Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Setting the Scene III: Why Go? - The not geology

Why go to Australia again? Besides the research project, several motivations drive me.

First, the adventure. I relish the challenge and test of travel to new places. I’ve been to Aus many times, but each visit is a little different. The work takes me different areas and carries different responsibilities. Each time the land is different, for example, through climate change (drier) or the proliferation of iron mines. In addition, this trip includes my first steps in the Northern Territory. I greatly look forward to seeing and feeling new country. Alice Springs, the MacDonnell Ranges, Tnorala, Uluru, Kata Tjuta, what are they like?

Second, the Nikon. I started taking photographs in 1980. It’s been a rewarding but spontaneous pursuit. Last year, in search of more personal happiness, I chose to get more serious about the craft On this trip, my kit includes a DSLR, lenses, tripod, filters, and all the cleaning gear needed for fussy electronic cameras. It’s a test. I’ll have time – and the places – to compose and create images that are well beyond snapshots. I feel the pressure to successfully apply the concepts and technology I’ve learned, and the excitement to see what compositions occur.

Third, the change. Time away from my home, usual places, and daily rhythms breaks the grip that normal routine has on my mind and spirit. On long trips, especially when I spend much time outdoors, I balance and connect with the parts of myself that are repressed by the speed and requirements of my daily life. I return more authentic and balanced, often in shock at the compromises I have unconsciously made. There’s always a post-trip window of time when I can make adjustments. At this point much of my life is in flux; I could happily change what I do for work, I’m ready to change where I live, and I’m approaching a more creative life. It might be time to open a dojo, or make some other radical life move.

Finally, Australia. I like the place. I became a desert devotee in the American Southwest. The red, arid landscapes of the Pilbara and the Gascoyne have also become close to my heart. The reasons are complex. The barren rocky landscapes are beautiful. Knowing their geology enhances this. In addition, these are the landscapes of my maturation. I learned to love travel through my trips to Australia during grad school. I grew intellectually through my work, and emotionally through my time in the outback.

No comments:

Post a Comment