Here in Maine, my morning reading spot is no more than twenty feet from where I sleep. My normal routine has been waking up at 6 AM, or slightly before, making coffee then heading outside to read for a little less than one hour. I don’t always stick to this plan. Sometimes if a friend is visiting we will leave early and go walk the beach, or somedays I decide to ride during this period. But the vast majority of the time, this is my daily routine.
Even though I am so close to my room, and the rest of my supplies, I still carry my backpack. Yep, you heard that right, less than twenty feet from my bed and the backpack still makes the trip. My backpack, to some of my friends, is a real problem because I always have it. We live in an age where lots and lots of men make EDC films about minimal this or minimal that. I have many friends who have an aversion to carrying anything, ever, at any time. Except their phone which is permanently glued to their body, most often in that front right pocket, the perfect place to wreak havoc on their naughty bits. (And don’t tell all the studies about the potential harm from phones have been debunked. You would be incorrect.)
My backpack carries a host of things I need and want during the time I’m reading. My notebook, my binoculars, and my camera. My phone remains in the side pocket until after I’m done reading. I do not engage with my phone during the early morning. I can’t speak to your brain, but I surely can speak to mine, and the phone for me is pure poison. My guess, it’s the same for many of you. Most of my friends who engage with the phone during the early morning, or even during long stretches in the middle of night, are heavy social people and heavy surfer people. But the vast majority deny they are either, veiling their drug habit as “research” or “just doing my work.” But the telltale thumb swipe betrays them.
I’d like to focus on the camera because the camera is why I have the shot above. I’ve walked past this window for forty days straight and yet this was the first time I witnessed this scene. My eighty seven point eight year-old uncle in law learning how his iPhone works as the morning sun comes through.(This is such a fun thing to watch.)
As I was walking back to the front door, with my backpack, I looked in and noticed this scene. Boom, bag down, camera out, and two frames later it was gone. THIS is why I carry the bag. The camera is small, light, unobtrusive so it doesn’t even feel like I’m carrying it. It is no trouble. Consequently, I make pictures like this. I also did this with my other camera.
I’ve done this for so long I can’t imagine not doing it. When I don’t have my pack I feel completely at a loss. Without the ability to make notes, write scripts, make images, shoot motion or scan for feathered friends, I’m not entirely sure what to do with myself. Perhaps this is because I love to record the world around me. Often times for no real purpose other than to practice and see what comes out. This sickness has led me to all kinds of adventures and poignant moments, like this one, so I have no plans to change anytime soon. And yes, I should have moved one small step to my right.