One hundred and fifty miles south. Early morning. Caffeine in my veins, visor down to thwart the rising sun. This is it. It’s been SO long. Anxious heartrate reflected in my Garmin. The field. Returning to the field. She speaks in my ear but I don’t listen. Just noise, ambient sound of the relationship but my mind overpowers everything that won’t result in the act of creation.
I do what I tell myself never to do. I visualize. The pueblos pass, one by one, then through the big smoke of Albuquerque. The Bosque, cross the river, mountains turn to hills, aspen and pine to pinon and high desert scrub. The outside temperature reflects back on the dash of the Tacoma. 22, 25, 32, 36, 45.
There are many gathered here but they fall away. Small talk, chatter. Niceties. But all I can do is dream about what I will see through the little rectangle. I know nothing of this place, this subject matter, but that is the real beauty. I can just react, play, test and learn. The sound is overwhelming.
There are others who try to engage but I’m more content to wave, stare at the ground and attempt to find my photography bubble where the conversation is all mine. Greedy in my older age.
They come by the hundreds of thousands. Multiple types, shapes, and sizes. Gangly, awkward, loud, pushy. Some fly with expected methodology while others alert me to new possibilities. Great wings expanded they descend like spiders on home-spun web. Elegant in their own foul way. The purr of the camera is constant but I never bother to check the evidence. The experience is enough. I know and have trust in what will live on future pages.
Hood up, Earth crunching underfoot. Wind and sky that betray any other location. It must be here and only here, and now before those temperatures retreat in the wrong direction. Alaska says goodbye. Mexico says “Buen dia.”