Reflections on Forever and What Makes Travel Timeless (Weekly Photo Challenge: Infinity)


When I was a little girl in Sunday school, we sang a song about God’s grace being both deep and wide–about it’s being eternal, if you will.

It’s here and there.  It’s near and far.

It’s now and then and forever into the future.

Love, I suppose, is similarly expansive—not just in spiritual terms but in human ones, as well.

It’s this kiss, that laugh—both of which happen in one particular moment and stretch into millions more.

These may be lofty associations to have with this week’s WordPress photo challenge, but they are also the inevitable challenge of anyone attempting to image something as elusive as infinity.

Then again, I guess, that’s what photo taking is all about—an effort to overcome the transient effects of living in the here and now, to capture this moment and make it last—to transform what’s limited by time and space into something more eternal—something approximating the infinite.

Please keep in mind that I have never attempted a photo challenge before, and I have never tried to assemble images into an audio slide show, either.  The challenge itself doesn’t require the latter, but I decided to give it a go, since something video-like seems more in keeping with the infinity theme than the stasis of still photography.

In other words, I use the medium below in an effort to make my images feel more eternal, less static, at least.  I use the audio slide show to give my photos movement, to propel them forward into something approximating a future, to give them a momentum that comes closer to timelessness.

The one minute “video” below may be the work of an amateur, but I think my take on the topic is more in keeping with the theme of this week’s challenge than stand-alone photos.

I hope you enjoy.

Maybe becoming an expat has something to do with infinity, as well.  Perhaps Sara and I have lived in Vietnam, Haiti and other places, such as Ecuador, in an effort to remove ourselves from ordinary time and space.

That’s what travel is about, isn’t it?  We go to new places and see new things in an effort to broaden our horizons and deepen our insights.  A trip to Delhi or Hanoi may not be exactly infinite, but it’s more timeless to North Americans than Detroit or Hoboken.

Maybe that’s why one calls an extraordinary vacation a “trip of lifetime.”  It takes us out of ordinary experience, creating memories that stay with  us, maybe even forever, memories of what it means to be infinitely human and for even a singular moment, something more.

What do you think?  Why do you travel?  How do photos and video affect you differently?  Does one seem more timeless than the other? 

63 thoughts on “Reflections on Forever and What Makes Travel Timeless (Weekly Photo Challenge: Infinity)

    • The WHO is definitely more timeless. That’s why the video says “we are Infinity.” It’s community that’s eternal–the “we” that is eternal. Watch it again. Sorry if I was unclear. Travel is never about the place for me. It’s always about the people and giving me an eternal moment.

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  1. I loved it … and I thought the use of music was perfect. I am traveling today, as a matter of fact, and I never get weary of it – I enjoy the interactions with people, watching folks interact, seeing who gets short-tempered and who remains calm. But this is a business trip and I’ll be gone for 3 days in a City I’ll never see – just conference rooms 😦

    A real trip is one where I can explore and enjoy and not check messages or an alarm clock.

    Hugs
    MJ

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    • Thank you, MJ. So glad you enjoyed the post. I love the timeless quality of travel–not being tied to an alarm clock is a perfect example of that. Hope you have a get glimpse outside the conference room–even a peek. Wonderful to hear from you!

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    • Thank you, David. So you, too, remember that song that compares God’s love/grace to a “fountain flowing deep and wide.” Love your new avatar, by the way–the signature look of your wife’s work. So cool!

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  2. Mr dearest Kathryn,

    Your lovely thoughts and very sweet video have created a sense of timelessness for me, here at an oak desk in a bay window overlooking the verdant canopy and the head waters of the St Jones River, hauntingly permitting me to travel.

    Trips to the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean have always presented a sense of timelessness for me, usually away from the crowds; the hot sun, pounding surf, curious shore birds, vast horizon, blue skies, iodine infused ozone, saltwater swims, a good read, a quick nap and infinitive sands transport me from ordinary time and space.

    I travel here to your blog to read thoughtful ideas and for the time being to, at the very least, slow time down and hope to continue to do so in the future.

