Ending Auto Mode

Fifteen or so of us were instructed our “fancy camera” knob setting must turn to manual “M” mode, and if we really wanted to learn, we could never again operate in auto mode. An eight-hour photo workshop in Kenai, Alaska, was beginning, and I was ready to tackle the Canon EOS 7D. Simultaneously, sipping Keurig coffee # two, waves of reflection from my time on the Hawaiian island of Molokai a little more than a month ago, all the failing forward and inspiration that brewed in me from a week photo workshop, and insights I’m integrating into life were coming ashore in me.

Mid-morning on a break, I looked at Facebook on my iPhone 7 Plus, and saw a post from a friend who lives on Molokai. He was at a cleanup on a remote beach, when he received a text warning about an incoming missile. The text, in capital letters, shouted take heed: “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.” This 8:07 a.m. text announcing an imminent missile striking land took my breath away. Thirty-eight minutes later, people heard it was a false alarm.

I’ve been unsettled since, with personal and professional perspectives. Late this night, winter wind gusts against my sturdy log home, and I’ll sleep soon, rippling with these questions:

How can I best live in manual mode, responsive to my surroundings, and the climate of shadow and light in and around me? 


I wonder … will I ever learn to best measure and assess my exposure to others and creation, recognizing there are people who seek to create, connect, and heal, others who crave control, power, and domination, and a spectrum in-between? 


What happens when I live in automatic mode, don’t understand intersections, and rely on someone or something else to determine what is most accurate in any given setting?

I’m offering prayers for everyone who experienced a trauma of any kind today from that not a drill text, and also, what today makes visible and conscious.

ps: I met Lynette Sheppard during the photo workshop in Molokai several weeks ago. Her husband, Dewitt, was also on that beach cleanup this morning, and today she wrote this post, Going Ballistic. I find it worthy of a reflective read, perhaps you may too: https://medium.com/@lynettesheppard/going-ballistic-28454a54a3fc

Popuhaku Beach Molokai by Pegge 2017


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