Have Camera — Will Travel

Pre Revolution Still Life, ©V.Plut

Some don’t want to wait till the end of the road — they don’t see life as a journey until they reach retirement and look behind them.

they say,

Many people work their entire lives for that day when they can pack all of the time they have left in the world into an RV and leave everything behind. I met a retiree on the road once who had been just about everywhere with her husband and dogs.

she said.

Rt. 66, ©V.Plut

Some travelers draw up a meticulous plan, map a route, schedule events for each day to keep super busy and fun-filled, with the camera being just another record keeping tool. Some pack to the max and travel heavy, bringing the comforts of home on the road — the armchair traveler who shoots from the armchair. Those who travel lightly with only a small bag with room for camera can give evidence that they have roamed beyond the realm in which they are comfortable.

Vacation can be high art.

What does it mean when we capture a moment or scene that we want to remember and paste it into a scrapbook? Perhaps a wish to stop time in that moment and repeat the most pleasant experiences at times we feel unpleasant.

What is real — the piece of outer landscape we photograph, or the facsimile of its moment created with our camera? Which is more enjoyable — the moment we snapped the shutter or the moment we turn the page in our scrapbook to revisit that chosen moment?

What do we remember most about our travels? Creating little pieces of pseudo realities with our magic box, or breathing, seeing and experiencing a landscape far from home, so different from what we see out our window everyday?

Is reality so tenuous that we have to question whether or not we have even experienced it? There is a rainbow — let me confirm it — click. Our experience of the rainbow and the mechanically captured moment are two separate and distinct events, in fact, three or four and many more, since the recollection of the experience and the many moments we revisit our technically generated image are all different points in time.

Road Trip, ©V.Plut

Before the camera, we sketched, painted, or wrote about our travels. Before the written word, we sang and spoke of it in verse, with pieces of language — like photographs, language stood in for reality and represented what we saw and experienced. In Homer’s Odyssey, a phrase derived from the oral tradition like, “the wine dark sea” was used to help the poet memorize a story and insert his own variations on the theme, but most of all, to the story.

“In the wine dark sea…” Picture it in the camera inside your head. Yes, your mind is a camera. Back up your images and check your reality — take it along on your next trip.


Title of essay borrowed from1957 Westerntelevision seriescreated by Sam Rolfe and Herb Meadow and starring Richard Boone.

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