the best i have felt in the last several years was standing on top of a dune on the southern oregon coast 2 weekends ago. we wandered up a forested path near our campground w/ no real plan and kept going. soon we could see a gigantic dune in the distance, urging us toward it. a short time later we stood at the bottom of it. we scrambled to the top w/ some effort and took in the impossible vista: ocean to the west, forest to the east, endless dunes north and south. the wind was steady and strong, blue sky, not too hot. the insect-like buzz of motorcycles and dune buggies off in the distance, intermittently coming into sight and then disappearing. a teeming wealth of glorious photo ops but I left my phone and camera back at the campsite. I was pissed at first but all I could do was document it in my mind. the longer i sat there watching there were slow openings: i had been wrestling w/ some concerns for upcoming movie projects and they suddenly felt so minor. everything human is really so gd tiny. I have to hold on to this feeling I thought.
later that day while everyone was back at the campsite I hiked back to dunes w/ camera. the giant dune was too far away for me to make the trek but i took some pix from the top of a younger sister dune. pix were fine but they didn't touch what was in my head. the perfection of it, the power of it. it was a weak facsimile, a bloodless iteration.
contemplating this all a week later I wondered was the magic ingredient was not having my phone w/ me? no ability to check/update, no ability to document the moment w/ photo. no choice but to be present. no way out. if i had been taking pictures I would not have been seeing. but then these are just tiny insect thoughts.