Tuesday, April 28, 2015

"...the dominance of the eye..."

A few years ago, I came across A Book of Migrations by Rebecca Solnit.
This passage from that remarkable book has stuck with me:

     "Perhaps people travel for pleasure because the visual is much more memorable than the tangible, the seen than the felt.  At the time, traveling may be nothing more than a series of discomforts in magnificent settings:  running for the train to paradise in a heat wave, carrying an ever heavier pack in alpine splendor, seeing sublime ruins with stomach trouble. Yet it is the field of images and not the body of sensations that lingers.  My mother once remarked that if women remembered what childbirth felt like, no one would have more than one child.  And so I, third child of a third child, owe my existence to forgetting and my taste for travels to the dominance of the eye..."

...the field of images...
   ...the dominance of the eye...

Maybe that's why I haven't felt as much of a need in recent months to come back to this blog. In high school and as an undergrad, I entertained the notion that I was a wordsmith...In grad school, writing about writing grew tiresome, and then when I spent a year abroad living in Paris, I occasionally dreamed about getting a 'real camera' and documenting more of the images that were informing my sense-of-myself-within-geography instead of translating the images into words. (I did spend large amounts of time writing to the woman who would later marry me, though, conflating sense-of-place and sense-of-me in both par-avion letters and scrolluminous e-mails...)

This blog began as an outgrowth of group e-mails sent to friends during the year that my wife and I lived in Nicaragua. Within a year of moving back to Seattle, we realized that we wanted to leave behind the leaden sky winters of the Pacific Northwest, and so we moved down here to Tucson. (Eight years now?!) To share our impressions of the Sonoran Desert with our friends and family 'back home' and 'back East', I kept posting a few times a month for a few years...

...and then smart-phones happened.
   ...and then Instagram.

Yes, the tyranny of the square-format and the ubiquity of over-sharing are inescapable facets of the tool/beast which has become our portal, via our thumbs, to ever expanding grids of curated lives. So be it. Or rather, to be more modernly tautological: it is what it is.

Within the constraints of captions and hashtags, then, my need to write and share images has been finding a more immediate outlet here:

Images from past trips, snapshots from trail-runs, minutiae conveying a sense-of-place...

Hmm...this blog then--becoming more of a forum for occasional musings and ranting/raving/reflecting...
a self-published monthly? semi-monthly...?
desination running-guides
road-trip travelogues

Looks like it.

Thanks, readers, for keeping up... 

Here are a couple of those 'listicles' I've recently had published, by the way,
for Arizona Tourism and the Matador Network

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