i think about darkness a lot lately. about the paradigm that says light is good and dark is bad. about why humans, myself included, are more often than not afraid of the dark. and why we use darkness as a metaphor for fear, uncertainty and evil. is it something primal? there are some easy answers to these questions, and yet taking a deeper look, you cannot see the light without the dark. they are two sides of the same coin. yin and yang.
these are things i am thinking about when i walk at night. the virus lockdown has caused us all different levels of anxiety, and for me going outside during the day has become untenable. there are people everywhere. but at night, everyone tucks themselves away in their homes and the world becomes less scary. this has been an interesting irony to me: the hours when conventional wisdom says it’s most dangerous are, at this time in history, the most reliably safe time to be out and about.
so i’ve been taking night walks. what follows are photos from these walks, a kind of visual diary of london, locked down, after nightfall.
i don’t often get sentimental about new year’s eve. i rarely, if ever, make resolutions. in our house, this night is more about hunkering down, having a nice glass of champagne and going to bed early, resting in the knowledge that tomorrow is just another day.
this year, however, things are a little different. yes, we are hunkering down for a homemade dinner and the compulsory glass (or three) of champers and an all-night movie fest.
but this year, i am in a reflective mood. i have been thinking a lot about the past 12 months and a lot about the 12 months to come. in january, i will be starting a new job with what is perhaps my dream company. the MOTHER SHIP, as it were, and since this change is also marking a new year, it’s easy to reflect on the past and future.
2012 was, in many ways, a year of financial health, for me. it was a year in which i transitioned from freelancing to full-time work and it was the first year in too many to count that i’ve actually not had to worry about money.
with it, though, came a creeping realisation that i was, in some ways, sacrificing my physical health (2011 was my year of kick-ass health) for my financial health. long hours, lack of a proper place to eat lunch (hence eating crap for lunch) and zero exercise have not been good to my body. it was a sacrifice i made very willingly, knowing that 2012 was my year of financial health.
i want 2013 to be my year of freedom. a year where i can have both financial and physical health. a year where i have the time to do things i love in addition to my work. things like updating this blog (the single post from 2012 can attest to how dry my writing life has been) and writing irishjaunt. a year to regain connections and rediscover my creativity, but this time, without sacrificing financial health.
2013 is going to be a year of travel. bill and i have already begun planning and dreaming the many city breaks we hope to take, which may or may not include galicia in northern spain, croatia, mexico and boston. we’ll see.
also, we are so happy in london, we’re staying. can you believe it? 18 months and counting in the same place. i think that’s a record.
finally, friends, i will leave you with this photo i snapped on grafton street in dublin over christmas. i want to be as inspired and in awe of the world and life as this little boy.
the photos in this post are a selection of my favourites that i snapped in 2012. you can see them all at my flickr photostream.
as you may notice, my last post was in november. it is now march the fourth. i would love to say that time has just gotten away from me here in my enjoyment of prague, but that would not be enitrely truthful. time did get away during december and january, when we had friends visiting for the holidays and then were off for several weeks for our dublin wedding and subsequent honeymoon in lisbon and rome. and i suppose i could’ve blogged about all that, but i didn’t.
travel writing used to be very different. even 10 years ago, it was a travel writer’s job to take people where they couldn’t otherwise go. to describe scene and place. to be flowery and good with adjectives and to write long, exponential pieces about the world the way others didn’t, and perhaps couldn’t, see it. that’s all changed now. i am about 15 years too late in saying “this internet has changed everything”, but it’s especially true of travel writing. and it has changed fast. Continue reading “the new wave of travel writing: 9 essential skills”→
i am not one of those people that takes pictures of mcdonald’s around the world. *shudder* however, this prayerful ronald mcdonald was a bit too much to pass up on the thai island of koh samui. is it just me or is the serene look on his face just a little freaky?
this most awesome of photos was snapped in hooters (yes, the very same) in hangzhou, china before it, sadly, went the way of the dodo bird. there are, in fact, 4 hooters locations in china which make great spots for happy hour specials and hot wings cravings. stacy (left) and i just couldn’t resist getting this photo with the hangzhou hooters girls – a surreal sight indeed.
this seems to be becoming a theme, in my blogging and in my life, this trying to understand the place i came from and the place i am: new mexico. i think, somehow, posting photos as if i am a tourist in my own state seems to help me work through my issues with being back here, after so long and so many resolutions never to return.