Before by Bodhi Smith

"before" a new impression from bodhi smith...
"love what is before you, and you will find happily ever after" ― bodhinku, before and after
“the morning wind spreads its fresh smell. we must get up and take that in, that wind that lets us live. breathe before it's gone” ― jalaluddin rumi, the soul of rumi
and like i have been doing with my blogs for the past couple months, here is a sweetly romantic tune to listen to as you read my blog, with beautiful lyrics about how what life was like before you knew what life could be like... "before you" by jon mclaughlin (just click on the song title, it is a link to the lyric video)...

"i feel like somebody else, i don't recognize myself staring into the mirror, smiling ear to ear. it's funny how all this time i thought i was alive, now i see things clearer, smiling ear to ear...and now, screaming at the top of my lungs, finally i found someone...i never knew what love could do, before you. and i am opening my eyes for the very first time...i never knew what love could do, before you...take whatever you like, change me from the inside. i can feel you taking over, smiling ear to ear...i never knew what love could do, before you...guns out blazing, my heart is racing and even the ordinaries, amazing. blasts of color bounce off each other, and you are the reason why i'm screaming at the top of my lungs...finally i found someone...i never knew what love could do, before you. and i am opening my eyes for the very first time...i never knew what love could do, before you..." 
― jon mclaughlin, before you
"the word, 'before,' has the meaning of what is right in front of you, as well as the idea of something that happened in the past....thus it is a word with a beautiful duality, and with in itself carries such a powerful meaning: live each moment before it is too late and you can no longer...and cherish all you have right before you now, because you never know when it will all be gone, all gone before you can even blink, *poof* just like that..." ― bodhinku, before duality 
"before you take that next step into the next moment, recognize what was before, but be present with what is before you in the here and now...and, honor each moment before all else, before it is all gone" ― bodhinku, before
the word, "before," has the meaning of what is right in front of you, as well as the idea of something that happened in the past....thus it is a word with a beautiful duality, and as such, it is absolutely perfect as the title of the image you see before you message is each moment before it is too late and you can no longer...and cherish all you have right before you now, because you never know when it will all be gone, as fast as a snap of your fingers, *poof* just like that...
when i stand before these pier ruins now, i wish i could see them again with how they were before ignorant people totally ruined this beautiful ruin (so pictured here now before you, is how the davenport pier ruins used to look before being forever ruined for others to photograph, contemplate, and appreciate)
like my previous release on october 18, 2019 entitled, "tides change", this new impression you see here "before" you, was taken a few years ago, before the front pier ruin on the beach was tagged with graffiti panels, and the cliffs behind it were also badly marked up with unsightly spray paint, proving that it is entirely possible to ruin the beauty of ruins through the selfish stupidity of stupid careless people...
and this is such a shame, truly a tragedy...for as you stand with your feet in the sand there before it, after climbing down a sketchy cliff to get down onto the beach in the first place, there is a solace of beauty that washes over you as the waves gently roll up into the sand and pull back out to sea in an endless cycle...but after all this graffiti, and with it being a derelict eroding ruin, there now is no way of going back to what it was before...
for so many years, almost nobody knew of the existence of any pier ruins way down below the steep cliffs in the sleepy seaside town of davenport, ca...they drove by going 55mph, high up above on the pacific coast highway #1 (pch1) oblivious to anything else except their own dashboard and the music on the stereo...and the old pier ruins lived peacefully in quiet obscurity and anonymity for many many years, surviving thousands of tides with so few footprints in the sands before them... 
and i am glad a few years ago that i got to shoot these pier ruins in davenport before people knew they were there...because now with the explosion of images on instagram, not much is obscured or secret anymore when it comes to locations of beautiful and mystical these pier ruins are no exception, now the beach is riddled with footprints and the mark of humans being there...
the tides of human beings coming and going in massive numbers now has changed this place forever, and it is hard for me to see how it is for the better, but i am trying my damnedest to see the hidden positive in the message of this particular happy to have what is before me, and try not to wish things went back to the way they were before, because they never can again...
and as a result of this change, i have regrets that i can no longer go there and take this beautiful picture again like i did see, these old pier ruins used to be very beautiful to photograph...but 3.5 years ago, some people tagged the front ruin on the beach, coating it with panels of unsightly graffiti/art,plus they hung a metal chain swing from it as well, and severely tagged the cliffs behind the beach with all sorts of crazy ugly and random graffiti (this link shows in a video what the pier now looks like, as of 01/2019)...and then to add insult to injury, weathering did its natural thing with erosion, and the fourth old ruin out in the water succumbed to the elements, and collapsed into the sea forever a couple years ago too...
you can see how much the pier and this area has changed only 5 years later since i took my image you see before you in early october of 2014
and on a similar subject, i was just talking with a good friend recently about all of the scenes that i have photographed that i can sadly no longer take the same image again since something dramatic has happened to them and changed them forever, and now we cannot go back to the way they were before, and only my photographs remain of how they looked and were before the changes struck... (not for the better in photographic terms unfortunately)...
including the damage done to the davenport pier, here are some other locations i love that i can no longer take another beautiful picture in the same way again, they way they were before...
1. the tree on top of broken hill at torrey pines state preserve, la jolla, ca, has fallen down...
2. the entire poplar tree farm in boardman, or, is pretty much all cut down not to be replanted...
3. a careless idiot of a photographer caught the ss point reyes shipwreck in inverness,ca on fire and totally destroyed the entire stern of the boat...
4. the old wood rungs on the deadfall ladder at lower kanarraville waterfall are all gone after a severe flash-flood ripped them away, now replaced by all metal ones...
5. the section i photographed has collapsed of the colorful mala warf in lahaina, maui, hi...
6. the lone tree on at the beach's edge fell was on the west side of egmont key in the gulf of mexico off st. petersburg coast, fla...
7. along with many others trees at this location, the main tree in my shot with lightning over the gulf stream at botany bay, edisto beach by charleston, sc has been knocked over by hurricane...
8. there is a new wall built at the edge of horseshoe bend in page, az, forever changing it...
9. pier pylons at st. claire beach in dunedin, on the south island of new zealand, have been weathered and washed away to almost nothing...
10. my personal favorite in my "gift of namaste" image, the japanese maple tree has split because of severe frost damage, and over half of the tree has now died.. .
11. the old shack along the us 395 in lee vining, ca,  has really fallen apart because of weathering...
as with these locations i have captured with my camera that are no longer the same, i often also regret many changes that have happened in my life as well, but those changes usually opened the door to let me see past my fears and closed-mindedness, to see what the light of change had to offer and brings within a positive construct,,,,i have learned lessons from these changes that make me a better photographer, and more importantly, make me a better person...sometimes you have to go through pain to get better, sometimes you will never understand this until looking back...but what can we do? just roll with the changes, the tides of change are continual as long as we live, as buddha said, "nothing is forever except change" so accept that, and live within the changes...because, that is life, live it here and now in this moment before it all ends, before it all changes and goes away.
“come on, sweetheart
let's adore one another
before there is no more
of you and me" ― 
jalaluddin rumi, poems of ecstasy and longing
"before you, 
i stand, and 
i realize, that 
i never knew how good life was, 
before you" ― bodhinku, before you

