And on the other hand...

Click here for The Yin Side where the other half of me holds forth!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Pivotal Return

I could have chosen even more simplicity, and in some ways it was chosen for me. My dithering about what camera to take, what device to encumber myself with, worked itself out when I dropped my faithful five-year-old Casio XILIM on a concrete patio step in Hangzhou. The backup, the Wizard's old one, failed to launch as well (some persistent lens error) so I have no photos from Hangzhou forward and there was no opportunity to buy a camera until I got back to Beijing. (Not that I don't already have hundreds of images of Wudang and Beijing from previous trips.) By that time I had freed myself from the photo compulsion. (Still I am hoping to receive some images of pivotal moments from my traveling companions.)

It was a liberating exercise in simplicity, being mindful of what was happening in the moment, rather than snapping photos every time I saw a beautiful cloud in a valley or a handsome guy on the street, a traffic jam on a mountain road or incomprehensible Chinglish signage. Moments are etched more firmly in my memory, more in my feeling, than any array of pixels on a screen can capture.

As I revisit this trip, contemplating observations and conclusions, it will have to be through words, and maybe ink and brushstrokes. If the ancient Chinese had had digital cameras, what a lack of poetry and painting we would suffer.


The Rambling Taoist said...

I agree that it was fortuitous. Cameras are lovely things, but when armed with one, it becomes too easy to think like a photographer and to miss out on the splendor of simply seeing with our own eyes.

sybil law said...

Well welcome home, in any case. :)
Please do try some ink strokes!!