In writing this page almost daily for eleven years I have never quite come to grips with its purpose or its aim, if any. It started out as a way of expressing what I wanted to see on the Internet. I was sitting up all night roaming the planet, armchair travel in its infancy and seeking out pictures and stories of far flung communities. I didn’t find many and few of the picture blogs lasted so in an effort to walk the walk I took pictures of my home town and posted them. Digital photography was new and inexpensive, blogging was fashionable and I had time. And so the thing got away from me.
Key West has always been the draw. Pictures of palms, winter sunshine, aquamarine waters have been the inducement and my words always seemed to me to be an appendix. This format gave me enormous freedom and I took advantage of it. I did it for me, to give me an excuse to leave the house, like the journalist I used to be it became a way to poke my nose in places I’d normally be too shy to look. I never really thought too much about the people who looked at the page. A friend once asked me would I do the blog if no one read it and I was puzzled by the question. Readers? Who are they? Which demonstrates the depth of my own stupidity I suppose. For a smart guy I am pretty dim. Me “walking” the parking lot at work:
I have always been shy and the notion that people read this page with interest was too overwhelming to think about. I posted and disconnected myself from what I put on the page. My fall back position was to take pictures and I thank you all for putting up with photography that has struggled to improve over the years. These days digital pictures especially in small pixel format are quite acceptable and modern digital cameras are completely capable of producing pictures well worth viewing. I look from my wheelchair everyday to find a decent picture to post as pictures are my trademark. I have always wanted to be a photographer and you are my unwilling victims as I seek out the inner artist. I feel your pain! Some pictures are terrible but they tell a story. I trust you lot to differentiate between the composed art and the wobbly story teller. This one I snatched from the passenger seat of the car. Had I been able to stop and compose I think it would have been decent. As it is it reminds me of my first view of Garrison Bight in three months...the higgledy piggledy world of liveaboard living that passes for boating in a town that is too expensive to live in.
My brush with death and all the subsequent struggle to live has opened a new chapter not only in my life but on this page. It did occur to me that this life experience was worth recording and so I did. I photographed my recovery with my iPhone and I wrote about it here in greater detail than I ever did in Facebook posts of course. Some pictures I didn’t publish I have in the Google cloud to remind me of pain and fear I didn’t always make public. I guess in a sense I went for broke and told everything here in a way I never had previously about my life in the Keys. The response, for a shy man, has been overwhelming.
This will pass and I shall walk again and I will be back in my Key West world and it will appear here as it always has. My view of my life has changed naturally and I hope if you have been following this bizarre tale of medical recovery you are better equipped to plan ahead and think about what a tenuous thread it is that we call life. Trust me on this though. I am not Superman and I am not specially equipped to survive major injuries. If I did it you can too if you are ever faced with such a disaster. Lots and lots of us very ordinary people face these kinds of trauma and they also persevere, less publicly but they have faced these same issues and live good lives. Be reassured that if it happens to you, you have what it takes to come out the other side.
Meanwhile I am excited to be back with the great good fortune to have a life to live a job that starts again in a couple of weeks and all of you living good lives out there dipping into this page from time to time to see how much I have mucked it up. The big lesson is it can all be snatched away. The small lesson is we make the most of it. And I shall continue to work on improving my pictures. Thank you for following along. It does matter to me that you are there. It took a rather large disaster to open my eyes but they are wide open now, no doubt about that. We are all in this life together. I’m just sending wordy illustrated dispatches from the edge. I hope they entertain and maybe offer something of use to you. I shall do my best.