For the past few days my body has made it clear that I’m stressed-out. Yesterday I started developing a canker sore and this morning I woke up with a sore jaw, likely caused by grinding teeth. Whenever I sit down my foot shakes. And I’m also a little constipated. Just like a bad poker player, I’m totally predictable. I can’t hold back my tells. In my current state I’m nothing but a losing bet.
As I run through my second practice-pack up, I realize that my good camera, my Canon Rebel, might possibly be too big for my new brand-new, minimalist backpack. The mere thought of leaving it behind sends a wave of relief through my body. But this is quickly followed by a punch of guilt. Why have a nice camera if not to take it to far away places? Damn. It’s complicated.
Then I thought of last June when, for logistical reasons, I opted to bring my little pocket camera on my hike across Oregon. There was that day, early on, when I set it up on a rock for a timer-selfie at sunset—when a wind gust toppled it into the sand and and it stopped working. I remembered how happy I was not to deal with the responsibility of taking photos. Yes, I really thought taking photos was a responsibility. As if I needed the shots to prove something. Apparently, I wasn’t lugging a camera for me at all. This shook me up a little.
The Oregon memory relived, I hung my Canon back on its hook and packed up my little one, still on the fritz. I gave myself permission to let my eyes relish foreign scenery without feeling a need to snap a (probably) forgettable photo. I felt excited to travel without the compulsion to bust it out every time I saw something interesting. The monkey was off my back and I hoped that less, in this case, would be so much more. But isn’t it always?