Pool Room, San Rafael | Mark Lindsay

This morning I had the blank-screen dread. I stared at my blog with nothing to say. I searched through my photo archive with nothing to find. I drank an extra cup of coffee for a jolt of inspiration. Nothing. Discouraged, I finally gave up and went food shopping.

This afternoon I decided to grab my camera and take a short jaunt to San Rafael. The bustling town always has something of visual interest for me. Shop windows are a favorite subject of mine and San Rafael has plenty of them. They are always so enticing, a combination of commercial pizazz and shimmering reflections. The winter light sinks low early on a December afternoon, a perfect time to take a camera for a walk.

The small city was vibrating today. The air felt festive on 4th Street, the very same boulevard where American Graffiti was filmed back in the 1970s. Cruising is still in the air on 4th Street and today was no exception. People were bustling past me on their way somewhere. Guide dogs were being trained for the seeing impaired. Autumn leaves hung tenaciously to the city’s trees, clueless that December had arrived. It was just chilly enough to walk briskly and to pull a collar over one’s ears.

I always tell myself that one good photograph is worth a special outing. I always seem to find one. These days I figure an outing on a lovely day is reason enough to be happy, the photos are just an excuse to get out and enjoy life. But find a photo I did—a compelling reflection in the window of a pool hall on the corner of 4th and C Streets. Mission accomplished.

Sometimes thinking about art isn’t good enough. One must get out and do the work. After staring at my existing photo collection it became evident that nothing in it was speaking to me today. I had to go find something new. Like a new pair of shoes, a new group of photos always adds a jaunt to my step and gladdens my heart.