Not All Words.

Contrary to our wishes, some of the most significant events of our lives can be forgotten: paths taken and avoided, people we knew that were important, presence at insignificant events that later led to significant changes. Often it is worthwhile to have a reference point.

And not all Journal entries are words ...

My woman friend, who eventually became my life mate, studied photography in college. Everywhere we went, she took her camera. One cool day when we were visiting her parents, we went out for a quick walk through the neighborhood.

Early Photo of AuthorOn impulse, she took this photograph.

I didn’t think much about it at the time. It was just one among many she took of me. Now, however, I recognize this portrait as one of my personal favorites.

The image captures not only my features (which have surely changed!), but it also reminds me of the time and provides for me a bridge to the issues I was dealing with at the time. Many of those issues, primarily dealing with my place in the world and my desire to become “a more human form of BE-ing” are some that I continue to work with to this today.

Similarly, at one time “getting back to basics” was all the rage, but we didn’t know if we would really be able to shake off our dependency on the city.

The opportunity arose, quite by “accident” to work weekends on a small farm in north Texas. If we decided it was for us, we could help to develop a small group of like-minded families centered on the farm.

We and some friends decided it would be worth the effort, and spent several weekends there. The small, one room cabin had a wood-burning stove for heat, and it was often fairly chilly. But it was astoundingly quiet, with plenty of time for reflection and writing.

While we were there, a calf was born, a neighbor’s field caught on fire and people from all surrounding farms, including us, came to fight it with shovels and blankets.

Photo of FarmworkThis simple picture of my friend and I shoveling “fertilizer” from the back of the farm’s truck brings back recollections of quite evenings, good conversation and hot chocolate made from real milk and cocoa – as well as the hard work.

We also learned that despite the wonderful experiences, we were not quite the pioneers we would have to be. Yet, this experience – this road not taken – was a significant memory captured not in words but in a single photograph now part of my Journal storehouse.

Content © copyright 1996-2009
By Gerry Starnes • All rights reserved.