Moving to Freedom, .Org

Split Rock Lighthouse: A Photo and Loosely-Related Words

Split Rock Lighthouse, Beaver Bay, MN

A Brief Fantasy of Freedom

The photo in my last post was from 2002. I may have posted it in anticipation of a North Shore vacation last week. We stopped at Canal Park in Duluth, but didn’t see any big ships this time. Instead I enjoyed the sight of our daughter chasing seagulls around

This here is the historic Split Rock Lighthouse in Two Harbors, Minnesota, taken last Monday on a day of warm sun and cool breezes off Lake Superior.

The park was “closed” because of the state shutdown, so we had to hike about a half mile to get to the shore, a distance made longer by a recalcitrant five-year-old.

I took nearly 50 pictures of the lighthouse as we moved along the shore, which prompted me to leave the camera behind the next day when we went to Cascade River and Temperance River state parks. I wanted to be more in the moment, “hoping I would see the world through both my eyes.” Those are John Mayer’s words in the song, “3x5,” and I think of them a lot when I’m taking pictures, trying to capture something that can’t be caught.

Today I finally overcame
tryin’ to fit the world inside a picture frame
Maybe I will tell you all about it when I’m in the mood to
lose my way but let me say
You should have seen that sunrise with your own eyes
it brought me back to life

I didn’t miss the camera much, but I don’t know if I was more invested in the moment. I was conscious of the brief time we had to take it in. I worried about my daughter tumbling on the rocks and falling into the rushing waters.

I enjoyed the contrast of these beautiful parks with my normal Tuesdays in the office. When I look at these gorges carved by water, I feel time in a different way. We have such a short time to live.

An Epiphany?

I read somewhere that much of the happiness from vacations comes from our anticipation of them. And I was so looking forward to the escape of this trip. But of course inevitably it had to end, and now I’m faced with the grim specter of another work week.

I always have this vague and unrealistic hope that something will change on my vacations. Or on any given weekend, really. That I’ll have an epiphany. I’ll find a better way to live. I’ll finally discover what I want to be when I grow up.

Instead, I usually put thoughts of work from my mind and enjoy a brief fantasy of freedom, pretending that my life isn’t weighed down by the unsatisfying work I do to finance it. I indulge in other fantasies, where I consider calls like this one: “You should probably quit your job.

Maybe I will. Maybe I’ll change the way I am.