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  • Writer's pictureNemi

IF I Could...

This week I embarked on quite the road trip, a seventeen and a half hour drive from California into the beautiful Midwest. This wasn't my first journey into the to the midwest but it was by far my furthest trek by car. IF you know me, you know that I find it difficult to sleep at times, however, if you truly know me, you know that I can sleep in the most uncomfortable of positions.

I didn't find much sleep on the way out nor on the way back home, instead I attempted to take in the day and the night, the sights, and sounds all the while doing 80mph down through the desert. Things always look differently the moment you escape California and I'm unsure if that's due to the way this State allows most things to go to shit or if it's due to the fact other States care more than "we" do.

This trip was taken with my brother Tony and his family; it was our quick Thanksgiving trip to visit his daughter, my niece, whom I affectionately call, Squirt (she's like 4'11"). I can't recall too many family trips, whilst growing up, let alone family trips where we were gone for a week on end, let alone overnight. Our trips typically consisted of quick jaunts up to Yosemite and a dam, close to home, which used to be a big deal way way way back in the day. The little black and white images of my childhood have now been overtaken by the digital age which I currently live in; the ability to stop time, view an image, delete it, or tweak it on the fly is amazing.

My intentions for sitting in the front seat were in order to capture images which I could share with YOU and I hope YOU like them. I feel as though even in a car with others, I'm still alone with my thoughts and imagination. During the times, which I wasn't driving, I found myself looking out at landscapes which had evaded during my previous trip to the Midwest some years ago with buddies. Perhaps it was the headspace I was in back then that kept my eyes and heart somewhere else, somewhere closed off and dark. I've said over the course of the last few months, "People grow differently, if they're watered correctly".

This time out, my spirit was at ease and my heart wasn't heavy, which helped to make it easier for me to see what was laid out before me/us. The first camera brand I purchased, some years back, was a Sony and I find myself still rockin' with the brand today. It's strange to think that the thousands of pictures taken, between the five camera bodies I've used throughout the years, have never been featured by Sony; I'm starting to think my follower count isn't high enough or perhaps I'm still capturing images which aren't the greatest.

I remember working up the courage to show a local photographer some of my photos and his reaction was priceless! IF memory serves me correctly, which it tends to still, he said, "Yeah, these don't do anything for me, maybe you should read a book or two about composition". His words cut my ego but helped to place things into a greater perspective for me. I've always felt that constructive criticism is a vital tool when one deems their trade as being artistic; there are too many people who are willing to say one is dope, when in fact they come out looking like a dope and I've come to call this the "Gas Em Up Effect". Just because you have a mic, it doesn't mean you're suddenly a rapper due to the fact Soundcloud allows you to upload noise. I digress, back to the trip, I'll provide my Soundcloud handle in a bit.

As we drove, I wondered what a trip like this would feel like if it were taken with someone who would get lost within the clouds, with me. I've turned into a hopeful romantic and thought about someone telling me, "Hey babe, look at that, you have to pull over and take a pic of that" or "Babe, pull over, let's take a picture over there, that looks like..."

My brother was more than gracious and he told me multiple times that I should pull over and capture the various scenery we were zipping by but I felt much like I do about placing my feet in the ocean, I'll only do this with a special person all the while holding their hand and watching their smile.

This camera of mine, holds a few gems which were captured while we were on the move and for me this represents life so much; one day soon, these images will be considered pixelated and out of date because humans are constantly looking for perfection within technology.

The perfection we seek is staring back at us and warning us about ourselves (Wildlife Crossing Area). IF I COULD, I'd tell you that all of these pictures were for you and one day I'll be gone, I'd tell you that all of these words were meant to create a simple song.

I've learned a little bit about composition both with a camera and with words too; I hope to compose my greatest work by using my voice and feeling the racing of my heart.

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