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CRASHING TO AN END

Cindy Maddera

I realize that it is not even December. I mean, it will be December by the end of this week, but right now it is still November. We have a whole month left in this year and I shouldn’t be rushing ahead. Except my brain is totally rushing ahead and I keep thinking about what I want to accomplish next year. I had only one thing that I wanted for this year and that was to complete a project. Any project. I’m thirty something days away from completing my 365 Day photo project that I have been posting daily on Flickr. I am going to complete a project this year. Also, I’ve been saying for years how I need to clean out the basement and pair down. I’ve just stopped putting this down as a resolution because every year I fail miserably at this. I might get one corner cleaned out only to fill it up with crap again. Sure, it took a major basement flood to get this goal accomplished, but by golly, that basement is clean and we have way less stuff.

These accomplishments have inspired me to start thinking about doing stuff. I’m not quite sure what stuff I want to do, but I want to do some stuff.

I think that on the top of my list of things to do next year is to expand my photography skills and build up a portfolio. Maybe even take a class or two. Someone in the office said to me in regards to our California trip that I must have taken a lot of pictures. Really, after sitting down to upload and edit, I did not end up taking very many pictures. I had even debated before the trip whether I should even bother bringing my Nikon with me. In the end, I decided to pack it and then I did make an effort to use it. That first morning at the cabin, I was awake before everyone. I snuck out of the cabin with my camera and went for a walk. The sun was just coming up and the air was crisp. I thought I might try to make my way to Tamales Bay, but it was further away than it looked. I walked the winding road far enough to reach a place where I could at least see the bay and was rewarded with light from the sun peaking up over the hills and filtering through the clouds.

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Later on, we all hiked out to Kehoe Beach. I took some pictures there that I am really happy with and that evening I captured a picture of the moon that I’m pretty proud of. The camera stayed in my bag for the rest of the trip because it ended up raining on us for most of Friday. We spent the day in the cabin, playing games and telling stories. I knew that I wanted to stop on the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge on our way back to the airport. So I just let the photography slide to the way side in order to just be present in the moment. When Michael pulled our car off the highway and up to a parking space that overlooked the bridge, there was already a line of photographers set up at the look out. Serious photographers. They all had big fancy lenses and tripods. I got out of the car with my dinky Nikon and thought “what the Hell am I doing?” I was a joke. I closed my eyes and took a breath. When I opened them, I looked out at the Golden Gate Bridge, fog rolling in and the sunlight filtering down. We were high enough to be above the fog and the sunlight filtering through that fog made the water sparkle. It was blindingly beautiful.

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And I captured it all on my dinky little Nikon.

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I want more of this for 2019. I want to feel less intimidated and I want to feel more confident in my own abilities to capture beautiful moments. I want to accept that part of me that is an artist.