This photo that you see just above took three attempts. Not three clicks of the camera — three separate photo sessions. During the first and second each quesadilla triangle stubbornly lay flat on the plate under a circle of sliced avocado. I’d tried adding a splash of color, changing the arrangement of the avocados, setting up outside, but still the photos lacked movement, inspired imaginings of salivary goodness, pop, and sizzle. After four years surely I should have learned something about getting the shot. Arranging the plate and setting the scene feel as foreign as the ISO or f-stop option on my point and shoot.
Following last week’s absence from failed photo sessions with chocolate macarons and mint ice cream and the backup post where the words wouldn’t write I was ready to give up and post a photo that only an amateur like me would even consider posting. Instead, I started doing everything else but finish this post with its less than stellar photo. I’m remarkably good at always finding another project to to distract me. Am I always doing that I wondered? Do I work really hard to accomplish nothing? Have I stepped into one of those training pools where they swim and swim and swim against a current but never go anywhere? Yes, that’s just how I feel like one of those swimmers. Thinking of that comparison and not any other made me laugh because the quesadilla eating and photo shoots and this entire post was all inspired by a very Austin weekend starting with a swim at the greenbelt where I saw people using a fall’s current to do this same type of training.
In a slower moving section I’d tried the same thing for a couple seconds until rolling to my back and letting the current take me a few feet downstream. Lowering my feet I’d dig into the river bottom, braced against a rock, and then inch my way the few feet up stream to the waiting dog. Where the rocks dug into my feet on the shallow side I’d pull myself along with my hands.
Swimming to nowhere wasn’t enjoying this short time playing in the chest-high water rarely seen anymore. While still heading down the Hill of Life I’d told myself to spend this time thinking only positive thoughts starting with dropping the “or Death” in the nicknamed trail’s unofficial nickname. Nothing was going to get me down — not all the people in the water, not a stubbed toe, not the banana peels tossed into a shrub and found by the dog, not having to climb back up that hill. Sure I’d have to repeatedly reprimand the dog and really could I not go outside without stubbing that same toe each time, but getting back to the trail entrance was going to be a breezy walk rewarded with summer squash quesadillas and the last shiner from the 6-pack. And it was.
With those thoughts I sliced up the last squash left in the fridge, shredded the last of the monterey jack cheese, squeezed on a little lime, and piled high each rounded triangle so that all the cheese oozed down the sides. I’m not calling it a masterpiece, but it’s definitely a positive improvement.