Yesterday’s big event was a short hike, mile/mile and a half, with Amy Levek, who has lived here 27(?) years. In an earlier life, she was part of the town government, City Planner, I think. My initial contact with her was through a Facebook poetry group. When I last visited Telluride, in July, we had breakfast together at my favorite place for that. She seemingly knows everyone in town, and even seems to be on good terms with everybody, or on speaking terms at least.
Autumn is perhaps my favorite season, what with the leaves turning and the temperature being cooler. There’s an essence to the autumnal air that’s not present during the other seasons. Ours was a slow walk. Amy does photography now, and she’d brought her camera. Repeatedly, both up the trail and back home, Amy would stop and snap a picture or few. More than several times, Amy’s stopping to take a picture caused me to look around and see why I needed to take my own picture.
Amy is good company. She’s quiet, doesn’t demand the spotlight, and (at least in my case) is good at drawing a person out. She asked what had brought me to Telluride this time, and I told her, even though it was a bit embarrassing to do so. I mean, what fifty year old is still pondering what to do with their life? She didn’t seem thrown off in the slightest by what I said. She almost made me feel normal, due to the lack of change in her demeanor.
Because Amy’s a photographer, and even moreso because of her tenure in Telluride, and all the locals she knows, I told her about the previous night’s Art Walk exhibit at Ah Haa, “Telluride Portraits.” I told her how I’d seen so many stories in that room. Because of the fact that they were, for the most part, portraits that weren’t shot in a studio and weren’t posed, there was an essence present in the photos that wouldn’t otherwise be. Also, the photographers’ telling of how their shots came to be were also riddled with stories. There was just enough told to lay a foundation for a story, but enough left unsaid to allow the viewer, me, to fill in the holes. Also, even though I’m not from Telluride, and didn’t know anyone in any of the photos, I felt an affinity and connection to the photos as if I did know the people in the pictures. My heart was nearly as touched as if the portraits had been of Salida locals.
Again, I perceive the world in stories. I also have a strong empathic sense. These two traits distinguish me, set me apart from my fellows. They are to be heeded, paid attention to.