I woke up today like I do any other weekday: about thirty minutes before the alarm and annoyed I couldn’t keep sleeping. But sleep is fleeting for me, so I tossed off the covers and dressed in the dark. The morning was like all others. I brushed my teeth, let the dogs outside, filled their food bowls and started making coffee for Handan, Barish and me. Barish was just waking up and heading into the shower. When the coffees were made, I assembled Handan’s lunch and then headed over to my computer for a bit before waking her at 6:00. Barish left at 6:15 to catch the bus to Glastonbury High School, and Handan sat on the sofa with her laptop reviewing yesterday’s blog activity, checking emails and looking at the new posts on our Facebook Group – Just Do it Yourself. At 6:45, I planted the bug in her ear that it was time to leave for work, knowing that she would need another 5-10 minutes before I could herd her out of the house and into the car.
I drive Handan to work and pick her up every day. That’s about 1 1/2 – 2 hours a day shuttling her to and from work, including the time I wait for her in the afternoon. During those drives, I see a lot of interesting things. For the past year or so – ever since I’ve gotten more serious about photography – I’ve been telling myself that I should carry my camera in the car. I’ve seen sunrise full moons that dispel all thought and induce perfect fleeting tranquility. I’ve seen sunrises that robbed the palettes of the Old Masters. I’ve seen autumn splendor so perfect that it defies reason and belief. But I have no photos of any of it. Since this summer, I’ve nearly tossed the camera in the car so many times, but I know myself too well. I’m lazy, and getting a good photo would require pulling over, finding a place to take the pictures, etc etc etc. Every time the thought popped into my head this summer, the lazy slob in my brain rolled off of his imaginary sofa just long enough to beat down the motivated little explorer with a foot-long Italian grinder (also known as a sub, hero, wedge or sandwich, depending on where you live) before returning to his cushioned roost.
This morning I was in the garage and getting in the car when the thought struck again. But this time, I didn’t ignore it or beat it back into submission. This time, I turned around, went back into the house, collected my camera from the tripod, grabbed my wide-angle lens and a camera bag and headed back to the car. Handan looked at the camera bag and then up at me.
“In case I see something interesting to take a picture of.” I said in answer to her unspoken question.
The sky had shed its darkest cloak, but a thick fog obscured what the waning darkness could no longer hide. It wasn’t looking like I’d be using my camera today. As we drove down the hill towards the Connecticut River, the fog gave way to partly cloudy skies. Still, I wasn’t hopeful I’d see anything interesting today.
I dropped Handan off in the southern end of Hartford, then headed back home. As I climbed back up the hill towards our house, I saw that the lingering fog and clouds were doing some wonderful things with the early morning light, but just as I was thinking about a photo opportunity, the fog closed back in, and my world was once again dull, flat light. But just as I approached the top of the hill, and just before I was to turn into my neighborhood, I found myself at the top of the fog bank – the point where fog and sky meet. The sun shone through the fog and clouds as a bright disk the size of a full moon. The landscape was bathed in ethereal light. I could work with this!
Instead of turning left into my neighborhood, I crested the hill and turned right down another street, where I hoped I might find something worthy of a few shutter clicks. I passed a peach farm on my left and stopped at the intersection. Across the road from the peach farm was a horse farm. And there was the sun, struggling to chew through the morning fog and spill its rays across the field of horses.
I turned left and pulled over. I fumbled though my bag and attached the wide-angle lens, walked through the dew-soaked grass to the pasture fence and raised the camera to my eye.
This is what I captured. (Click on photos to enlarge.)
If I hadn’t listened to my gut this morning, I would have missed these beautiful shots. God knows how many other shots I’d already missed this year! It got me thinking about intuition and gut feelings and how they are so often right on the money. Though I should know better by now, I still sometimes quash that inner voice and let either my own laziness or fear sway my decisions. Other times, I let other people’s opinions trample my intuition, and that always turns out for the worse. Just recently, Handan and I painted my office. I wanted a light-ish gray trending towards warm. When we got to the Benjamin Moore store, the paint saleslady was crowing about some color that was “all the rage right now – everyone is buying it!” It was nice and all, but it was a cool gray, and I wanted warm. But she kept yammering on about it, and the worm she planted in my ear gnawed its way into my brain and eventually corrupted my thoughts. We ended up buying the paint that she wanted. After the first coat, I hated it. I couldn’t stand looking at it. We had to go out again (to Home Depot this time – call me what you want, but I prefer Behr Marquee over Benjamin Moore’s top-of-the-line any day) so I could have the paint I wanted in the first place. I picked a new color, Handan and I threw it on the walls, and I loved it.
I can go on and on, but I’d rather read some stories from you. Do you have examples of intuition paying off or ignored gut feelings leading to disaster? Please share in the comments!