"buddha said, 'nothing is forever except change' accept that, and live within the changes...because, that is life, live it here and now in this moment before it all ends, before it all changes and goes away" ― bodhinku, live life now

the old pier on davendort beach was used by the concrete company in the town of davenport to help carry concrete from the factory way up on the cliffs above down to the beach below to be loaded onto ship to take to san francisco and other parts of the world...

but settlement in the area of today’s davenport got its start in 1868 when captain john davenport, a sea-based whaler by trade, built a 450 foot wharf off what became to be known as davenport’s landing. the wharf was used to export local timber by boat to san francisco. the original town was about a mile to the north of the present location near el jarro point, in the beautiful cove at the mouth of agua puerca creek

captain davenport also used a practice developed in the azores islands of portugal called shore-based whaling. scouts on the bluffs would alert men to go out from shore in a boat, kill the whale, and tow it back to shore for processing. it allowed the crew to stay with their families and was easier than processing the blubber at sea. by 1880 the high costs of operation of the wharf forced capt. davenport and all his workers to give up his business and abandon the landing and move to santa cruz.

the history of the modern town of davenport is wholly wrapped up with the davenport cement plant. in 1905, an east coast cement businessman named william dingee began the santa cruz lime company on the banks of san vicente creek, two miles south of davenport landing. in the following year, the santa cruz portland cement company was built nearby. the town was built in 1905 by the coast dairies and land company to house workers for the cement plant on the shores of san vicente creek, the town was originally called san vicente, but when the post office was moved from davenport landing south to the new town in 1907, it retained the name of davenport. in those days, the power of the post was great, so san vicente slowly faded away as a name, to be officially replaced by davenport.

by 1915 davenport had a population of about 1800 people, with 60 homes, two hotels, a school, a hospital, and a church. the cement from the plant was used to rebuild san francisco after the 1906 quake, build one of the panama canal locks, the golden gate bridge in the mid-1930s, 
and even construct the dry docks in pearl harbor, hawaii. though it was bought and sold by several different companies over the decades, the plant continued to supply cement for major construction projects up and down the west coast. it was the main employer in davenport for over 100 years.

