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This is not the best post in the world, this is just a tribute.

I did something different last night and it felt fantastic. Last night, around 11.30pm I jumped in the car with a colleague that was heading in the same direction home. We both live north of the Harbour Bridge, in fact she lives in the same suburb my family do, my extended family that very kindly allowed me to stay with them when I first arrived in Sydney.

Another huge storm was heading towards Sydney (or so we were told earlier in the day) and we could see flashes of lightning on the horizon. My colleague thought it would be a fantastic opportunity to visit a great lookout near Mosman, a great point high up with fantastic views of the Sydney skyline. A bit of local knowledge that I wanted to take advantage of whilst I have the opportunity.

We went fairly last minute and it didn’t disappoint. Don’t get me wrong, having to use my iPhone torch to navigate the pathway to the lookout was a pretty daunting task as I still have a phobia of pretty much any animal that moves here. Humans included when we are wandering around a dark and empty place close to midnight.

The view I saw was one I won’t forget in a hurry. The high-rises stretched the length of the horizon, all lit up and providing a glow that brightened up the nights sky. In the foreground, ferries were navigating the pitch black ocean giving the illusion that they were floating. And then, as I was gazing up towards the skyline, a huge bolt of lightning made its way horizontally through the sky. It was bright yellow, I don’t know if the light pollution contributed to this. This bolt was different, it stayed long enough for me to really look at it for a moment and seemed to keep extending over the horizon. It was probably only a second in duration but felt much longer. Watching the flashes from such a great vantage point was pretty incredible. It also helped me imagine what war would be like to witness and that I am pretty damn fortunate to not have to experience war.

We stayed a little longer and watched the storm develop. Not long enough for it to head towards us, I’m not sure if it eventually did. I did nothing whilst there but gaze out as far as I could see.

But going back to my title. As I was heading home I noticed I didn’t get my phone out at any point. Not once did I feel the urge to put my hand into my pocket and reach for the camera. It wasn’t even that I thought about it and decided against it, it just didn’t enter my mind at all. It was refreshing, I was totally lost in the moment and this moment wasn’t ruined by a 21st century obsession. The only problem is I now don’t have evidence of this venture, only my words to paint a picture. I am sorry the picture is pretty vague.

Like the Tenacious D song Tribute, a song that isn’t the best song in the world but a song about the best song in the world. Sadly, the two members of the band managed to forget the words to the best song in the world that they heard that fateful night, so we only have a reminder that there was one at all. If only they had decent camera phones in the early naughties we wouldn’t have had this problem.

This post is similar. It was a great view, although I sadly cannot show you what I saw. This is just a tribute.

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41 replies »

    • Love this! Very true. The amount of time thinking of getting the right shot and the timing hinder the opportunity to simply enjoy the moment. I need to try to remember this on similar occasions! Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m completely agree with the previous comment, you have described this lightning so good, that I can imagine it myself. I wish I could see such lightning in my life too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s awesome that you witnessed something so pretty at 100%, though! I feel like the image that ends up sticking in our minds is often a bit enhanced, there are times when you’d end up remembering something a lot prettier than it’s photograph proves to be… In cases like that, I’d prefer the image in my head! Also possibly because the camera can’t compete with the eye when it comes to a scene. My mum always says, your own eyes are the best cameras, and I agree!
    The Tribute reference is perfect! (Back to YouTube for me, thanks for the reminder!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with your mum 🙂 there have been many occasions where a camera fails to do the scene justice and you have to be there yourself to fully appreciate it. And I like what you said about memories, sometimes the memory is the best reminder and it is nice to have that great image forever to look back on.

      Thanks Matt 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m pretty sure you witnessed a ufo landing. It’s a little known fact that aliens use lightning storms to discreetly travel on earth . . . You’re welcome 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I like this post, and your description of your experience that night. There is one bit, however, that doesn’t sit quite right with me. I feel that when you write “this moment wasn’t ruined by a 21st century obsession” it diminishes something that I believe to be quite powerful in the lives of so many people. I don’t think that anything would have been ruined by your having a camera or thinking to snap a photo on your phone that night. It’s hard to explain, but I just feel like that sentence stands out in an otherwise positive post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Mario for the honest feedback, I love this as it really helps me to reflect on my writing and it is very refreshing!
      I want to make one thing clear, I LOVE taking photographs. If I didn’t I wouldn’t have a blog! It is truly an amazing opportunity that most of humanity didn’t get to experience.

      One problem I have personally however is that at times I am trying to enjoy myself, at a concert or sporting event for example, I’m always thinking about taking photos. ‘This would make a great shot, or should I wait for a better moment?’… I have done this at certain gigs and really regretted it as the videos I recorded were of poor quality and in no way would have compared to me just enjoying the moment.
      So I guess I wasn’t making the statement that taking photographs is a bad thing, just a personal obsession that has hindered certain experiences in the past. At two recent gigs I have made much more effort to not worry about taking photos all the time of the songs I want to hear and just enjoyed being there, and I got a lot of satisfaction out of it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Understandable, so it’s more of a personal reflection rather than a general statement. I just hate when people make comments like “why are you filming instead of enjoying the concert”, etc. As long as you’re not disrupting people’s view, I don’t see a big deal. I love filming and taking photos, and look forward to upgrading my phone because I will do it EVEN MORE!

        I use an app called ‘1 Second Everyday’ in which I film a one second long clip every single day. I compile them as season-long videos (three months worth). I try to keep that in mind in case I see something of interest in my daily travels. It’s probably one of my favourite projects that I’ve undertaken.

        Back to the point at hand, I’m glad you appreciated feedback. I initially felt that sentence was not exactly within the same tone of the post itself, but I now understand it’s part of a personal reflection.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah I couldn’t make a general statement about camera phones being bad as I just don’t agree that this is the case. I do feel however that people often prioritise the effort to show off what they are seeing on social media instead of enjoying the moment, sometimes it’s all about how many likes we can get and not about how much we are enjoying the experience. But this isn’t always the case and I rely on people’s photographs and videos to provide my entertainment. It is certainly an art form that we would be lost without.
        Also, that app sounds cool. Do you add this footage online anywhere, or is it a personal project?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks mate, I appreciate it.

        I recommend it, particularly if you already take a lot of photos and videos and they’re just sitting on your phone gathering dust. It also pushes me to be a bit more creative with my videos. There are only so many ways to film crossing the Harbour Bridge on the bus.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It sounds like it is an opportunity to get creative for sure. I know what you mean about bus journeys being repetitive! But the fact that you use these journeys to be creative and not waste the time is great. That’s how our time should be spent!

        Like

  5. I enjoyed your comments Sam about the storm. Very descriptive. I love books because of the visual mental images they allow me to create, but I also love photos. I would not know what some of my forebears looked like if someone hadn’t used a camera to record their faces. But society nowadays, on the whole, just whip out their phone for almost any occasion and snap away. Subjects are not really of much value it often seems, as special moments are not often valued either and soem even spoiled by the “snappers”. You ah a wonderful experience to savour and you did, EXCEPT worrying about the “animals” in the dark. Not much to worry about there as they were probably scuttling away from YOU! keep on enjoying a positive outlook!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for comment. Yes I agree it is easy to whip out a camera at any moment, although I do feel this is amazing as I am sure many incredible events are captured every day. However it was very refreshing to not use it and just take in the moment. And I have been told that being loud is a good thing as the animals will try to escape me, which does make me feel better walking through rural areas! Haha.

      Like

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