As I walked on Friday morning with my camera, one of the workers at the Convention Center asked me if I was a photographer. I said, "No, a tourist." We chatted for a bit--we've both lived in South Carolina. What are the odds of that?
I was on my way to the labyrinth that's part of the Riverwalk. I looked across the river and was struck by the old fashioned smokestack that's part of the opposite vista, a throwback to an industrial age in a cityscape that's clearly based on tourism, at least around the Convention Center:
Here's the longer view:
As I walked, I wondered if I'd get to where I thought I saw a labyrinth only to find that it was just a decorative brick layout. Nope--it's really a labyrinth.
Of course, you have to walk on the correct part. At first, I wound up in a dead end, and I thought nope, that's not the message of the labyrinth. I went back and walked on the darker part:
Success! I walked the rest.
Did I feel meditative? Did I have any breakthroughs? No, nothing obvious--but it was good to pause and say thanks--for safe travels, for the conference, for the planners of the Tampa Riverwalk who thought to put a labyrinth along the way.
It would have been even better if there had been some sort of informative plaque about labyrinths, but instead, there were plaques about the wildlife we might see.
I wonder how many people run and walk by the labyrinth every day not realizing what they're seeing. I had a vision of labyrinths tucked away in all sorts of unlikely places, offering a meditative space in the middle of all sorts of regular lives.
On the way back, I saw this palm frond on the edge of a dock. At first, it looked like a fish skeleton to me.
I do think there's a certain vibe in these pictures, especially in the above, where we've got a husk of what had been alive and a chain. Here's the longer view:
I didn't take many pictures during sessions; I was rarely in a place to capture much of anything. And pictures of panelists at a table are rather boring.
Here's a picture of sunrise on the last morning. And now, let me get started on my morning: