No, you won’t be able to come back this way and take that photo tomorrow.
This is the story of my life and I think a sound argument against procrastination. Or at least, it’s MY sound argument for why I don’t (read: can’t) procrastinate.
Mark gets annoyed with me sometimes because I have a physical need to make sure everything is put away before I can get in bed, to make sure the bed is made before I can leave the house, to put all of the dry dishes away before I leave for work. It seems like I just can’t leave things undone. Usually, I do it because I want to save time later. I am so, so lazy that it has made me proactive: I do shit now, get things done now, so I won’t have to think about them or do them later.
It’s like paying it forward, but for my free time.
And all of this manifested itself in a new way while we were on our honeymoon.
We backtracked. A lot. We backtracked so many times in order to see amazing things at the end of the road.
A good example of this is Milford Sound: there is literally only one road in and out. So to get there, you have to drive to the end of a lovely windy road through the mountains. And then you have to take that same road right back out. That is just one example.
Another example at Milford Sound: I stood at the edge of it and snapped a quick photo with my iPhone while I was waiting for Mark. I thought we had to rush to make our tour, so didn’t pull out the Mamiya like I should have, thinking I’d have time after we finished our boat tour to take that photo later.
We had at least 4 backtracks on the honeymoon. Each time, I wanted to take photos but there was no chance or place to stop, or we were in a rush.
Each time, I said or thought I’ll do it on the way back. It made sense to think that way at the time. We’d be ON THE SAME ROAD in the same spot in less than 24 hours. I’d just do it then.
Absolutely, nope. EVERY SINGLE TIME I thought this to myself, we were unable to do it.
It basically came down to weather changes or traffic: either it was pouring down rain on the way back (this happened three times) or there were too many people following way too closely behind us on the road, meaning there was no way to safely stop.
I know that now, looking back, I didn’t need those photos. Maybe they wouldn’t have been so amazing. It doesn’t matter now.
But something I’ve always held is that you can’t go back. You can’t go back to an old relationship that didn’t work, you can’t go back to the place you grew up, you can’t go back to the person you used to be. You can go back, but it won’t be the same. We change, times change. Everything changes. And in my personal situation in New Zealand, the weather was really good at changing unexpectedly, and very quickly. It was a good reminder of the much larger picture.
And I think this is the story of my life and also an underlying idea in photography: you are capturing a moment that you are currently in. And moments pass. So yes, the place will still be there tomorrow, but that moment will be gone.
That’s something I’ve learned during my time with MS, but also with people and places. This moment is the most important one, because it is now. It’s important to grab them and appreciate them whenever we can. They are over so quickly.