14 July, 2011

The Photo Not Taken


This month's Accretionary Wedge is a tough one.  When I go out to a geological locality these days, I tend to come away with about everything I could possibly ever need or want - until later, when during some research I find out there was more to the place than I suspected, and it's an immediate "D'oh!"

Happens to us all.

I'll tell you what my regrets are, though.

I regret not appreciating Arizona's geology until I moved up here.  There are entire swaths of the state I used to roam freely, but I didn't take pictures of the sights I saw or the rocks I befriended.  I have very few good photos of my beloved Peaks, or of Page's amazing sandstones.  I don't have pictures of the desert light pouring like honey over the landscapes.  I thought it would be enough to take those things away with me in my mind's eye, but then I found you, my darlings, and until someone comes up with an app for that, there's no way for me to take a snapshot of memory and show you rather than tell you about it.

I regret not having got a better camera years ago.  The old camera I had couldn't do those landscapes justice.

And I regret not having a recording device.  Because I've visited a lot of incredible localities with very knowledgeable people, and I have so few of their words left in my memory.  I have a horrid memory.  And I wish I could replay lectures and conversations, I wish I had video and audio of those experiences, so I could absorb them in their entirety.  All I have is an impressionistic image, a hint of a voice and a snippet of knowledge, and it's not enough.

So the next time I go out, yes, I'll have the camera and the collecting bags and a digital voice recorder, and while my box of regrets won't be empty when I return, at least it will be a little less full.

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