in 2005, cemex, a mexican company, acquired the plant and kept it operational until 2010, when a bad economy, high operation costs (the highest of its 14 cement plants in the US), and fears of chromium 6 poisoning similar to hinkley, ca (of erin brockovich fame) forced it to close. at the time it employed about 120 people. its closure was a big blow to the town in loss of jobs and other services. for example, cemex was paying about $185,000 annually for operation and maintenance of the local water and sewage treatment facilities. after the closure, the community had to absorb those costs, on top of the many job losses in a weak economy.  

in the first third of the 20th century getting into and out of davenport was a big deal. there were over 700 turns on the road from davenport to santa cruz. as such, the town was isolated and developed a close-knit community. it was made up of a very culturally diverse group of people. most of the managers were swiss, because the coast dairies and land company was owned by four swiss families, but the workers were from all over the world. italian and greek families were very prominent but workers apparently came from all over europe and the middle east. prior to world war one, over 20 different languages were spoken in the town.

by the 1930s the roads and cars had improved such that many people moved to santa cruz and commuted to davenport to work at the cement plant. the cement plant apparently chartered with greyhound to bus workers back and forth daily. by the 1940s it was a much smaller town with a population less than five hundred.

during world war two, the united states government brought in mexican workers, under the bracero program, to do agricultural work. many worked in the davenport area. after the war, several mexican workers came back and the town’s cultural makeup began to include more people of mexican decent and lose the influence of previous italian and greek cultures.

alverda orlando, a davenport resident from 1945-1975, tells a story about one mexican man, known as pancho, who walked up the stairs of the cement plant one day looking for work. at the same moment a shift worker, an italian-american was walking down having just quit. the superintendent hired pancho on the spot. pancho went on to work at the cement plant for years, brought his whole family up from mexico, and bought seven homes, eventually giving one to each child of his...

of a historical note..the st. vincent depaul church, in davenport, was built entirely of cement from the local cement factory in 1914 and is the subject of a famous photograph by ansel adams.

also of historical interest is the davenport jail. it has two cells, and was used only twice from the time of its construction in 1914 until its decommissioning in 1936. today it is a museum featuring coastal history supported by volunteers from the santa cruz museum of art and history.

the southern portion of the ocean shore railroad operated between davenport and santa cruz from 1907-1920. now the southern pacific freight line between the two communities is still in place, running directly through davenport along the cliffside, eventually tracing the entire california coast.

davenport is also home to american a, which is a producer of farm raised california red abalone. california farm raised abalone has been selected by the monterey bay aquarium’s sea watch program as an excellent choice for environmentally conscious seafood consumers.

and there you have a nice history of the small little community of davenport, its concrete factory, and its concrete pier ruins...
"we live in an era of great metamorphosis. the old rules of the past are crumbling and we hunger for change. we are tired of the oppression and the limiting boxes that we have been taught we need to exist within. we grow weary of a society that teaches us that we need to adhere to their regulations and keep our eyes closed to our talents and our gifts" ― c. ara campbell  
"travel to that place you always wanted to see, go see it, only excuses are stopping you. say all those things you wanted to say to those people you never said them to, only pride is keeping you from it. learn to do that thing you always wanted to do, and do it, only fear is holding you not instead make up a list of all the stuff you want to do before you die, just start doing it, and do it now. do not wait for 'one day.' experience what you can right here, right now, before it all changes...because it will change. the tides of change are as constant as time itself. as buddha once said, ' nothing is forever except change' take nothing for granted, nothing is guaranteed except that it will all change one day..."― bodhinku, tides of change   
“she loved before she may love again. but if she loves you now, what else matters? so don't hurt her, don't change her, don't analyze and don't expect more than she can give. smile when she makes you happy, let her know when she makes you mad, and miss her when she's not there before you.” ― bob marley
“all beings tremble before violence.
all fear death.
all love life.
see yourself in others.
then whom can you hurt?
what harm can you do?" ― 
gautama buddha, sayings of buddha
“we do not honestly know if we have been here before or if we will come back again. however, what we do know is that we are here now, and it is now that we are suffering. so it makes sense to try our best to reduce our suffering at this time" ― gautama buddha

"from the beginning of the world i knew you.
since time first stirred and the seasons were born
the memory of your mystery called in my veins
awakening within me the truest memories of my soul.

centuries pass over me in the blink of an eye
the imprint of your heart reaching through the darkness
and i wonder about that days or lifetimes that stand
like sentinels between us still.

a thousand years i’ve wandered
searching the beams of moonlight and fragments of stars
for remnants of you.

how can words begin to express
that which has always been known to the heart?
i feel you etched upon my skin
the familiar thread pulling at my soul;
unraveling me
untangling my heart.

you are coming;
i can feel you on the breeze.
these ages apart have been the longest,
loneliest that i can remember
and they too shall fade
as love weaves light from darkness
stitching together the well worn tapestries of our spirits
and all that went before dissolves.

