Duck, Duck, Chuck…

Yesterday morning was Easter Sunday.  It was also part of the week-long celebration of Passover.

And where was I?  Of all places, I was at Congress Park in Saratoga Springs, watching ducks along the little ponds.

(c) Chuck Miller. All rights reserved.

Yeah, this is me.  My original plan was to take some pictures in Congress Park with my four-lensed Nimslo camera, and then convert the images to a three-dimensional wiggle-graph and share them online.  But after I started photographing something … and my film roll ran out, I realized that I only took one color roll of 35mm film with me this morning.

Chuck is a moron.

So, instead of using my film camera to capture the ducks … instead I just watched them swim and waddle and quack at each other, while at the same time I captured some images with my BlackBerry PRIV camera phone.

(c) Chuck Miller. All rights reserved.

Those ducks look so peaceful and calm.  They don’t even mind when little girls in their pastel Easter dresses toss bread crumbs and cereals at the waterfowl, while parents photograph those moments as a treasured Easter moment.  Yeah, I know.  You’re not supposed to feed the ducks.  Feeding them ruins their wild diet, they become dependent on human-provided food, and it can cause a nuisance.  But I don’t want to be a killjoy.  So I just continue photographing the ducks on a beautiful Sunday morning.

It’s moments like this where I take stock of my life.  All the things I’ve gone through in the past twelve months.  And yet … here I am.  Here I am, photographing ducks as if there isn’t a care in the world.

(c) Chuck Miller. All rights reserved.

I think about the small accomplishments – the advancing movements in the face of conflict.  Yesterday I tested out my new hiking boots … no pain at all in my surgically repaired left foot.  This is a positive.  And I drove up to Congress Park in my Chevrolet Cruze “Dracourage” – and last time I checked, I was six months ahead on my car loan payments.  Gather the apples where ye may, and you’ll have a bushel of apples by harvest day.

I’m back playing trivia on a regular basis, so that’s a positive.  And honestly, it feels good to concentrate on playing bar trivia – heck, I’ve got a chance to return to Atlantic City in two weeks with the Stir Crazy team and compete in the World Tavern Trivia championships.  That’s a major positive.

And also in two weeks … an exhibition of my photographs will return to St. Agnes Cemetery’s “The Living Room” gallery.  This is an exciting positive.  More on that as we get closer to the opening date – but rest assured that the artwork is a mixture of photos taken on the cemetery grounds, and a collection of various Chuck Miller artworks and photos.  Trust me, I got this covered.

(c) Chuck Miller. All rights reserved.

And this summer … inbetween all my “Competition Season” and “Charity Season” events, important as they are … in addition, my goal is to return to the Adirondacks, to hike back to the Boreas Ponds, to get that photo, that amazing photo, the image that’s teased and taunted and inspired and charged my imagination for months … truly, that moment will allow me a fantastic opportunity.  A moment of personal redemption and achievement.  I’ve been planning for this moment the way I’ve planned every other event in my life.  This will work.  Most definitely.  I must make it work.  Because failure is no longer an option.

The ducks swim by.  They’re not paying attention to me.  Maybe it’s because I don’t have any bread crumbs or cereal for them.

Or maybe it’s just because they … like me … just want to spend the day enjoying the peaceful sunshine in Congress Park.

And even though I can’t give them anything … I think today they gave me something special.

They gave me calmness.

That works for me.

And I hope it works for you as well.

Have a great morning.