For the past year or so, I haven’t felt like me. Do you ever go through phases like that? Like, between work and school and whatever else you have going on, your creativity just vanishes into your daily obligations? For the first half of 2018, I didn’t even feel like taking pictures. I took a digital photography class, hoping it’d spark something inside of me; instead, the assignments became just more tasks to complete. And I would think, where did I go?
So, as I reflect on my summer–yes, the rain is already falling in the Pacific Northwest–I see that I needed St. Ives. I needed the remoteness of Cornwall, England with its narrow roads, pristine beaches, art galleries, and ocean views. I hope it makes sense to say, I felt myself returning.
On one particular night, I bought a glass of wine at a beach cafe and then sat on Porthmeor Beach, facing west. After an 85-degree day, the sun fell into a pink mist, turning the sky violet as it dipped below the water, scattering light across the waves. The sands cooled my feet, and I drank my wine. A German girl next to me took photos on her iPhone. A father chased a naked child who squealed and collapsed with laughter in the sand, wanting to be caught. Others lined the wall above the beach, waiting for the sun to set entirely. And we all got to experience the zephyr of ocean air, forgetting what came before and to abandon expectations for what might come after. Just to breath. Listen. Embrace a perfect moment.
Some peeled away after the sun disappeared, returning to hotel rooms or pubs to finish watching a game. Others lingered in the silence.
That was St. Ives to me, a few moments that existed beyond a camera lens. A few moments that showed me that stress and obligations can sometimes strangle the spirit right out of you, if you let them. It’s okay to slow down and enjoy life at a slower pace sometimes. I guess that’s why we go on vacation–to be reminded.
And I did feel like taking my *big* camera out, eventually. I captured a lot of photos on my cellphone this year, but here are a few from my Nikon as I explored St. Ives.