On Art, Truth, and Meaning: Considerations on ‘The Amateur Photographer’

“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” – Aristotle

I was talking with a friend some time ago about photography and the process of finding meaning in and through this medium. She asked which comes first in the process for me: do I take the photo first and find meaning after looking at it? Or do I search for meaning and then try to find a photo opportunity that fits that meaning?

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Camino Vignettes: Leaving Viana

This is the second installment of ‘Camino Vignettes’, stories about my time walking the Camino de Santiago. You can find the first installment here. You can also read about my general overview of the Camino here.

There were several times on the Camino de Santiago that I found myself in what I’ll refer to as ‘special cultural situations’. Continue reading

The Traveler’s Community

I genuinely appreciate every comment I receive here.  Each time someone comments on a post, I am encouraged to continue writing.  Occasionally, a comment really gives me pause and causes me to think.  I recently received such a comment.  It was so insightful that I felt compelled to write a post answering it.  This is part two of my response.  Again, thank you to the commenter.

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The Server and the Jerk

At this point in my life, I’ve been working as a restaurant server for about six years.  Sometimes I genuinely enjoy it; sometimes I think I never want to step foot in another restaurant for the rest of my life.  Anyone who’s worked as a server knows that it’s not always the easiest job, nor is it the most glamorous.  All things considered, though, it’s really not a bad way to make a living.

I’ve gained several skills from serving.  Multitasking.  Time management.  Making small talk.  Problem solving.  Balance, both physical and mental.  Plate stacking (seriously, it comes in handy all the time).  However, I think the most beneficial skill I’ve learned is that of having thick skin.

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The Master Traveler

I received a comment on a recent post that I want to spend some time discussing here.  The comment reads:

I have always loved the idea of being a mastered traveler.  I have several friends, including you, who are modern hobos, seekers, and/or travelers.  Part of me loves watching their adventures and growth, but the other part of me knows how lonely it can be to be a traveler.  Can you be a master traveler and still have a community/home that is fulfilling, or will you always be wandering?

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Contentment vs. Settling

As of a few days ago, I can return to Europe.  A non-EU citizen such as myself can only be in the European Union’s Schengen Zone for 90 out of 180 days.  I was there for three months, meaning I must leave for at least three months.  Well, that three-month period has now passed.  At this moment, I’m in Ohio and have no immediate plans to go back to Europe.  I can say, though, that the passing of this date certainly did not go unnoticed.  It also brought some fresh observations and questions to mind.

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