With The Eyes of a Tourist…

“Having eyes, see ye not?” – Mark 8: 18

***

It feels like there’s something reawakening inside of me –  something that had been  asleep for a long time.  I find myself looking at the world around me in the same way I did as a child – like everything I see is new to me, and the world is full of new things to explore and discover.  I like it.

Several years ago I made a new friend through the internet – how I met her and how we became friends is a whole book in itself – and maybe someday I’ll write it.  But what I want to talk about today is how that new friendship affected the way I see things.

My friend, Kathi, lives on the other side of the continent in Nova Scotia.  For reasons I don’t need to explain here, early in our friendship I realized that Kathi would probably never be able to visit me in my part of the world, and I had an overwhelming desire to share the beauty of what I see here with her somehow.  And because Kathi is an artist, I felt a special desire to present her with images an artist would be able to appreciate.

Ever since childhood I’d enjoyed taking photos, but, in my late twenties, I married a gifted professional photographer, and, humbled by his talent, I began limiting my own photography to mostly snapshots of family and friends – capturing birthday parties and anniversaries and family outings for the family photo album.

Now, because of my friendship with Kathi, I started taking a different kind of photo.  I wanted to show off the scenes – the flora and fauna, the mountains and beaches – of the Pacific Northwest to her.  And I wanted to try to present her with photos of images in the way she might see them herself if she were here – as an artist would see them, and as a tourist from Nova Scotia would see them.

This opened up a whole new world for me, and I think this is when my “reawakening” began.  I began noticing line, patterns, textures, small details, colors – all the magic in the world around me – in a way I hadn’t for years.

***

Yesterday was an amazing day. I stepped outside my house for an afternoon “photo walk” and entered an awe-inspiring world. Trumpeter swans flew in the sky to the south of me, and a pair of bald eagles swooped around in the sky to the north of me, and I was just blown away by the magnificence of it.  Totally oblivious to everything but those eagles and those trumpeters, I stood in the middle of the street, mouth open in wonder, focused on capturing what I was seeing in my camera.

I didn’t realize that a car had stopped for me, and the driver was watching me in sort of amused fascination, until I finally took my eyes off the sky. Kind of embarrassed, but still full of the wonder of my world, I laughed and apologized for making him stop. The driver grinned back at me. He said I looked like I was really concentrating. Waving my arm towards the heavens, I said, “We live in a beautiful part of the world! – eagles and swans filling the sky!”

He smiled and kind of shrugged and said, “Nothing new.”

I smiled back at him and said, “It’s all new! I’m looking at the world with new eyes. I’m a tourist here.”

He chuckled. I think he thought I was a little daft. And perhaps I am. But I’m sure enjoying it.

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8 thoughts on “With The Eyes of a Tourist…

    • Thank you, Philip! I love see Attle, too!
      If you are who I think you are – are you? 🙂 – I’d love to see your part of the world someday, too! History and architecture, and sunlight on water – that has to be an amazing place to be…

    • I am IMPRESSED! Are you channeling Scott?! I’m going to look at everything here a little later! I like this website format! Jan

      • Thank you so much for stopping by and letting me share with you, Jan! I really think there’s something we’re supposed to do with our photography… so fun to connect with another photo aficionado!

  1. Pingback: With the eyes of a tourist… « Scenes from Bellingham Bay

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