Allow me to go too deep and personal for a few. 2018 has been a year like no other. I enjoy all the years, I have said it in this space before the alternative is not getting the year, so I choose they are all good no matter how the days are spent as long as I can spend them. This year started with me realizing that more than ever. I am at that age where you are not as old as you think, yet you are not as young as you may feel. The reality of the program we are all signed up for seeps in, louder with each passing year. In January I was sick, specifics are not important, but sick enough to need to see a doctor, and sick enough to avoid one at the same time, know what I mean? After the avoidance tactics and excuses ran out, I went to the doctor. Monday, January 22nd. That led to an MRI on Tuesday the 23rd, that led to a 6:45 am phone call on Wednesday the 24th that no one ever wants, “We need to you go see so and so, there is a strong chance you have cancer.” Now spoiler alert, I do not have, nor did I at time of that call, have cancer.
It would be 7 days until I knew that. Tuesday, January 30th, as I rested on a gurney waking up from a procedure there was a doctor in my face with two thumbs up saying “You are good” is the bookend to that phone call. The week I ‘had’ cancer. What does this have to do with a photo of a sunrise in Cuba? Well as I took that photo, sitting on the far side of a beach in the dark, overlooking the Cuba shoreline with 12 other strangers I just met 72 hours prior, I thought of how I got there? I snapped 13 photos of that sunrise from that location, camera on a tripod three feet back from a cliff that blocked my view of the waves. In 12 of the photos, there is no visible water splashing. Frame #7 there is. It is the photo above, the waves hit the rocks, sprayed it up above the cliff, the water curling around the sunrise, all at the same time I pushed the plunger on the cable to release the shutter. I would love to say it was planned, it was not, I mean I set up, pointed the camera, knew the setting that was needed, the exposure, etc. but I had not known what I got until after. I could sit at that spot for the remainder of my life and never get that shot again, so it got me thinking about how I got there, to begin with. A root cause analysis of the opportunity and it was directly related to that phone call, those seven days and the two thumbs up.
Since that call and thumbs up, I have lost people to cancer, I have had friends unfairly lose loved ones to cancer, I have had friends bravely fight cancer, it seems to be everywhere, and I only had to deal with it for 7 days. The least I could do is go to Cuba. I like to think I am here to document and share things. My tagline for my business is Hold Life Still, I love those three words, it sums up my objective perfectly. That’s what this sunrise photo is, it Life being Held Still. Without those 7 days in January I am not sitting on that beach getting this photo. Or meeting those 12 strangers who I was able to spend 10 incredible days with, or meeting the country of Cuba.
This is why Cuba, a question I have been asked 100x since I said I was going. Why go anywhere? Because you can. Because there are those who can not. Those 7 days changed me, I am lucky it was only 7 days, I am lucky to have had those 7 days. I am even luckier they led me to Cuba