A Month in Morocco: Problems Simplifying

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?


3 thoughts on “A Month in Morocco: Problems Simplifying

  1. Call me crazy but the drawings in your notebooks and the art you made along the way are the images that haunt me from your Oregon walk.


  2. Tom.. I am really looking forward to reading your blog…You write so good….I know it is going to be an interesting story!!! Love Gram


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