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Leaving the place better than we found it
Seeing with my eyes closed
Thomas Jefferson on gun control
How to lie convincingly
Our hardy heartland
Breaking the cycle
How to catch the sun's comings and goings
Thoughts from the inside
Leveraging the internet to build our walls
Twitters from the past
And the invincibility of youth
Without ego projection
Yet another gift of the road
The charming side of obstinance
The creative part of photography
A movie critic looks in the mirror
We are not alone
As part of the system
Defecting from the rear guard
The end of Kumbaya
The wanderer's poet
You are on this page
Striking a balance
The Bay of Fundy, where the sea breathes
How to photograph them with anything, even your cellphone
A simple question we get every day
We may be failing to fail
And why no one should hesitate to examine them
Becoming a hero in one's own life story
A writing assignment
A new discovery of something old
Finding new eyes to see old landscapes
Hick humor
Toys for photographing wild places
Experiencing life with God
A radical thought about our radicals
Redemption with style
Hidden heroes among us
Resetting our parallel processor
A village with heart
A lesson from the road
The bullet dodged
A soul sparkles
Isolation in style
Painless ways to lose your virginity : 11/12/15
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Running out of dirt

Having arrived in Nova Scotia, I was presented with a problem. Nova Scotia is pretty much the easternmost point of North America for folks without a boat no more serious than a kayak. I had run out of dirt and any further wanderings would thus be homeward.

Gazing out at the sea, there was of course reflections on all the wonders the road had shown me over the past year. But there was also the pressing question of what direction my toes should be pointed. Freedom brings consternation unfamiliar to those of us who have spent much of our lives freed from the decision about where we should go and what we should do during our working days.

Since I wasn't late for a meeting, I had the time to gaze some more and ask deeper questions like, "What is the point of all this aimless wandering?"

Let's dispense with all the romantic reasons popularized by folk songs. The road can be a lonely place where your closest buddies are mosquitoes. Besides such blood brothers, I have met some charming and inspiring people, folks I'll always remember. But they are part of my education rather than the kinship I share with folks back home.

So the reason to wander boils down to a dance where the objective is not to cross the dance floor as quickly as possible. Not the clear, logical approach favored by engineers like me, but more of a vague directive to be in the right place, and more importantly, to be the right person when I get there.

Tramping through green swaths on my map and communing with wild places is a good bet for a right place, but so is the foot of a skyscraper with its majesty and marvel. Over the miles, I have learned to listen to an inner voice pushing me in directions where I am likely to encounter wonder. Almost like building a muscle through exercise, or perhaps like a photographer grows an ability to see, to be awake to the compositions around him, I feel roaming and exploring have become more than just verbs. They have become a way to be.

This unexpected turn of events may best be expressed in a warning from Bilbo Baggins, "There is only one Road. It is like a giant river with springs at every doorstep. Going out of your door is a dangerous business because you step onto the Road. If you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might be swept off to."

Perhaps I have been swept away, but as the year comes to a close, my river meanders westward, and I should be home in time for Christmas pudding, with whatever presents the road has blessed me.

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Tidepools at dusk

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Mud flat explorer

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Tidal gouge

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For more pictures of Nova Scotia, click here.

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