pWdumaNjA-6CEEBhRoD5euxNETs When All This Actual Life Played Out: So out of time

25 January 2016

So out of time

Death Valley National Park
24 November 2015

I was standing in a chute at least partially created by a mudflow sparked by the October flash flood. We'd caught sight of it on the road to Badwater, and it took us hours to circle back around to it. By then the light was failing and the wind was gusting 70 mph as you can see by the dust storm in the background, so windy it was hard to stay on my feet. But I fought and staggered my way at least partly up the bed, despite grit in my eyes, mouth and hair, despite my concern for the camera (grit, small rocks).

It was the view that is behind me in this photo that was actually rather stunning. This one is just interesting. Or weird.


The daughter and I were talking this morning over coffee and she brought up something that happened in Denver the summer that she and D. and I went there for a concert ("But please note," I told her, "I also made it a college visit. I am not totally irresponsible.").  It was evening and somehow the three of us ended up at the Convention Center where a giant blue bear sculpture stood, looking in the glass windows. I was trying to get some sort of interesting photo of it, and finally decided just to go into the obviously closed building and take a photo from the inside. I waltzed in, greeted the security guard and started taking photos. The security guard asked what I was doing and I smiled and said politely, "Just taking a photo of your bear." I finished what I was doing, said goodbye and left.

"That poor woman was so confused," the daughter said this morning. "There you are just taking pictures when you weren't supposed to be in there."

"I was teaching you how to misbehave properly," I told her. "I was polite and friendly. I was not causing harm, and if she'd asked me to leave, I would have. I told her what I planned to do, I did it and I left. No disturbance, no mayhem."

Then the daughter said, "I had an idea. Maybe it's weird. Maybe it's too derivative."

Then in the course of an hour, we mapped out a story. In much the way we mapped "Shooting Star," (the film of which is "Starlight"). She's taking screenwriting this semester, and she's already talking about using it. This one is funnier, though with an underlying tragedy, because what is life but underlying tragedies? We all have them. She knows that now. We think that life and relationships and fun times (and hard times) don't end but they do. Everything ends. Some things too soon.

So I'm going to write. It will be curious to see our versions and adaptations, much as it was before. Meanwhile, I have something else brewing in the back of my mind. It could be a very busy summer.

And there is still that roof to see to.

And the front garden.

On it goes.

I do what I say I'm going to do. Sometimes it just takes longer than I expect it to.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D7000.
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