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That’s the last time I will ever…..

November 27, 2016

No I am not talking about when you go to a restaurant and have a bad meal, see a show or concert based on someones insistence or even when you are arguing with someone and comment that it is the last time you will listen to them. No I am writing about when you will never experience something truly moving or inspirational for the last time in your life.

Most of us have been to new and exotic places that we will never return to and have done the typical tourist thing by recording every important moment with our camera, but in doing so we only have the image to rekindle that moment. Few will take the time before or after that photograph is taken to linger and absorb that moment and realize that we will no doubt never return to savor that experience again. If that moment or place was so magical or moving that we absolutely have to immortalize it in a picture, why not step back, spend some time and revel in it.

Hey I am as guilty as the next person in these missed opportunities more so even than most by the very nature of where I lived for 20 years, in the very heart of some of the most majestic handiwork of God…Alaska. Many times have I driven from Valdez in the South to virtually the top of North America at Prudhoe Bay, and observed sights that will never be repeated yet never paused a second to fully take them in.

Early in life these missed opportunities may seem trivial because we are young and may yet return, but as one gets older we realize that opportunity may never come our way again. Considering the national lifespan for a male is now 76 years statistically my end of the road is but a mere 6 years away! With this limited amount of time one must face the fact that my last chance to see and experience things is now quite short.

Like most I have regrets… regrets that I did not stop and savor the experience of being a husband and father more or never taking that fishing trip down the Yukon with my son and daughter, but life is a crewel mistress and doesn’t let one go back in time to rectify our mistakes. One can only take whatever time God will grant us and use it so there will be no more missed opportunities.

We may never be able to go back in time
but looking forward I believe
one must seek out not only things but people,
people who will truly miss us
and revel in our interaction with them.



6 Comments leave one →
  1. November 27, 2016 2:26 pm

    I agree, that sometimes taking a photo detracts from the full immersion of the moment. Unfortunately, I have lost many photos prior to ‘digital’ backup. One such moment for me was when I was in the service I had some downtime during the ships transit across the Atlantic ocean. The site of a calm perfect blue of the ocean prior to sunset was a beautiful one. I took a picture for posterity but lost the photograph(never to be found again) and as such am reliant on the memory of God’s creation. My biggest thought was in regards to the difference of the more ‘brown’ coloring in shallower waters on the same ocean. Other memories I cherish and have few photos (if any).


  2. Kris permalink
    November 27, 2016 9:44 pm

    Back in the day, when a photograph actually cost money before you could see what you managed to capture on film, I went to Korea. I knew I was going to do a presentation of my trip when I returned to the states, so every picture was really worth a bunch of words! I would look at the scene, think of words to match the scene, and hold my breath as I took one or two photos of the scene. Some things, though, you can’t capture. That moment when your child gasps in awe when you show them a dragonfly or the look of laughter in the eyes of someone when you smile together. Good stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. November 28, 2016 7:02 am

    As usual, Pete, some interesting thoughts although these will most likely be lost to those who should embrace them the most; the younger generation. I remember many older folks trying to inculcate a sense of my mortality into my ‘internal dialog’ but somehow it just never registered even in my 30’s and 40’s. There was always plenty of time and one could always ‘pass this way again’. Only when we can truly begin to recognize that our remaining years are now far outnumbered by those gone by do most humans tend to develop this sense of perspective. Yet this is strange as life is fleeting and as such so precious. Why, as youth, can we not embrace this knowledge? Perhaps it would be too heavy a burden for many of us or maybe we are just in a state of age based denial in our early years..? Regardless, time waits for no one. I only hope as my own time dwindles I can remain relatively free of too many regrets yet just as feeling ’18 and invincible’ seems to be the ‘right’ of youth developing and considering regrets seems to be the purview of the elderly.


  4. Jon permalink
    November 28, 2016 6:15 pm

    Your points are some of the reasons Margie & I came to Alaska in ’15 & why we traveled to the far-reaching points we did & visited the people we did including the author of this blog. With the expense of that trip I don’t know if we’ll be back soon.
    However, when I traveled the mainland of Alaska in ’78, I DID take the time to drink in the scenery, wildlife & the people. Witness the time I stood for about 3 hours at milepost 135 on the Parks Hwy. just to watch the storm clouds clear away from Denali & I was rewarded by some great pics with the fluffy cumulo-nimbus clouds to enhance.
    Pete, even the view of your cabin brings back some memories of our ’15 trip, & of course meeting you, Trisha, & Forever Alaskan.


  5. November 29, 2016 10:40 am

    That is such a beautiful sentiment and a really great reminder. Peace.


  6. December 10, 2016 7:03 am

    Sometimes I feel that I chase the moments that never happen in my daily life through my photography. A lot of the time I think about how it would be to feel those feelings in my daily life but I only seem to feel them when I take a photo. It’s why I love landscape photography so much.


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