I spent last week on Sanibel Island in Florida.
Although it was a full-on family vacation of the time-share variety, and Sanibel isn't necessarily the islandiest of islands, the rum mixed well with the ocean air and the wind laid down enough for a few fantastic trips onto the gulf for some fishing and diving.
Finally! Fresh fodder for Bring Limes!
Except... I didn't write anything while I was down there. No musings on whether an island is still an island when it's attached to the mainland by a bridge. No tutorial on making fresh snapper ceviche. No brief (but overwhelmingly chipper!) introduction to some video esoterica I found laying around on the internet. None of that.
I pretty much went dark on Instagram too. Entire platters of oysters were consumed as quick as they arrived, sans the usual "wait, I gotta get a shot of this." Sunrises? If you were counting on me to document them for you, you missed a week's worth. Ditto the sunsets. There were no shots taken of me against a blood-orange skyline, my long blond hair flowing gently while I extend two peace signs over the impossibly blue water and angle my bikini-clad butt just so for the lens (capped off by fully cranked saturation and the Valencia filter for good measure, hashtag: peace).
But no such photos were taken. Which I realize is a weird way to live your life these days.
Interested in a survival tip? Of course you are! When disoriented in an island environment, and you're seeking a route from the thick jungle to the sea, where you can build a signal fire to alert a passing ship, remember this wayfinding tactic: Gaze to the horizon. Look for countless rods thrusting skyward. Walk toward them. Find the selfie sticks, dear traveler, and you will have found the shore.
Holy moly they were everywhere – the selfie sticks and the selves that stick them. From my basecamp on the beach, I'd watch people flitting down to the water all day. Flit shoot post. Flit shoot post. Flit shoot post. And then they'd move on to the next suitable backdrop. It reminded me of a John Mellencamp line I always dug, from Check It Out:
"A million young poets/Screaming out their words/To a world full of people/Just living to be heard"
Lord knows I'm prone to my own solipsistic tendencies. But for a week, I had better things to do than type. It reminded me of a Bruce Springsteen line I always dug, from Jungleland:
"The poets down here don't write nothing at all/They just stand back and let it all be"
To do, or to document, that is the question! I decided to do. Not everything needs to be shared. Not every action requires an artifact. A falling tree makes a glorious king-hell sound whether anyone is there to hear it or not.
All that said, I still took pictures of course. Of boats and birds and blue sky. Of my feet. (My own damn stanky feet!) I have plenty of stories to tell too. And I'm sure it'll all bubble up soon enough. Just not quite yet.
"Be here now" is a helpful reminder/surly command I always give my kids. I finally took my own advice.