December 2018,
Belgium Bruges

People say I post far too few pictures of my trips and lately perhaps that is true. The ‘problem’ with these short trips is I want to soak up as much time as I can with these people and not have to worry about perfecting the photo or living life behind the camera. I want to be present.

The things I take pictures of are the beautiful things, the scenic things, and the breathtakingly amazing things –and while my camera will capture these things –there are other aspects of life, of living and traveling –that make the trip complete.

The moments off camera, the ones I want to savor and remember forever: skipping down the cobblestone streets with my niece, hearing stories from my nephew (about, lets face it: things I don’t understand), taking in the smells of fresh chocolate and bread, walking side by side my sister catching up like we haven’t missed a beat, following my brother in law through the windy streets, beside the canals as we all intertwine our conversations: previous travels, frustrations in life, and even, yes, some poo talk (mostly from the kids).

The shutting off of the distractions, the worries and the wonders. The living in the here and now.

The things I can’t capture with my camera. The smells. The feelings. The living of the life in a foreign land: The waffles and hot coco, the horses trotting through the streets, the random voices, accents and confusing languages. And of course, the feelings that just cannot be explained. Of just being. I love photography, don’t get me wrong, but some things just cant be captured –no matter how perfect the lighting or how well adjusted the settings. I’m living life in Bruges today. I’m making memories; I’m messing up and trying again. And with the grace of God and others, I have another day to enjoy.

Jim the cab driver, bus station, Simon the seatmate, six hour ride, underground, peppermint mochas, euro machine, taxi cab, finally made it, alive. Beautiful houses, amazing view, slippery streets, cobblestone. Chocolate shops, Christmas lights, market, tired. Grocery store, baguette and cheese. Two bags. Self check out. Skipping, Burger King, got lost, finally home. St Anna.

While these words may sound like random jibber jabber, they each hold special meaning. They hold stories –all of their own. They make me laugh and make me smile, they bring up memories and feelings. They jog my memory, much like pictures, they paint the picture, they add color and they make my memories complete.

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