Oregon, August 2014... I found a beachside motel that was really cheap. Three adults, four kids, three beds, and a big window looking off the bluff and onto the nighttime beach dotted with Friday night bonfires and tipsy 20-somethings.
I didn't sleep well. Too many little bodies tossing and turning and breathing. Before dawn I crept into my clothes and out the door with my camera, nobody stirred. After almost 13 years of parenthood, I have learned how to dress, eat, open and close doors, search for medical supplies, carry tiny sleeping bodies, and do it all like a silent ghost of a guess, so that nobody awakens. Because when the little people awaken, they want things. And you must provide. Indeed, one must slip softly through the night to evade responsibility.
On the beach at dawn, my flip flops were wrong. Too much noise, shattering the still. I left them beside a wooden pole discouraging people from driving their Japanese sedans in the soft sand. Dense, heavy fog pressed against the beach. It muffled the breaking waves, grayed out the world, shrunk it down to a salty kiosk of wet sand and mist encapsulating me.
There was nothing to see in the cool, monochrome morning. And so I stopped seeing, and I shot what was there. And I saw things I normally do not, what with all that seeing that I'm usually trying to do.
Then, when the metaphysics got to be too much, the sun blazed over the horizon, punched through the fog, and said, "Enough overwrought and melodramatic predawn philosophy! I give you light and shadows!" And I said, "Okay. I'll shoot that too."