Zeiss and I have been on the road for seven months now, we've been through 35 states and if we'd kept going in a straight line we'd have more than circled the earth at the equator. All that mileage and time takes its toll on the mind and the body. Despite the cheery social media posts and brave face put on, I've slowly been getting exhausted, burnt out and mentally and physically unhealthy. My life is a vacation, but living your passion and dream needs to be balanced with caring for yourself.
After back to back shows in California I took a few days off with my friend Kendall, she's an incredibly positive and thoughtful person who also happens to be a naturopathic doctor. Over those days I talked with her and other friends about where I was at and how I'd been feeling. They all encouraged me to take time off, to work on me, to relax and regroup.
I cancelled a bunch of tintype shoots for three weeks and pointed the nose of my van up the California coast, heading for my friends at Starvation Alley Farms but with no timeline or schedule. I hung out on beaches, took Zeiss on a bunch of long walks, talked with surfers and generally did nothing for four days. It felt good, slightly lazy but also needed.
I've wanted to go to the Redwoods since I was a kid and a picture book we had showed someone driving a car through a tree. So I finally went. It's difficult to describe the place and, as with many incredible locations, nearly impossible to photograph. I had planned to take tintypes of the forest or large format film at least but once I got there I was overwhelmed with the scale of the place and just wanted to be, not to try to capture.
Zeiss and I spent four hours just being in the woods, among these massive silent beings, the smell of the earth filling our lungs and cleansing my mind. I did bring out a camera for a bit but instead of trying the impossible of imaging everything I focused on the micro, the small things, what I could manage. Here's the bark of a 2000 year old tree, and one feisty creepy crawly.
I hope to see you all back on the road soon but first I've got some cranberry farming to do.