Sometimes I am fascinated by what a picture says and what it doesn’t say. The above photo is of my dear friend Chris Harrington. He is taking us on a tour of the bluffs across the street from his house in Hana and we are all speculating about the looming rain clouds. Will they pass us by? Should we turn around? Does it matter?
This picture doesn’t tell you what happened after the rainclouds, that within seconds we were caught in a dumping, soaking, torrential downpour. It doesn’t show us giddy, laughing, blinded by all the water, running back to the house. I haven’t jogged in about 15 years and I am winded but happy, holding my camera under my t-shirt that is getting more and more transparent. I feel like the cheesy dancing/crying/kissing-in-the-rain moments of Hollywood movies. For the first time in my life, I can see why the concept is so appealing and that it is actually plausible. (I had always thought of these scenes as complete fiction.)
This picture may not tell you that Chris is one of my dearest friends on Earth and that he is one of those people that creates life wherever he goes (he is a walking celebration) and is so wise that you may never know he is dispensing wisdom. This picture doesn’t tell you that at Burning Man a couple of years ago, Chris suddenly picked up my friend Sasha and walked with her in his arms saying, “Everyone needs a break once in a while…”
From this picture, you might not know that he is a Buddha in disguise.
If I showed you a picture of the waterfall we hiked to the next day, it would tell you a story of beauty, of magnificence, of magestic tropical awesomeness. You wouldn’t know what the photo didn’t tell. You wouldn’t know that we had lunch on a hill across from it, and that, only a few moments after the shot, we heard a cracking so loud that all of our breath immediately stopped. It was the unmistakable sound of the earth splitting open.
We looked up to see a cliff above us and an avalanche of rocks pouring down.
Panicked, I duck-and-covered (I am a California girl, what can I say? It’s all I know how to do) and prayed that we wouldn’t die… I felt Matt lay his body over me, protecting me. Then I heard him say, “We have to get down the hill fast!” and so we ran down the muddy slope, sliding much of the way (I have horrendous multi-colored bruises on my legs). When we were all down and safe, I immediately burst into tears.
Chris, who had fallen down the hill behind us, did a complete somersault and we almost lost him off the cliff (thank God I did not see this). We were all shaking as we hiked home, but in regular Chris Harrington fashion, he laughed the whole way back…