This weekend I was able to steal time away by myself. Have you been? We all talk about getting away for some “me” time. That usually happens when the walls of demand come crashing in—when life and work and family are pulling at us, and we feel the need to escape. We have visions of ourselves frolicking around a big city, smiling at strangers, throwing our hats up in the air declaring independence. I always travel with my camera and this trip was no different. Musikfest offers much to all senses and I couldn’t wait to get lost in the crowd. The shots were all there for the taking-- musicians, face painters, festival rides, refillable beer steins, funnel cakes and crafts. FUN was all around me, but I found myself on the outside looking in. Usually, I’m the one in the front row clapping at the street dancers, but this day, I felt different. I thought about forcing the mood and started by snapping a few shots of a young guy getting his face painted. He watched me while I shot and didn’t smile at me—or even so much as acknowledge what I took from him. In a weird way, that took a lot of pressure off of me. For the next few hours, I walked and shot all of the images that spoke of my mood. And I thought about it too, hoping that I might explain it to myself later. Towards early evening, I put away my gear and took off for a long run along Sand Island. My only company was the cargo trains buckling into each other. It took a total of 8 miles to shake the dark and ick off. In the distance, upon my return, I could hear a soothing voice and when I came upon the bridge I could make out one of my favorites-If it Makes you Happy. Sheryl Crow. Live. Perfect irony. In the end, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to explore this side of myself. To document a true reality for me on that particular day. Have you ever?