Climb Every Mountain
On my recent trip to Switzerland I went to Locarno and decided to walk up the closest mountain. I took the train up to the first stage where the old church (Madonna del Sasso) sits overlooking the Town of Locarno and then the funicular to Corrado, then a short walk to the chairlifts and up to the view point where the ski school sits.
From there you have an amazing view across the mountain ranges and the lake. Then behind, there is a small mountain which is what I decided to climb.
Lotty and I set off and I took off her lead. I had my headphones on and listened to a random playlist. I was thinking about yesterday’s quote it’s not the mountains that we conquer, but ourselves’.
It’s strange, I should have sat down and written my thoughts there and then when I was walking because everything was quite clear and made sense, but now as I lie in my bed having had a few glasses of wine my thoughts are less clear and almost seem to have lost meaning, but trust me it was quite a deep thinking day, I pretty much thought about everything.
I started thinking about how everything that I do translates to taking photographs. Climbing (hiking) up a mountain is difficult but hardly insurmountable.This seems to equate to my life. If I have a goal I plod along and achieve it. For me it’s more my mind that I struggle to conquer, I over-analyse things to a point that I can’t move or focus on what I have to do.
While walking up the mountain, I came to a point where I had lost the path and I wasn’t sure which way to go. There was a clue, a pile of stones carefully laid in the shape of a tower, and then I saw the path beyond that point.
Life also gives you clues, just when you are stuck and unsure what to do or how to proceed you see something that you interpret as a clue.
I kept looking over at my lovely dog following me along the path and I thought about our bond and how she trusted me following me up this mountain. She had put her life in my hands knowing and believing that I would not lead her into danger, and as her little feet sometimes struggled clambering up the rocks, I would pick her up and carry her when she couldn’t manage herself. I also know unconditionally that she always has my back. It’s an incredible bond that of a dog and a person, once you bond with a dog it’s for life, and once you have a dog you understand the meaning of (wo)man’s best friend. I was glad she was with me, it felt that we were on an incredible adventure.
I then thought about my photography and the direction I’m moving in, I mainly want to photograph for myself and I really like it that way but I get asked more and more to take pictures for others, next week, I’m shooting for a locksmith, not something I would normally do but occasionally doing these sort of jobs, pushes me as a photographer and I always find I get to learn something new which I can apply to my personal work. Photography is like everything the more you put in the more you get out. I feel I’m at the infancy of my photographic journey and have so much more to learn and achieve.
I always turn down wedding photography but it would really push me to the limits. This for most people will be the happiest and most important day of their lives, and what a responsibility to produce images that capture this special day. I know that this type of photography would catapult my documentary skills to another level, but for the time being, I have so many other things that I want to do. This will definitely be an area that I want to throw myself for a short while as I know that it will give back so much.
Next month I’m away for a long weekend having had the opportunity to go to The Total 24 Hours of Spa at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps with pit access as part of a racing team, something I am really excited about, Racing drivers are like rock stars, it’s just such a cool environment with amazing energy, the smell of petrol, rubber and adrenalin. I’ve been thinking about creating a dark room and developing and printing my own film, I have been looking at courses with some really talented photographers. Working on different experimental projects and trying to work out how to develop (excuse the pun) them further.
The hills were certainly live with the sound of music. I was overtaken by the energy of possibility; My playlist churned out “All that you have is your soul” as I hit the summit. I know it’s important to Live the Life you Love and Love the Life you Live.
So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, goodbye
Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye
P.S When I say I let my dog off the lead, I don’t take her off the lead very often for a reason. I had a Fenton moment, as we walked back to the chairlift, she thought that jumping up and grabbing peoples legs as they came swinging past on the chairlift would be a fun way to end our beautiful afternoon. Thank god the Swiss are fairly laid back with a great sense of humour.