I’ve just spent the last five minutes smiling deliriously at a slideshow of my own holiday photographs. This is, I know, a little sad – especially as I spent a good hour earlier on looking at them, editing them down to a reasonable number etc. But I love them!
I love these photographs partly because they are memories of an amazing holiday & partly because they represent my interests in life, from stunning natural scenery to the smallest architectural details. I become often transfixed with objects & scenes that surround me, but rarely have the time to make the transient & passing more tangible & concrete. On holiday, I not only had the additional stimulus of new surroundings, but the opportunity to look, to observe, to capture those elements of life that grab me so deeply. Lighthouses; weather vanes; the nuanced colours of the sea; huge, open expanses of space; different textures & shades of brick work; railings; street lights – they were all there for me to drink in to my heart’s content.
As in the photograhs that accompany this post, the scale of the images varies enormously. Sometimes it is the tiniest detail that I love; other times, I become lost in the vast enormity of it all.
The holiday also gave me a similarly varied perspective on my own life. The time was composed of a series of small pleasures that brought me huge satisfaction. Writing in my journal at the end of each day, I could immediately observe what some of these pleasures were (such as an hour happily rummaging in a flea market) but others emerged that were perhaps more surprising (I would never have consider myself to be particularly enamoured with engineering, but it became apparent through my writing on the highlights of my day that I am totally fascinated by mechanical things, especially nineteenth century innovations).
I could observe the bigger picture too. As well as my penchant for Victorian engineering, I was struck by my capacity for solitude. The extent to which I not only enjoyed but thrived on my own company was a surprise & amazingly reassuring. Although a holiday is very different to possible ‘real life’ scenarios I may find myself in, even so it’s good to feel that my sense of self & the pleasures I find in life will not simply disappear in a different place. Not everywhere has lighthouses & the sea & piers, but most places will have some bricks & railings for me to develop a communion with. And these little things contribute enormously to creating a life of my own.