…uncaptured orange moon…

This evening, as I took the train from Livorno back to my lodgings in Florence and fought sleep as I usually do once my long, and usually epic, day-trip adventures have come to a close, I opened my eyes, looked out the window and saw the most perfectly round and perfectly orange moon i’ve ever seen. It was large and moving, seemingly, faster than my train-darting behind large trees, getting caught up in the dips and peaks of Tuscan mountains and really just playing cat-and-mouse as I tried, unsuccessfully, to get a clear picture of it. I tried with my camera. I tried with my iPhone. No matter how hard I tried, I could not seem to get a proper picture of the beauty right in front of my face.
And that’s always the way.
I’m a person who appreciates nature and natural beauty. A beach, a tree, a lovely cloud, the detail and variety of color on one flower petal, the variation of color in the sea, etc. etc. etc. I’ve been very blessed in my life to travel to a number of places, around the country and across the ocean and I always take tons of pictures because I want to share with my friends and family the beautiful sights that I get to experience. But i’ve learned that, at some point, i’ve got to put down the artificial lens and experience God’s beauty with the natural lens that He gave me. For one, if I spend all my time behind the camera, I won’t have a chance to really see what’s right in front of my face. Also, I am convinced that there is no way to capture the pure essence of natural beauty with a camera. There just isn’t. Now there are some pieces of equipment that will, when handled by an individual with an amazing eye for color or composition or whatever (and I know one such individual), capture the beauty that may be less than an inch or as much as a hundred feet away. But, really? All the nuance, all the detail, texture, energy, everything that elicits that initial “gasp” and the subsequent “OMG that can’t be real” (or whatever that is for you)-it just can’t be captured. Over this past month, this month of Amalfi and Tuscany, of sea cliffs and sunflower fields, of vineyards and lemon trees, i’ve had quite a few of these moments-moments that have caused me to gasp, be still in wonderment and, literally, reduced me to tears (anyone who knows me knows that’s not too difficult …anyone who knows me also knows they’re always from a real place) and caused me to scramble for my camera to capture what cannot be captured with an artificial lens. And yet I keep trying.

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