    Most sincerely yours,

    R.

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    • Hi there, dear Robert. So nice of you to visit this morning. The setting you describe at your desk sounds enviably lovely. What a great view you have!

      I’m happy you enjoyed my post. This one was fun to put together–fun to try new things, I suppose.

      I, too, am a huge fan of the beach–and yes, the sands are infinite. That reality had escaped me. Silly me. And the waves lapping—–endless. Maybe that’s what’s so comforting about it.

      Hope the rest of your week is a lovely as this morning! Great to hear from you!

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  3. It’s been quite some time since I’ve done the throw everything to the wind and see what comes of it kind of traveling. Accommodating mobility issues makes that a little daunting. But the memories and the dreams are forever. Thank you for the reminder.

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    • You may not travel great distances too often but you do go to new places and explore unexpected places. I’m thinking of the conference you attended just last weekend. Sounds like that trip had a huge impact on you–even if the travel was not exactly long-distance.

      Wonderful to hear from you, Lisa!

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  4. Well done on the video, Kathy! I’m impressed. I especially liked the spinning image. That represented “infinity” very well.
    For me, travel is about stepping outside my comfort zone. It doesn’t have to be to an exotic locale. Just trying different foods or hearing different languages can be enough.

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    • Thanks, Jackie. I think the spinning part is my favorite part, also. It was fun to give this a try and see where it took me.

      Yes, travel does involve stepping outside of ones comfort zone a lot of time. At least then, travel has the chance to be transformative. Right? In pushing ourselves toward the unfamiliar we inevitably have the chance to grow. Thanks for that reminder.

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  5. Pingback: To Infinity And Beyond – Challenge FollowUp | A Mixed Bag

  6. I’m fighting back some goosebumps, Sista. I just want to say that this video is lovely, beautiful and touching. I think your artist soul shows through here. In fact, I would encourage you to do more of this, perhaps incorporating your poetry with the photos and music. Please, please, please, do this again. It’s awesome and breathtaking.

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    • Thanks so much, dear Miranda! This was so fun to try. I bet a million bucks you’d enjoy it, as well. Give it a try. I used Windows Live Movie Maker. Sara suggested I use some of my poetry, as well. I intend to give that a shot. Hope this week proves better than the last for you, Sista!!!!! Love and hugs to you and Jim and the boys!

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      • Great minds think alike! I knew I loved Sara! I will see if I have Windows Live Movie Maker. That would make an awesome gift for someone if you burn it to a CD…..Believe it or not, this week is exponentially worse than the last. The cavalry has been called in. I’ll email you soon once I find the words.

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      • Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that. Write me when you get the chance–or call Sara’s old cell phone number. It rings here via magic jack at no cost to either you or us.

        Yes, Sara is lovable–and you think alike. Suppose that’s why I love you both.

        By the way, if you don’t have Window Like Movie Maker, you can download a program called Ezvid for free online. It’s supposed to be good.

        Take care, sweetie!

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  7. I travel to experience new adventures, and also to take a break from the stress of the “real” world. Traveling keeps me sane! Love your approach to this challenge, and I agree, the use of a slide show/video certainly adds to the whole “infinity” theme. Well done!

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    • Yes, travel can definitely be a stress relief—or not–depending on where you go, perhaps. I like both kinds of travel. Sometimes I just want to go to the beach and veg—-infinite vegetation. Something to be said for that, don’t you think? Glad you enjoyed the video. Hope you’re feeling better!

      Tell Tara I said hi.

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  8. Your lives have undeniably been enriched by your adventurous spirit, and we stand to benefit by reading about it. Always up for a new challenge, hey Kathy?! Love that.

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    • Yes, yes, ALWAYS up for a new challenge. What was your first clue? LOL

      I’m so glad to hear that our adventures help enrich the lives of others. That’s so cool. Thanks for mentioning that. Sometimes it’s easy to forget. Hope your week is going well!

