Trespassing


Sometimes when I have a camera in my hand, I go a little crazy.

“Crazy” defined:

With said camera in hand, shutter advanced, something stirring the imagination in sight, (“Hey! Did you see that beard?”) boundaries tend to melt away, like ice cream on a summer sidewalk. Boundaries of course refer to that rational side of our nature that causes us to question before we act, to think about things like safety and rudeness.

Lack of boundaries = crazy.

99.9% of the time, I get my desired shot, earned after scrambling through someone’s backyard or moving quickly in and out of a stranger’s personal space bubble. As a matter of fact, I don’t tend to think of this bold strike approach as being anything other than a necessary means of obtaining desired treasure. Sneaking and capturing, sneaking and capturing, has worked for years…

Not this particular day.

The road was open, the seasons were on the brink of change and my camera was loaded and in my lap. Photographic giddiness was in the air. It was then that I saw the church. Stately and in early stages of decay, this was my kind of photo op. The varying roof lines clinched the image for me. There was a fence, but I also noticed a place where the snow has risen to its height, which somehow nullified (in my mind) the significance of the barrier. I stepped over it, barely breaking stride. Halfway to the church, a voice I could only imagine belonging to Zeus boomed across the snow-covered field.

“GETOUTTATHEA!!”

Huh? Wha?

Camera = crazy

I keep walking. They can’t possibly be talking to me.

“I said, GETOFFAMYPROPERTEE!!”

At this point, senses somewhat return, and I realize that indeed, he must be speaking to me, the lone trespasser in a fenced, marked lot.

I turned around, burning with anger…after all, I was just going to take a picture. I wasn’t a vandal or a thief. I had a right to my image.

It was only after heading several miles down the road with belly nausea that I realized how wrong I had been.

I decided to go back.

The brief moment I shared with the property owner I won’t soon forget, and writing this all down makes it seem less significant, but I felt a powerful sense of humanity that day in shaking the yeller’s hand, introducing myself and apologizing. Zeus turned out to be more thunder than lightning; I received a pass to return to my shooting.

Fences aren’t always necessary, but they do hold purpose.
I won’t be so quick to disregard one in the future, and I am grateful to the property owner of that beautiful, aging structure who helped me with the idea of boundaries.

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