The trouble with scale…

Badlands National Park

Ever taken that photo of that amazing breath-taking vista and then later looked at it and been overcome by just how underwhelming it is?

Me too!

It’s the trouble with scale. When you’re there things FEEL big and grandiose. You snap a few photos to remember the awesomeness of the moment at some later date. But the photos don’t capture what was really there. Those mountains seem so plain and boring, so small and distant. That photo snapped from the ledge feels so flat. That geological feature that loomed over you just feels, weak…

Grand Canyon AZ
Grand Canyon

At the risk of sounding pompous and possibly over philosophical, i think life has a scale problem.

Moments that SHOULD be grand and overwhelming sometimes slip away and are forgotten. At the very least they get poorly remembered and buried under the minutiae of day-to-day living.

Sequoia Nat Park
Sequoia National Park

Then moments that shouldn’t even register wind up being these rich and full moments in our lives. Maybe a time you were driving alone in a car and just had a realization. That night you were hanging out with friends doing the same things you almost always do and the gravity of your friendship just landed on you. That fight over some nothing (you can’t even remember what it was about) you had with a loved one that left a scar in that relationship for years.

American Bison, Yellowstone Nat Park

i remember clearly small moments like fighting with a friend because he was being a total dong and tossing his drink out the car window (first i NEVER litter, and second we had just driven into town to buy said drink). He responded in kind by chucking my own beverage out the passenger window!

i remember a moment laying on a couch, the room pleasantly warmed by the late winter sun. Reading a book (which book? i don’t remember) while two much loved dogs slept nearby.

Glacier National Park
Road to the Sun, Glacier Nat Park

Sitting in my car as a teenager after work listening to the same album i’d listened to a thousand times before.

But important things, life altering moments,  wriggle away from my memory… Births and deaths, first days of school and first day on new jobs, or last days on old jobs.

Monument Valley, Yosemite Nat Park


Those moments when you stand at the base of that mountain, or at the precipice of that drop that affords you a view to take your breath away; or those moments when you’re overwhelmed by this new development in your life, or the closing of some door: live in that moment. The problem with scale is that it doesn’t always photograph well….

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