Who are you?
I am a photographer and teacher trying to balance my yearning for travel and adventure with an equally strong desire for a real home.
This is a journey that may not exactly have an ending, but it began in the Adirondack mountains of northern New York, where I was born in a one-room log cabin that my father built by hand, felling the trees himself from the huge woods on our land. I grew up with no electricity until I was six years old, when my family began a ten-year odyssey across the West in an old wood-paneled Jeep Grand Cherokee and a travel trailer. We moved from a campground on the California ocean to the middle of the Arizona desert and back again, up to a pretty 5-acre plot of land in Oregon, returned to the east when I was ten, continued on to the rolling farmland of Wisconsin, and finally landed on the humid and beautiful sunbake of a key just off the western coast of Florida.
So far, my story has taken me from traveling, teaching and photographing in Europe, Asia, Central and South America to nearly-married life with a fly fisherman in remote Montana and to my most recent home on a small island off of South Korea.
I know that I cannot ever abandon my vagabond roots, but I’ve found that I also love the feeling of being truly at home in my own little corner of the world.
Follow my journey as I continue to make my way out into the great blue beyond and back again.
Along the way, I’ll be posting bits and pieces of my life and the things that make my days brighter.
What does “a bolt in the blue” mean anyway?
I’m a Bolt, and I’m out in the blue!
What kind of camera do you use?
I use a Nikon D7000 and an 18-200 mm lens. I also use a 50mm lens sometimes, and occasionally (but not often) a Nikon SB-700 speedlight.
Yes! Read on….
There are too many waterfalls here; the crowded streams
hurry too rapidly down to the sea,
and the pressure of so many clouds on the mountaintops
makes them spill over the sides in soft slow-motion,
turning to waterfalls under our very eyes.
–For if those streaks, those mile-long, shiny, tearstains,
aren’t waterfalls yet,
in a quick age or so, as ages go here,
they probably will be.
But if the streams and clouds keep travelling, travelling,
the mountains look like the hulls of capsized ships,
slime-hung and barnacled.
Think of the long trip home.
Should we have stayed at home and thought of here?
Where should we be today?
Is it right to be watching strangers in a play
in this strangest of theatres?
What childishness is it that while there’s a breath of life
in our bodies, we are determined to rush
to see the sun the other way around?
The tiniest green hummingbird in the world?
To stare at some inexplicable old stonework,
inexplicable and impenetrable,
at any view,
instantly seen and always, always delightful?
Oh, must we dream our dreams
and have them, too?
And have we room
for one more folded sunset, still quite warm?
But surely it would have been a pity
not to have seen the trees along this road,
really exaggerated in their beauty,
not to have seen them gesturing
like noble pantomimists, robed in pink.
–Not to have had to stop for gas and heard
the sad, two-noted, wooden tune
of disparate wooden clogs
carelessly clacking over
a grease-stained filling-station floor.
(In another country the clogs would all be tested.
Each pair there would have identical pitch.)
–A pity not to have heard
the other, less primitive music of the fat brown bird
who sings above the broken gasoline pump
in a bamboo church of Jesuit baroque:
three towers, five silver crosses.
–Yes, a pity not to have pondered,
blurr’dly and inconclusively,
on what connection can exist for centuries
between the crudest wooden footwear
and, careful and finicky,
the whittled fantasies of wooden footwear
and, careful and finicky,
the whittled fantasies of wooden cages.
–Never to have studied history in
the weak calligraphy of songbirds’ cages.
–And never to have had to listen to rain
so much like politicians’ speeches:
two hours of unrelenting oratory
and then a sudden golden silence
in which the traveller takes a notebook, writes:
“Is it lack of imagination that makes us come
to imagined places, not just stay at home?
Or could Pascal have been not entirely right
about just sitting quietly in one’s room?
Continent, city, country, society:
the choice is never wide and never free.
And here, or there . . . No. Should we have stayed at home,
wherever that may be?”