Have you ever experienced a moment where the feeling of awe is so great that the response it evokes inside you is too strong to hold in? It’s as if the feelings are just too lively, bubbling about, and they might just overflow, out over the top of your head and spill onto the ground beneath your feet.
Really old places have this effect on me. Also very modern places that are built alongside very old places. And sometimes, modern places that are made out of really old spaces. One time I had gotten a cup of coffee in the city of Cologne, Germany, at a coffee shop along the River Rhine. The coffee had been alright, but the coffee shop I had picked it up from was housed in a building that had originally been constructed in 1169, knowing this gave me a feeling of excitement that no amount of caffeine can bring about.
When something like this comes along, I feel compelled to try and capture it somehow. Often I might do a sketch; I think a drawing is able to store more sense of emotional memory than a regular photo might. Other times I will let loose with my pen and let my thoughts pour out through words instead.
Here are a few short poem-type bits that I have written during my travels:
But what of the rocks?
Tumbled and tossed
century on end
under relentless rains
speckled and glossed.
Any why now this arrangement?
Under glowing silver sky
hazy light of the moon
heavily, flows through the trees
their winter leaves
dancing in the midnight current
Like the pigeon
Pecking at remnants
In cobbled cracks,
On park benches
Unaware of the surrounding significance
Buried deep in the foreign city,
People passing by.
Out of the biting winter winds
into blankets of friendly conversation.
Outside, the mist-fall gives the world a blue hue.
Inside, its complementary radiates out of every surface.
There, amid stinging cold
muscles get tense.
Here, with cushioned bum
my taste-buds rejoice in this incredible brownie-crusted caramel-topped cheese-cake alongside a frothy latte, the type with one of those nice clover designs in the foam.
Walking particularly slowly
Down the incandescent-lit
Canal on a winter night in Den Haag,
The sights are dream-like, surreal.
A snow-white goose
Glides into the golden view
So as to form the perfect composition.
I stop, take a step back,
Step in dog sh*t.
I can read and re-read these snippets of thought and they never fail to bring back such wonderful memories. Each one is tied to such a unique time and feeling for me. I don’t know how they might appeal to anyone other than myself. But if you’ve read this far, then the one thing I do hope to leave you with is the encouragement to stop and capture the feelings and thoughts surrounding a moment of significance. Venture to take more from that experience than just a photo – you won’t regret it.