I took the picture below in Pioneer Place in Portland on a rainy Saturday night before the AIDS walk. Looks pretty standard, right? Just a landmark, a tourist attraction, etc. The red carpet on the bottom right was set up for the AIDS walk.
What’s important is what I left out of the picture: the young man who came bounding into my camera frame, begging me to take a picture of him and “send it to my Mom.” I don’t know whether he was serious about that, but he did his best to charm me into photographing him. I wouldn’t relent, though. By God, I was going to take a photo of a landmark, and no random resident of Portland was going to get in the shot! Finally, he gave up and walked away.
Later I wished I had humored him. I regretted being so rigid. After all, didn’t I set out on the 12 Cities, 1 Year trip to meet new people and learn new ways of doing things?
I have to remind myself, sometimes, that it’s okay to change direction in mid-course. To plan things one way and have them turn out entirely different. Sometimes I am far too committed to consistency. But, then, what else would you expect of a copyeditor?
I’ve posted a lot of pictures from the 12 Cities tour on Flickr. Go check them out. I’d love to have your comments.