a peaceful mind. It is more than ever a feel of another leg in this Journey, a more physical one this time around meeting the views experienced in the recent past, taking on new canvasses painted freshly with more sunrises and sunsets criss crossed with the dirt roads which await. Soon.
All about our Gear
Cameras and where Photos and Videos are stored have always been an important aspect of the Journey. After over 100,000 photos taken, them besides being stored on a 1TB external drive [as videos also are] they reside with what I have found the best in the Market “Smugmug”.Only the ones I truly feel are worthy of being in a Gallery are up, the other 99,999 are hidden from Public viewing. I don’t think anyhow anyone would have the time to literally go through them all.
It is a service provided to amateurs, professionals and all in between with all sorts of merchandise available. It is flawless and commercial free with more formats of Galleries available than imaginable. The reality is “it does” more than I will ever be able to use it’s full services.
A few cameras travel with us and you will find more information about them at “Lens Rental”, more information I could ever write about. The Photos above, besides the two of my new Lantern which was such a meaningful Gift yesterday, are all taken with a Canon 5D Mark II and a 16~35mm 2.8 “L” lens, the only one I am left with.
There is a new Mark III which has been out for a while now, I have been told by many Photographers the difference is truly not visible. It was important to have a camera that is weatherproof and a self-cleaning sensor, which most today have. It has, mounted at the bottom, an extra battery case and I don’t have to worry about it for quite a few days. It also does excellent videos but has no auto~focus.
I have found for food photos, close ups and tripod mounted videos such as the few Music videos I have taken, the Canon S~95 does a great job pretty much shooting in JPEG versus in RAW with the larger full frame camera. Not so good for landscapes. My Photoshop is my patience, I do use Adobe Lightroom to render them, convert them from RAW to JPEG, 20 seconds is about how long I spend at the most with each photo. It was a bit odd receiving a Photo from a reader one day a while back wanting me to look at one as he had worked on it for a month. I have come to respect such aspect and appreciate it even more when Photographers do not call it Photography but “Digital Manipulation”. Just a thought.
I use a couple Go~Pros for the videos shot from the sidecar while rolling. They are the second generation, not Hero’s or Go~Pros 3, they do the job. Maybe the new ones are sharper, again, I was told there is truly not much difference between them. One is on a solid mount and the second one is on a suction cup which hold very well, yet, for safety purposes I build a short flexible metal lanyard. It has come off it’s surface a couple times. I use “Premiere Element 11” to render the videos, a fairly simple and efficient software.
And finally what I call “the workhorse”. It does have a decent camera which shows great photos on it’s screen but nothing valuable for these pages. Unfortunately, as this whole Journal is written on this Phone which I like very much with it’s 5.5” screen, even more being a free upgrade finally after being with Alltel/Verizon for 16 years! It is a Galaxy Note II synched through “Evernote” to my laptop which now I only need to use once a week and a big power savior since we are on solar 24/7.
Be well, Ara and Spirit