Tight-lipped, Open-Hearted

Shannon and I, on our way to lunch today (fried shrimp, onion rings, coleslaw, and Mexican coke), affectionately poked fun at those individuals in the universe who rarely travel but incessantly talk about the few experiences they have.

Conversely, people like us have traveled extensively but, unless asked by trusted family and friends, we tend to be relatively tight-lipped about our adventures and pilgrimages. It flat-out sounds too braggy.
Shannon, as she often does with me, suggested that perhaps, for people like us, these experiences are deeply personal, private, and intimate and, on some level, not meant to be shared, just experienced and enjoyed. I think she’s right.

We all need to protect our interiorities. It’s all we’ve got to keep us warm on cold winter nights and when the shadows of life overpower the sunlight.

Within this conversational context, my mind couldn’t help but wander a bit, contemplating the rare but extraordinary experiences I have had in my life. These are not the kind of experiences you want to share with others. Even the mere whisper of them in public dilutes and diminishes their significance and value in your psyche. They are innermost, unspoken, confidential, and private.

“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move; to feel the needs and hitches of our life more closely; to come down off this feather-bed of civilization and find the globe granite underfoot, strewn with cutting flints.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

Talking about all the places and spaces I’ve been to is awkward for me. Oddly enough, part of this conundrum stems from the fact that once I’ve experienced something, I tend not to dwell on the past but look forward instead.

The closest I come to happily and joyfully sharing my exploits and explorations is through my photographs.
Furthermore, I find solace in the act of capturing moments through my camera lens. Each photograph is a visual representation of the emotions, sights, and memories I hold dear. Through the art of photography, I can convey the essence of a place or a fleeting moment in time. The colors, the composition, and the subtle details frozen within each frame speak volumes without the need for words.

When I share my photographs with others, it is a way of inviting them into my world of exploration and discovery. It allows them to catch a glimpse of the beauty and wonder that exists beyond their own horizons. Through the lens of my camera, I can express my open-heartedness, inviting others to join me on a visual journey, even if the stories behind those images remain untold.

However, I must admit that there are still untold chapters and hidden gems within my travels. Some experiences are meant to be cherished in the depths of my heart, cherished secrets that shape who I am. These unspoken tales add a sense of mystery and depth to my persona, reminding me of the layers of complexity that make up a life well-lived.

In the end, while I may be tight-lipped about my adventures and pilgrimages, my open-heartedness shines through my photographs, offering a glimpse into the world I have traversed. It is through the visual language of my captured moments that I share a piece of my soul, allowing others to embark on their own journeys of imagination and curiosity.



Jack Hollingsworth