I recently took the time read some of my old
writing. I was feeling a little run down and
like maybe I had run out of things to write about.
Sometimes going back a few years is a good thing
to kick me out of the rut I think I'm in.
What I discovered is that I spend a lot more time
now writing about technical stuff and passing on
information; but I'm not spending as much time
revealing my inner heart as I did before. The time
frame of the shift seems to have been about the time
a bunch of radical nuts flew some planes into the big
towers in New York. Did it really impact me that much?
I guess it did.
Where did the words go? How could I have lost the
vision I had before that moment in time? Whatever
happened to the color I once used to paint my
thoughts and words? Did the fish lose their color?
Has the whole world gone flat? I don't know, but I
think I need a cure.
Once upon a time, the brookies in my mind were
splashed with emerald green and accented with rays
of ruby and pearl. They were vivid jewels of God's
creation with colors that no painter could ever match.
When I had the privilege to hold one in my hand, the
reflection of the sun off its back was like the shimmer
of light off a fine jade figurine. Did they change,
or did I?
Did brown trout lose their golden hue, or did I just
lose my child-like view? My camera captured the gold
and bronze of springtime browns in Rapid Creek; but
my eyes were too busy looking for sharp details in
the photos to notice. It took my grandson asking me
if the trout were really that pretty, for me to see
the vivid gold that only God could create, and only
my grandson had noticed. Have I become so fixated
on photographic details that I don't see the beauty
I'm trying to capture?
Where did the rainbow go that once adorned the sides
of a rainbow trout? When I was a kid, I could watch
a rainbow in the sky for as many minutes as it was
visible and then groan when the lighting changed and
the rainbow went away. I used to wonder how such
intense colors could span the sky. I also wondered
how and why God painted those colors on the side of
a trout, and did He do it just for me? Now I wonder
if my photo will be in focus or should I take a few
more to be safe.
As a child, I captured lightning bugs and put them
in a clear jar. I would watch their neon glow flashing
on and off like a drug store sign, until heavy eyes
could watch no more. How did they do that? Did they
have a switch that they turned on and off, or was it
a built-in function? Now I ask myself if I need to
change the camera angle to capture the details of
the eyes and legs of the insect I'm photographing.
Where did the wonder go?
I went to the Idaho Fish-In intent on the idea of
capturing all the colors of a bunch of cutthroat
trout to add to my collection of photos. I was
determined to get some great shots that I could
share with the world; but when I got there,
something else took control. I discovered that
I needed to fish. I needed to fish more than I
had in a long, long time.
The photos would have to wait. I was in the mountains,
and it had been a very long time since I had chased
cutthroat trout in the wild rivers of the Rocky
Mountains. Something inside me was telling me that
I need to get back to my roots again, or I'll risk
losing my vision. I was there to be baptized in the
sights and scents of pure mountain waters. I was
there to recover something I had lost and didn't
know how to recover. I didn't take nearly as many
photos as I had intended; but I left the water a
My eyes had seen a vision. There is a form of beauty
out there that a camera can't capture. My body had
been bathed in clean air and cold water to the point
that some of the grime of six-day work weeks and bills
had been washed away; but my soul was still mired in
the mud of daily living in a work and sleep world.
So here I sit in front of a computer screen, muddied
once again by the grime of work schedules and deadlines.
I'm too long on duties and too short on time; and I
have once again lost the vision of a world so beautiful
that it can only really be seen through the eyes of a
child who hasn't clouded the view with obligations and
timelines. Gone are the wonder and amazement I had
when I was young enough to see the world the way God
intended it to be seen.
Right here and now, I'm going to start the process
that will change that view. I don't know exactly what
I'll have to do, or the route I'll have to take to get
there; but I'm going to recapture that vision I had as
a child. I'm going to scrub away the filth that insane
fanatics on a dead-end road packed into my soul when
they sacrificed themselves and others to an ideal so
vile and obscene no god could ever condone it. I'm
going to learn again how to see the beauty behind the
details in the big picture.
And maybe, sometime during that process, I'll recover
the color in my view of life and the natural world
around me. If I let my grandchildren show me, maybe
I'll be able to once again see the world and all its
wonders the way I did when I was young. When I do,
my photos will be more colorful and detailed, and my
writing will paint a better picture of the world we
In fact, I already feel some of that color returning.
Do you see it?