I've been neglecting the blog again. Too many things I might blog about (fun with productivity tools; gender in social networks; the latest outcroppings of my commonplace book project; when all else fails, random favorite poems), too little time. But a bunch of people I know in the blogo/Twitterspheres are doing Reverb 10, and I've been playing along as I write my daily 750Words brain-dump. Most of what I'm writing probably won't see the light of day; it's too personal for my blog standards. But we'll see.
Today's prompt was "Moment": Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).
While it may be cheating a bit to post photos when specifically prompted to write a description — particularly when the photo doesn't really do either the view or the moment justice — this was a really damn fine moment, and I don't want to forget it.
I took this picture during the all-too-short Lake District segment of the Great UK Trip this summer, while standing next to the Castlerigg Stone Circle outside Keswick. The sun was just coming out after two days of rain and overcast, and it hit this valley just so. I stood there slack-jawed, staring at it for the longest time, surrounded by grazing sheep and picture-taking fellow tourists in equal numbers.
I could probably say any number of things about how my sense of landscape aesthetics has been conditioned by the same Romantics whose Lake District footsteps I'd been treading in. But mostly I couldn't shake the sense that I had, somehow, always known this place, and that my imagination had lived there for years, even though I'd never been to England or seen that view reproduced anywhere. At any rate, it lives there now:
There are some places that you just love at first sight, you know? Even if you only see them from a distance on a long walk where sooner or later you have to head off in the opposite direction. But someday I'm going back, and staying for much longer, and climbing those knobby hillsides every day. And if I ever develop a yearning for a quiet rural life, this is where I'm going when I retire.