One ritual starts and ends each day -- a walk with the dog (and often a portrait -- this one another iPhone Hipstamatic shot). Depending on the quality of my mental state Junior can bring me to the brink of nirvana or the edge of a dark abyss. Mostly the former. I looked at definitions for ritual and realized I may not be using the term accurately to describe actions related to the dog, riding, or photography. I'm not sure I would ascribe religious rite to this but at times it reaches the spiritual. Much depends on my arm though the the distance of tennis ball throwing.
In the end, walking the dog is, well, walking the dog. Necessary, pleasant, often rewarding, and opens doors to ideas beyond the walk. So maybe it is a ritual.
Riding has similar qualities to the dog walk with perhaps even more opportunity for thought and reflection. Even the little rides, the commutes, the errands. I would never be writing this about driving my Ford Ranger.
Sunday mornings are part of an ongoing ritual of riding, photography, and fellowship. The Vespa and I make our way into town to meet my friend Gordon and share work and thoughts on photography. And do some collaborative defusing of our respective self-destructing thinking about our abilities as photographers. Another fine ritual.
And I feel pretty lucky that I get fine free parking in a lovely setting.
Saint's Cafe on a Sunday morning. A good place to meet. And lots of light for pictures. As a ritual destination it is one comfortable place.
That's the look of no prints. I've assumed the same posture only I'm holding a camera taking this picture as Gordon muses over procrastination and indolence. Even as I type this I'm thinking about how to jump start my darkroom time. I have four rolls of film sitting in a development tank in the darkroom. All I have to do is mix a fresh batch of D-76 film developer. Another ritual.
After returning home shortly before noon Junior and I went for another walk to visit another ritual. The annual commemoration of the 28th Division of the United States Army and their contributions to our country since their establishment by General Washington a long time ago.
I wanted to see how Junior would fare with the rumble and chaos of a helicopter landing and he was a champ. Sitting under a tree as the fierce rotor wash hit us he just sat there and squinted as this big bird set down. He was equally comfortable with the Apache gunship but was not as comfortable with one of the Strykers.
There were a few hundred soldiers on hand for the ceremony and Junior took time to share his family's military history with the French Army in World War I. I assume you all know that Belgian Shepherds worked as messenger dogs, guard dogs, and even pulled machine guns.
Junior has no plans to enlist.
These things make a racket. And it is amazing they can fly. A pilot friend says they don't fly. They just beat the air into submission.
Anyways, it's time to go to work. Another ritual.