Posting and Parks

I don’t often post in the moment because I‘m either without reception or—most of the time—too caught up in the moment itself.

One of my favorite days in Yellowstone, visiting the Grand Prismatic Spring at the Midway Geyser Basin; Yellowstone National Park

This was a combination of the two, though by the looks of it, I am in the middle of taking a picture. Needless to say, I post a lot of pictures after the fact, and those are just a select few of the many I’ve taken over the years, as I make my way here and there.

Though it’s true, I’ve got a lot to share, I haven’t done so for a number of reasons.

For one thing, there are so many. For another, I’ve wondered how exactly to go about it when it’s done retroactively, as though somehow they aren’t as relevant to people as something shared at the moment. I’ve also doubted whether it would jive with my music or any emerging sense of brand/self-promotion–which finally leads to the greater doubt and biggest reason of them all: my own mixed feelings regarding social media itself.

On the one hand, like a lot of people, I think it’s a cool way to express yourself and maybe even inspire others to try something they haven’t done before. On the other hand, it’s an avenue that can very easily get twisted into a petty waste of time that takes us away from our loved ones, our planet and ourselves.

Like any real dynamic institution in the world, it is what we make it.

Acting kind of sassy at our campground in Mammoth Hot Springs; Yellowstone National Park.

I will never get better about posting in the moment, but I also don’t think I want to either, for reasons that are now probably obvious. However, the places I’ve been lucky enough to see, some very recently, matter to me. They’ve shaped me into the person I am, as they will surely continue to do.

For that reason, I’d like to specifically thank the National Park Service. Over the past few years, I’ve had the opportunity to visit some of the most extraordinary places in the world, right here in my own country. The experience has brought me very close to the natural world, and to myself, in a way that I could never have dreamed. Luckily the experience is ongoing, the kind of thing toward which you spend a lifetime doing justice through words and images alone.

All I can say right off the bat is “Go see it for yourself.” And that applies not just to the parks but to anywhere in the world. With the right attitude, one of openness and respect, exploring your environment will inevitably change you.

Me and my new Stetson hat, venturing out into Lamar Valley; Yellowstone National Park

Anyway without these experiences, there would be no me, and certainly no music; and it’s a consistent remembrance that’s bound to show up in more posts, more images and songs.

On an additional note, the parks taught me the importance of global conservation and environmental sustainability, as well as the need for the parks themselves to remain protected and public, as a true democratic institution resting not in the hands of profit-driven commercial developers, but in our hands.

Everyone has the right to experience these places as I have, regardless of status, race or creed, both now and in generations to come. It’s an understanding which has made me not only a better man, but a better citizen—both of this country and of this planet.

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