That Time I Slept

Once upon a time, I slept.  It was a long time ago, and very far away.  But it might explain why I don’t do it so often anymore.  If it’s not THE reason, it’s a reason, and we always enjoy a good origin story.

It’s said that no good decision goes unpunished, but bad decisions can feel that way too… and at the time I didn’t know if it was a good or a bad decision, but I did know that I felt trapped.  When I joined the military, I had been in a very dark place.  Feeling as if I were derailed, feeling that I had let down my family.  Collapsing in on a kind of depression, fueled by the yelling of inconsistent drill sergeants, exceptionally early mornings,  and a lack of any other obligation in the world.

One day, after basic training, when my only job was to learn my job, I got home from training and realized that I could sleep, and while I wouldn’t be escaping my situation permanently, it would get me a little bit closer.

The next day I did it again, and then again.  By the end of the week I couldn’t remember anything aside from flashes of class work, and the daily routine of shaving, running, and doing it all over again.  Somewhere in that blur of months going by someone came by my room, asked if I would go to the gym with them, and gave me one of my only memories from that time… slowly, I grew into the place I slept.

What happened to pull me out of it?  I don’t know.  I did eventually get enough sleep, and I found one morning while running, that I didn’t hate it as much.  Eventually… I woke up, but now, as I find the hours slip away no matter how little sleep I get, I can’t help but remember those moments of repetition in every day and flash back to those lost months.  Sleep calls to me, but that doesn’t mean he’s my friend.

Behind the Scenes – Stop Bugging Me

I love photography, and I love sharing my photography, and I love explaining the behind the scenes of some of the pictures I take.  It’s important that you understand my ‘vision’ and emotions that I’m sharing through this art form.

This, is a picture of a bug.  Which is obvious, what is less obvious is what I was thinking.

On this day, in the warmth of Arizona, sometime in November, I was at a rose garden, with flowers all around just beginning to peak out of their summer slumber into the ‘autumn’ sun.  I walked through this scented garden in awe of the flowers, and experimenting with my new camera.  I knew it could zoom in a little, and capture more pixels than I needed, but I didn’t know just HOW MUCH it could capture.

I had thought, originally, that pictures like this only could be done with a ‘macro’ lens, one that allowed you to focus extra close… and while that would have taken a far better picture, I would have had to ask the bug very VERY nicely to not be startled by the lens coming withing 6 inches of him.  Instead I used a regular 50mm lens, he very politely posed for me, so that my shutter speed didn’t have to be too fast; which all made for a very steady picture.  This required no editing afterwards either, just cropping to show off the dragon fly.

From five feet away this dragon fly landed on a flower.  I grew up with dragon flies, and was immediately excited to catch one in great detail.  From so far away I couldn’t see more than that it was a dragon fly and landed on the flower.  I caught him coming in for a landing as well and thought “I’m so lucky!”

When I got home I was first amazed at how amazing the details are… then as I looked more closely I realized that dragon flies here are really ugly little bugs.  The ones I’m used to have giant eyes, tiny little legs, and gracefully thin bodies… this reminded me more of a grasshopper with wings.

But, I was also in wonder, this is a very detailed picture of a dragon fly, with the wonder of the rose that still has so much potential under his feet.  I can’t help but wonder if this is the message I needed more, than the beauty I desired.

Are there any other photographs you’d like the back story on?