This week I read an article on the “slow photography” movement. The point is that as we pose, point and shoot ourselves, let’s not miss the experience we’re snapping to document. The “document” versus “art” aspects of photography was also explored. Most of us are mere documentarians with our DSLR’s, point and shoot’s and camera phones, but occasionally we luck out and capture real beauty. Well, at least our interpretation of it.
Toward the end of our brief trip to Burlington, Vermont to escort her son back to UVM for semester two, Joyce and I enjoyed a little shop browsing and noshing in charming Woodstock. If you’ve never visited this 250 year old gem, named by National Geographic as, “One of America’s Most Picturesque Villages,” go.
Our 36 hour “some people get the holiday off and some don’t” getaway began Sunday morning when we jammed the car full of the student, his clean clothes, and an assortment of junk food. And Gatorade because he’s a D1 athlete… Anyway, after a quick late lunch burger, we headed for the unloading. If you’ve never visited a freshman’s post semester break dorm room, named by National Geographic as, “One of America’s Scariest Places,” don’t.
Speaking of scary, after a quick check-in at the lovely Holiday Inn (thanks a lot Shatner!), we found a couple bar stools adjacent to a hi-def display to watch a horror show. After the Jets thoroughly had their way with our Pats, even icy Bill Belichick was looking for some cuddle time, throwing a hug at Jets coach “Sexy Rexy” after the game. Dejected, we walked it off a bit on shimmering Church Street and settled into Leunig’s Bistro for a scrumptious nightcap of wine and cheese.
Monday morning my Acura groaned at the thought of ignition in the single digit freeze of Burlington, yet upon my “Oh, come on!” she started right up. Clearly, I have a way with her.
Then, after a quaint Arcadia Diner bellyful of “apple oatmeal” (made with apple juice – good!) and turkey sausage, we were off to the Catamount Outdoor Family Center for my introduction to cross-country, um, skiing. My Nordic holiday is best summarized in song. So, go ahead, conjure up your best Tony Bennett and let it rip:
I….. Left my joints. In – Nor – thern Ver – mont
“Isn’t it beautiful!?” Joyce exclaimed. Of course it was, but as I struggled, head down, up yet another hill on the “flat” 5K course, I wasn’t really noticing. We were under a Crayola sky blue sky, but apparently the sun was also on holiday because it was barely radiating six degrees of separation from zero. I’ll admit it was fun, but as a beginner any loss of focus resulted in me horizontal. As I followed her around the course like a panting greyhound vainly chasing “Swifty,” the mechanical rabbit, I thought, “she looks great in those…” BAM! “DOWN GOES FRAZIER!” It happened very quickly and actually my fall was broken by one of my ski poles. The one in a 90 degree angle. I looked up for sympathy and saw Swifty smoothly gliding around a corner and out of my view… I struggled to bend the pole back into the shape of a crooked walking stick.
Leaving Woodstock at dusk Monday, Joyce pointed out a bright moon above the mountain backdrop and foreground barren trees. “I haven’t taken a picture all weekend,” I responded while pulling over to imprint the image. I clicked off 3, but none captured it adequately. On the slow and smooth, hill and dale way home, we chatted and channel surfed. At one point I glanced over to see a peaceful and beautiful sleeping face reflecting dashboard light.
I don’t have the pictures, but I have the experience in my heart and mind forever.