A Travellerspoint blog

July 2013

And He Lived Happily Ever After...

The End of the Dusty Vagabond

semi-overcast 68 °F

I'm commiting blogicide (Is that a word?). Though "The Dusty Vagabond" has been a pleasure to produce, I would rather lay it to rest with style then watch it wither away through lack of effort.

"Why?"

It feels right, you know? I woke up this morning and my first thought was end this blog. I feel good about it. It's time to start the next chapter. Buddha said, "Use me as a craft for crossing the stream, but when you are across, let me go (roughly paraphrased)." Well, I made it across the stream. I have a voice. I know what I am about. I'm living an amazing life. This just feels right.
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I'm excited. I am now free to recreate myself in any fashion I wish. I am not done writing. I am not done catching photographs. I am not done sharing. I am not done living my life. I'm curious to see what doors will open next and where that path will lead. There will be another project. Consider the Dusty Vagabond, "Thom's early years."

If you are into numbers, blogging is all about how many people you can get to follow you. The more people that follow you, the better. I have great numbers. My blog site tells me how many people have visited (278,806), how many people have read my journey (297,240), how many people read what chapter (my most popular has been "Wardner Beginnings" 7,078 - I've never understood why this has been so popular). They are great numbers. They are YOU, after all. The fact you gave this blog any time at all is amazing to me. I sincerely thank you for your time.

I'm letting you go. You are as free as I am.

How did you stumble upon this blog? Was it from a friend? Did you see a picture you like and investigated further? Did you see a featured blog? Was it a random find? There's no reason that can't happen again. Perhaps, in losing me, you might find someone else to inspire you.
You might find my next project in the same way. Then again, you might just drop me a line telling me you are interested. When it gets up and rolling, I can send you a link.

Life flows on. So do I.

In a way, this is kind of like writing my own epitaph. "Here lies The Dusty Vagabond. May he forever wax eloquently about the morning mists of southeast Alaska."
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Actually, I never could do them justice. You really need to see them for yourself.

"And He lived happily ever after..."
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Look for me in the north, the west, the east and the south. Look for me at dawn. Look for me at sunset. Look for me in the night. You might find me on the ocean. You might find me by the sea. You might find me in the park climbing a maple tree (this is starting to sound like Dr. Seuss).
Above all, go look outside. There's good things to see out there. We might even cross paths. I'm the toe-headed bearded guy. I'm probably wearing my trusty blue wool beanie. I'm often found slogging down a mountain trail with a battered tripod sticking out of my faded red backpack. I'll have a serene smirk (can you smirk serenely?) on my face. My boots are will be worn, my adventure pants and shirt faded and ripped- but those are the trademarks of (mis)adventure.

Many Hugs, Many smiles.

Thom - The Dusty Vagabond

Posted by Rhombus 01:22 Archived in USA Tagged me alaska photography blog writing Comments (4)

The Next Twist in the Path

Writer's Block, The Nature of Blog Writing, Photography and What's Next

Fact: I don’t know what to write about today. I could’ve written this sentence every day this week, but this fact didn’t come to me until this morning. Is this what writer’s block is all about? To be sure, I have a lot of material. Life has flowed along since my last meaningful entry (Yodeling Under a Glacier). But, I don’t know, I just haven’t found the lead. Inspiration has been lacking.

So, I’m just going to tell it like it is. I don’t have any eloquent words this week. I feel like if I write this one, no matter how mundane, I’ll be over the hump and perhaps inspiration will strike next week.
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Part of the reason I’ve been quiet lately is that I’m trying to figure out the next direction for this blog. Is there one? Does there need to be one? What do you do with a blog? Do I want to try to write for money? What else can I do with it, other than what I have been doing? These questions have been rolling around in my mind for a while. I haven’t been able to answer them.
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Here’s the tricky bit about writing a blog: In my life, every day of the week could hold great material, be it great photos, experiences or both. It takes a lot of effort to keep the blog current when each day could possibly deserve an entire episode on its own. I don’t want to get into the game of focusing too much on the photos or thinking about what I’m going to write that I miss the experience. Sometimes it is a close thing. My priorities are life moments first, documentation second.
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I do know the experimental phase is over, though I‘m not sure if that changes anything. I’ve been pumping out a lot of material over the last three years. Some of it is good, some of it is not. I’ve found my voice. I catch beautiful scenes with my camera as I’d catch fat snowflakes with my tongue. It’s a beautiful thing.
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I have thousands of photographs that I have collected from all over the world. I uploaded over six hundred of my favorites to my new Flickr page. It took a lot of time. I archive my photos by Year/Month/Major Location. My digital photos went back to 2003, though I have hundreds more in slide/print form. I browsed through my archives for a solid week uploading the ones I found interesting.

You can see them here:http://www.flickr.com/photos/dustyvagabond/ For those of you who really dig my photos more than my words, this is the site for you. I’m happy with my collection, I tried very hard to keep it diverse and keep it interesting. These photos are a fair representation of my life and what I live for, namely, creativity in action.
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“Where ya been, Thom? Where ya goin’?”
In late May, I left Alaska for Seattle without any clear direction on where I was going or projects I wished to pursue. With unlimited options and many paths to follow, I felt a few of them out before “deciding” to go to Switzerland in late July. Having purchased the tickets, I promptly took a train across the northern tier of the U.S. from Seattle to Central Minnesota. From there, I visited some old haunts and friends in northern Minnesota. Then I took a bus home to the Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan.
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However, life has its own comedic timing. Instead of going to Switzerland, I am going to Alaska. I took a new position as an assistant engineer on the cruise ship I work on. The job starts at the same time as my trip to Europe. Ha! So, I’m going to Switzerland by way of Alaska.
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Unless, of course, some other unforeseen event changes everything again. I don’t know why I ever make plans. The plans I make always change - often morphing into something I never expected. I try to go with the flow. I’ll make occasional decisions about my life, but I’m always skeptical about my choices. There have been too many times that unexpected forces trump my decisions. But, that’s the way I like it.
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Be flexible. Be spontaneous. Just be.

Posted by Rhombus 10:09 Archived in USA Tagged trees nature photography michigan paths zen writing blogging Comments (0)

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