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  9. Good job with the video, Kath. I have never attempted to do one. I travel because it makes my heart beat faster, my mind expand, and my spirit thrill. Am learning much slower how to make this happen just by sitting on the couch in our Little House in the Big Woods. It’s taken much longer to find that delight while sitting still.

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    • Wow–that is an excellent point, Kathy. It is more challenging that way–to travel quietly inward–to listen–to be. Thank you so much for that reminder.

      Glad you enjoyed the video. You should try one. I swear, if I can do it, anyone can.

      Take care, my friend.

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  10. I’m afraid I could not view the video….is it a Youtube link? If so, it will not be accessible to me as Youtube is still banned in Pakistan 😦
    But I agree that a video is conceptually a better way of communicating what you mean, in terms of momentum and continuity….
    Loved what you said about travel and infinity, about removing yourself from ordinary time and space. Memories thus created indeed do stay with you for as long as you live. When I transport myself to another place, the awareness of being in that moment, seeing sights I might not have the opportunity to see again perhaps…it is a potent feeling.

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    • So sorry you couldn’t view the video, Min. That’s sad. We had restrictions when we lived in Vietnam, also. Facebook, for example was banned.

      Yes, I hadn’t thought about it until you mentioned it–that travel helps us be more in the moment. That is exactly what it does. It changes our pace. It forces us to see and be in new ways.

      I love hearing from you. Hope your week is going well1

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  11. I loved the video. A new hobby for you? I can see you put a lot of time in it. It’s a nice format for your creativity.

    I’m slowly trying to work my way back into blogging. I fell off a cliff here with a wedding party to throw and grandchildren to visit. I really need to get back to it. Looking forward to learning more about your adventures in Ecuador.

    Take care.

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    • Thanks, Christine. I think it could become a new hobby. We’ll see.

      I’m so excited to hear from you. To be honest, I found it nearly impossible to blog during major life events like you’ve been having. Be kind to yourself. Just happy to see you when you surface. You’ve had a lot going on this year!

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  12. I’m not professional at anything. But I know what I like. And I very much liked this. Loved the pairing of the music and the pictures, it was perfect.

    Any more I yearn to travel just to absorb, learn, to see.

    And pictures seem more ….forever for me. Don’t know why. But they do.

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    • Now that I think about it, maybe pictures sometimes feel more forever since you can hold them in your hand. Video needs to be mediated by a machine. I don’t know. Just pondering.

      And thanks so much. I’m glad you enjoyed the video. It was fun to create.

      Hope your week is going well! Love the little drawing you did for David’s avatar, by the way.

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  13. Very nice job with the video Kathy. I hope you create more. You’re good at this. It made me feel mellow for about the span of a minute or at least the length of a sneeze. But, was that staircase The Staircase back in your house in Lexington that was quite a demon to you about a year ago? Then you got your revenge and painted it Kathy-style so got your revenge (and probably added enhanced value to the house).

    I live in New York City, the center of the universe. I hate leaving this island of plenty and I super hate airports and flying on jets. But if I could email myself wherever I wanted to go, that could work. I might even email myself infinitely. Of course, I’d visit you guys in Cuenca first, especially since I now know how to pronounce Cuenca, Cuencans might think I’m a native.

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    • How funny, LA! Now that might make an interesting premise for a story or film–not time travel but etravel–emailing yourself somewhere. Love that idea.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the video, especially since you know more about these things than I do. It was really fun to create–and glad you got at least a sneeze sized dose of calm.

      By the way, just found out we are having a gay and lesbian film festival in Cuenca next month. And, as usual, all viewings are FREE! Looking forward to it–though don’t know what’s showing yet. Will keep you posted.

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  14. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Infinite | Through the Eye of Bastet

  15. loved the video kathy. you really must do this more often. As for ‘infinity’ I think there is a little bit of infinity in everything… everything we see, everything we do. Even something that is short lived like babyhood is really a part of the endless circle and itself infinite! I am rambling!!!! 🙂 That’s what your posts do to me . good to see you again

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    • Oh, I’m so happy to hear from you!!!!! Hope you are doing well. LOVE your ramble, as you call it. I agree that infinity is cyclical. And I’m especially attracted to the notion of even something as short as infancy being somehow eternal. That is so cool.

