IV. As Exile

The Himalayan legend says
there are beautiful white birds
that live completely in flight.
They are born in the air,

must learn to fly before falling
and die also in their flying.
Maybe you have been born
into such a life

with the bottom dropping out.

from "In Flight" by Jennifer K. Sweeney

Our trip to Russia had to occur via ferry from Helsinki, departing in the evening which meant we were just in time for the 8PM golden hour — gotta love summer in northern Europe. And what a sight as we stepped out - a hundred or so seagulls following behind the ship, eagerly awaiting the food being held out by a surly Russian lady who may have been part of the crew or just a seagull enthusiast. Much like the Pigeon Man, there’s just something majestic about a flock of birds in flight that takes my breath away, especially here against the deep backdrop of the endless ocean horizon.

Another thing that took my breath away: finding out how to unlock Noora’s supermodel potential as we scrambled for an impromptu photoshoot, using only what we were wearing between us, just in time for golden hour to give her both the dramatic and soft lighting we needed, plus a built-in wind machine amped up to the elevens.

Secret: tell her to look really pissed off.