until the day you are in my arms once more
you lie cradled in my heart;
and i am lost in eternal ribbons of memory.
the landscape of time and space is a reminder of your existence
your place among the heavens as the brightest of stars
the true north that guides this vessel back home once more" ― 
c. ara campbell, memory of my soul
“you will discover, just as the ballads and novels promise, that some loves really are forever. it is only the time you have together that is not― beau taplin, hunting season

“before loving you, love, nothing was mine:
i hesitated through the streets and things:
nothing mattered or had a name:
the world was of the air that i awaited." ― 
pablo neruda, 100 love sonnets
"oh let me remember you as you were before you existed” ― pablo neruda, 20 love poems and a song of despair
“the real question is not whether life exists after death. the real question is whether you are alive before death” ― osho, the hidden splendor
“when we meet someone and fall in love, we have a sense that the whole universe is on our side. And yet if something goes wrong, there is nothing left! How is it possible for the beauty that was there only minutes before to vanish so quickly? Life moves very fast. It rushes from heaven to hell in a matter of seconds.” ― paulo coelho, aleph  

“life always waits for some crisis to occur before revealing itself at its most brilliant" ― 
paulo coelho, eleven minutes  

“really important meetings are planned by the souls long before the bodies see each other"   ― 
paulo coelho, eleven minutes 
“an ordinary beginning, something that would have been forgotten had it been anyone but her. but as he shook her hand and met those striking emerald eyes, he knew before he'd taken his next breath that she was the one he could spend the rest of his life looking for but never find again. she seemed that good, that perfect, while a summer wind blew through the trees” ― nicholas sparks, the notebook  
“before we met, i was as lost as a person could be and yet you saw something in me that somehow gave me direction again” ― nicholas sparks, nights in rodanthe  
"you have to ‘lose your mind’ before you can come to your senses” ― dan millman, way of the peaceful warrior
“spurious fame spreads from tongue to tongue like the fog of the early dawn before the sun rises” ― rabindranath tagore, stray birds
“life is a spark between two identical voids, the darkness before birth and the one after death” ― irvin d. yalom, when nietzsche wept  
“what lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us” ― ralph waldo emerson, nature and selected essays
“let me tell you this: if you meet a loner, no matter what they tell you, it's not because they enjoy solitude. it's because they have tried before to blend into the world they see before them, and people continue to disappoint them" ― jodi picoult, my sister's keeper  
“we should all start to live before we get too old. fear is stupid. so are regrets" ― marilyn monroe
“think before you speak. read before you think" ― fran lebowitz, the reader
“and if every way is closed before you. the secret one will show a secret path no other eyes have seen before”― jalaluddin rumi, the soul of rumi
"do not be satisfied with the stories that come before you. unfold your own myth"― jalaluddin rumi, poems of ecstasy and longing
“angels dance with you, my beloved...and only before you do i bow in adoration. you may accept me or not, but i will be at your feet forever" ― jalaluddin rumi, the soul of rumi
"when you miss how things were before, you miss out living with what is right before you" ― bodhinku, before you
this is a single frame image composition ...and it is a very long exposure at seven, a stable and sturdy tripod was an absolute necessity in order to keep the image sharp in the places i wanted sharpness (i use selective focus on most of my images, similar to the way our eyes see things)...for this i used a dolica 70" carbon fiber tripod, because it is sturdy, tall, and perfectly compact....for me, this shot would never have been possible without my friends daniel and april at dolica tripods.

in my photography i always use filters to create longer exposure effects and to balance the light in my composition in camera...i often use as many as four filters at time, and i always use at least one filter...for this seascape image, two filters were used, 3.0nd filter to permit for extra saturation of the blues in the image and slow down light 10-stops and allow for the effects you see of the smooth pacific ocean and white shore break, plus a 1.2gnd to stop down the much brighter evening sky (just before sunset) 4 stops...
i wish to openly thank my sponsors who have always supported me through both the good and bad times...for truly this ultra long exposure would not be possible without the use of my trusty dolica tripod in combination with the progreyusa filters which i use with every photo i take... 
"besides time moving on, change is the only constant, the only guarantee in life...i can only hope, as much as humanly possible, the changes turn into a positive in my life" ― bodhinku, changes    
"contemplate without thinking. stop the world. slow down everything. shut off the noise. breathe in. breathe out. relax. seize this moment. reconnect. feel and sense what surrounds you. listen to all the colors of light that envelope you. see the melody and harmony that floats about unnoticed. taste the solitude of all this wonderment. smell the beautiful silence within your peaceful serenity. then, reach out and touch your faith. this is my world. awaken." ― bodhinku, my world
above all else as always, i hope this message and image find you well.


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