      Take care, my friend. See you again soon, I hope!

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  16. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Infinite | Processing the life

  17. I loved this, Kathy. You are talented in so many ways: a true artist. Keep them coming. Infinity is a concept dear to my heart, ’cause a huge chunk of my heart has already gone to infinity.

    Living in the country now, I also see the circular nature of everything surrounding us.

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    • Great to hear from you, Nikki. How are things at UK? I miss some folks there–others, not so much.

      We are not going home for Christmas, but the next time I am in Lexington, I hope we can go to 3rd Street Stuff.

      I’m delighted you enjoyed my little video. It was fun to play with. Thank you!

      And have a wonderful weekend!

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  18. What a beautiful video, Kathy. Loved the serene feel of it. Plus I really enjoyed the music. Is that someone you know who wrote/performed it? You are on the adventure of a lifetime. Enjoy the moments! That’s what cameras are for. 😉

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    • Thanks, Monica. So happy you enjoyed the video. It was so much fun to assemble. Hate to say it, however, I went over and over the piece, trying to fine tune, and Sara eventually got sick of hearing that music over and over and over and over. It became a joke in our house last week. I got the music from a site that offers original copyright-free music that you can download for free. I forget if that one came from freesound.org or the Free Music Archive. I can check, if you’re interested.

      Hope your weekend is going well, my friend! Hugs to you and thoaw sweet puppies of yours!

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  19. Deep. Wide. Eternal.

    Kathryn, I loved the video. It was Pure Poetry. You are beautiful. I adore the tall tree, steep stairs….

    as if you are “Rising Up.”

    thank you. LOoooooooVE & Appreciation from Minnesota. xxx

    No video has moved or affected me as much as this one: All cultures coming together, melting, Supporting. Loving. standing up. Rising.

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  20. First of all, I’m not sure how I missed this one!

    As for the video, you captured your intent, just in a different way! In my life, travel is to get away … get away from the ‘it’s gotta be now” life of cell phones, email, call waiting, voice mail, and more … and there’s no better way of doing it than turning off my phone and heading out of the country to see something new!

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  21. Wonderful job with the video. I travel to experience new things and for me, travel is a hard word to define. Just going to a new pub counts as a new experience and a new type of journey. I think every day is a chance to explore news things near and far.

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    • Oh, that is SOOOOOOOOO true! Exploring places close to home is important, as well. Even new interior parts of ourselves, as well, I’d add. We have vast internal landscapes, also. These are easy to forget about. Wonderful to hear from you. I SO loved seeing the photos of your marionette! Thanks for stopping by. It’s great to hear from you!

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  23. Gee, this is really nice, Kathy and all involved. So poignant and thoughtful both the video and your words here. What a great way to start my Sunday morning.

    Why do I travel? I am curious about everything and love adventure. I have a very strong sense of place and love visiting new places and photographing vast, colorful or historic landscapes. I love to fly, but when traveling by car, as I have done up and down the East Coast and across country a few times, I feel like I’m in a movie — not “Thelma & Louise” most of the time, but just watching a movie as the scenery passes by. Ideally I would travel by train. That’s on my bucket list.

    As for e-travel, we do that right here, don’t we? Every time I visit your site I am etraveling to Cuenca and enjoying every moment of this movie.

    Traveling as a blog jogger, I am so far behind, probably the last to cross the finish line; but I arrive sooner or later.

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    • Ha! I LOVE that image of the blog jogger! Great sound and great concept, as well.

      Sara and I traveled by train a good bit when we lived in Vietnam, as we couldn’t fly with our dog Lucy in the cabin there. Trains were a better, if more time consuming, option. We road the length of the country from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, a number to times–I think about 1,200 miles, which took about 30 hours. Not a very fast train.

      I enjoy traveling by car sometimes, but, generally, I prefer to fly.

      Great to hear from you. Sorry it’s taken me two days to respond. It’s been an CRAZY week around here!

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