Friday, June 22, 2012

For the Feet

To view my physique now, one would doubt any claim that I spent my younger years immersed in athletics and fitness.  Alas, it is true.  Then in my mid-40's, my mind and my body said enough already.  And that was that.  Now, I spend time walking with my wife along rivers and beaches for exercise.  Much of that time is spent talking and laughing.  A shame I didn't have quite as much fun when I pumped iron or jogged.

Being a big boy (my wife would say, correctly, big baby), my feet took a pounding over the years.  It is always a challenge to find footwear that is comfortable for my feet.  Here in South Korea, just finding footwear appropriate for my large size is a difficult task.  

Teva sandals and Vasque hiking boots were the only two brands that provided long term comfort and support for my feet.  Ever.  I don't do much hiking these days, but I do spend a lot of time around water and in water.  I don't enjoy spending money on myself; one look at my antiquated digital camera set and my field computer will confirm that fact.  However, I felt it necessary to treat my feet this summer.

A visit to the Teva site on Monday, the order placed, with the package arriving Thursday afternoon.  It was just that fast.  Hurricanes in a box.

Of course, there was a crowd gathered to see what Mark received.  Mark will show off his toes in public now.  Yet it was the size that amazed most everyone.  The obligatory comparison of foot and hand size followed with some comments and laughter.

After the day was done and put away, and after the cleaning, I asked my wife if she wanted to take a walk last night.  She was surprised, pleasantly, and said yes.  A moment later she looked at me, laughing, and said that I wanted to try my new sandals.

It was a nice walk and talk.  The Tevas were very comfortable with no foot pain and without any lower back discomfort associated with poorly crafted footwear.  It will be a good summer for the feet.

Maybe I should get a pair of Vasque boots for the winter.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Trivial and the Irrelevant

My grieving for the loss of my daughter is not a solitary experience.  My wife and our three daughters here are also feeling the effects of recently learning of the death of my biological daughter; the daughter and the sister they will never be able to meet.  At times my wife will catch me looking into that unseen distance that only the mind can experience; she will ask a question or make a comment that brings me back into the present.

It is an event I cannot change, though I wish otherwise.  At the oddest times the tears flow, though I wish otherwise.  I wish, I wish...but I cannot change it, nor can I control it.  

As I fight to look through the fog as I look into the distance that only the mind can see, I have set a couple of expectations for me.  No, I don't have expectations for anyone else, only the self.  I expect not to alienate those who are close to me.  Yes, I do have anger, but I know my friends and family here are not responsible for any of this.  Yes, I do have questions; however, those who have the answers are half a world away and in a different universal reality that has become incomprehensible to me.  No one here can answer my questions.  I've been testy a time or two, and my wife has diverted that toxic energy with success.  Rather than remain silent, she engages me about what has happened.

In my attempt to create photographic art, my goal is to keep my compositions as simple and as minimal as possible.  Eliminate the distractions and the fads.  The trivial is unnecessary.  The irrelevant is not wanted.  A short time after learning of the death of my daughter, I realized that I needed to rid some of the trivial and irrelevant distractions in my life.  They weren't important as they only served to focus attention away from those things which are important, truly important:  family and friends.

Speaking to the subject of photography, I am working on two projects important to me.  I find myself sitting on the riverbank or on the edge of the bay just looking.  As I process my work I lose enthusiasm and focus.  Another day, I tell myself.  I also tell myself that it is okay.