KeO BLoG

Thoughts on Life, Art, Photography, Technology, Teaching and Travel…..

Ocracoke Journal – In the Moment

Journal Excerpt April 23, 2011

I’ve only been on Ocracoke for one day and I already feel rejuvenated. What a wonderful and peaceful place this Island and Bed and Breakfast is. This morning after breakfast I spoke with another photographer staying at the inn who asked me to look at her work.

I was very impressed with here eye and selective focus minimalist style. My only criticism was that she had 2-3 different bodies of work in the one book and to consider expanding on each one of them. Most artists and image makers crave feedback. We love to share our work with others. It’s hard wired into our DNA. After I looked at Dawn’s work she gave me a print. How cool is that?

I went in to get my camera to take a photograph of her for the blog when all of a sudden Ann had her camera out and was taking photographs of me making a portrait of Dawn. Then I looked up and saw another woman at the window who was staying at the B&B taking photographs of all of us on the deck below. Magic always seems to happen when you get creative people together. Making photographs is a creative act and it is contagious. Needless to say it was a fun morning.

After a great fish sandwich at the Jolly Roger grill I went for a 8 mile bike ride on the bike path along the ocean. It got me thinking just how joyous it is to “be in the moment”. For the first time in a long while, I was totally PRESENT to that moment. I savored the cool breeze caressing my face, the muscles in my legs peddling the bike and the expansive flat landscape of the outer banks highway. That realization was like a mini epiphany. I felt totally alive with no thoughts or worries about the past or the present. Just that moment in time with sweat trickling down my forehead and the sun beating down on my head.

Why is it so difficult to stay in the present moment. I don’t know the answer. It may be because much of the time we are in places and situations we don’t want to be in. Needless to say it is a good feeling to have the awareness that it can be attained even if those moments are few and far between.

I am in the moment right now as I write in this journal sitting on a magenta picnic table in the backyard of this wonderful and peaceful B&B. I am accompanied by birds chirping, sounds of cars coming from the ferry and the clinging of dishes in Ann’s kitchen.

Journal Excerpt April 24, 2011
Ocracoke Nature Trail – Seeking the Light!

The maritime forest is a cacophony of sounds. Birds chirping, insects buzzing, leaves rustling in the breeze and the distant sound of the surf rhythmically washing up on the shore. Shimmering light and shadows everywhere. I feel like an impressionist painter with my camera in search of the perfect composition.

Making photographs is cleansing – healing and in some ways spiritual – at least to me. Its the creative act that brings me joy – that fulfills my innate desire to create something based on my personal vision, feelings and emotional state at any given moment in time. Getting that one great photograph that I’m truly happy with is like a little blessing.

As I was leaving for the ferry I noticed this guy with an amazing beard sitting by the side of the road in front of a surfboard rental place. I asked him if I could do his portrait and he agreed. His name is Bob and after taking a few photos of him I said thanks and headed off to catch my ferry. I felt as if his photo was the icing on the cake for my Easter Weekend R&R on Ocracoke.

Here are more photos (click to enlarge) taken on Ocracoke – most of them either on the beach or nature trail….


“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”
Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta, the founder of Buddhism, 563-483 B.C.

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9 comments on “Ocracoke Journal – In the Moment

  1. Ashley
    April 25, 2011

    I was there to see it in person and your pictures still leave me breathless!

  2. keoughp
    April 26, 2011

    It was nice to meet you Ashley. I was impressed by the impressionistic painting you did on Ocracoke. Keep painting!

  3. dawn
    April 27, 2011

    thanks for your support, patrick. i feel the same way….photography becomes something more for me as well and when i am in the moment of creating and seeing, all else just falls away and i can be completely in the moment.

  4. keoughp
    April 28, 2011

    Yes Dawn there is something very magical and therapeutic about photography. When you get lost in that moment of identifying your subject matter and then composing it everything else falls away except for that brief instant of translating your subject photographically.

  5. souldiaries
    April 30, 2011

    ah patrick what wonderful photos, thank you for your lovely posts always. it looks like a spot i would so love to spend some time at…one day i plan to open a spot like that here on the cape for creatives to escape to and to be enthralled and enchanted by nature to write, and draw and take photos …maybe you’ll come visit it .. 🙂

  6. souldiaries
    April 30, 2011

    ps. the tree photos take my breath away

  7. keoughp
    April 30, 2011

    Yes Viv…Ocracoke is a magical place and it is very conducive for tapping into your creative spirit. I just wish I could have stayed longer because I was just starting to get in the groove with my writing and photography when it was time to leave and get back to work. Yes…open that artists retreat at the Cape and I will figure out a way to come visit. It would be fun to teach a workshop together.

  8. andei
    May 2, 2011

    Dad I’m so glad you got a moment to relax and release your mind from stress and worry on okerkoke, too bad you couldn’t get that book i was telling you about, it would have helped even more. Cant wait to take a trip to okercoke this summer with ya! love you so so so muchhh!

  9. keoughp
    May 2, 2011

    Thanks Andei! I love it on Ocracoke and must admit I was thinking about the times you and I and sometimes Adam would go and ride bikes and you guys would surf. I miss those times! Yes…lets do an Ocracoke trip when you get home! I love you to! Can’t wait for you to come home from Italy.

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This entry was posted on April 25, 2011 by in Keough Journal, Photography and tagged , , .
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