For just a moment, he wanted to be left alone. Drifting across the water with such beautiful scenery should have been relaxing except his phone kept ringing. He had tried once, leaving his phone at home or at least, turning it off. The amount of rage that came down on him from friends and co-workers had destroyed the peace he had gained. He had warned them all beforehand and yet he was still called selfish and irresponsible.
His phone rang once again. This time it was his boss asking him to do something that could’ve waited until Monday. Was it so wrong to want a moment to himself? Everyone said it was. Not everyone. The loudest ones said it was wrong. Maybe he needed new friends. That thought arose whenever he was alone. He pushed it away again. Strange blue light rolled across his boat. He pulled himself out of his thought to really see the landscape. He couldn’t process the scene before him. His mind tried but it was like trying to grip water. He was tempted to photograph it and send it to someone. Maybe they would know what this was. But, he couldn’t move. The scene was so entrancing. His phone rang again but it wasn’t as loud and annoying as usual. Beautiful blue lanterns covered the sky. Immense branches wove through them like a road. He was struck by this almost overwhelming desire to climb those branches and let them lead him to worlds unknown. He stood, the boat almost throwing him in the water, and reached for the sky. It was silly. In the back of his mind, he knew this was silly. No matter how hard he worked, he could never touch those branches. That beautiful world would forever be out of his reach. Wouldn’t it be better to give up now? But, he couldn’t lower his hand. People told him to be realistic. He gave up on a lot of things in the name of reality. Why did he always have to let go of what he wanted most? Fingers wrapped around his. They felt like the sun on his skin after being inside all day. The hand pulled and he found himself standing on the branches, starting down at his boat. A figure made of lights and shadows joined him. He should’ve been afraid. He should’ve been but, he wasn’t. His stomach bubbled in a way it didn’t do often. Excitement. He was excited. …. I created the above image from this: I took this shot out the window of the Metro-North train on my Beacon, NY. Since I’m just starting out with photo manipulation, I wanted something that wouldn’t need a lot of editing. This photo is perfect because it’s simple and has a lot of sky. I added two stock images from Shutterstock. This one and this one. I don’t know if it’s done. I keep going back to it and changing minor details. It may be done and I’m just being a perfectionist. This wasn’t the first image I used. When I started this project, I had intended to go in an entirely different direction but it didn’t work. I came across this photo while looking for something else. I keep saying I want to do more photo manipulations but never got around to it. Being stuck at home for several months has given me some time to think. It’s time for a change but, nothing will happen if I don’t do something. Nothing will change if you don’t do something.