There is very little sound in space. Can you imagine what the sun would sound like if you could hear it up close? Fortunately, we hear the echoes of the sun’s silent roar here on earth. We can also see the influence and power of our life-giving star. Here a few videos I took today at one of my favorite parks. I also include a photograph below. I love the contrast of green and blue…I don’t know why…but it is so beautiful. When I experience and enjoy days like this…and I reflect on my life…I would be ok if death came calling…after such a walk. I have loved…I have succeeded…I have failed…I have lived.
This is one of my favorite color photographs I have taken. I was living on the Greek island Santorini (Thira) for several months and I was trying to figure out how to capture or symbolize the depth of the ancient Greek soul and what “blossomed” from that soul at its peak. Well, this is what I came up with. This island is so beautiful…scene of an enormous volcanic explosion combined with the deepest blue water you will ever see so close to land. This basic yellow wild flower grows all along the caldera and they are so beautiful against the backdrop of the deep blue.
White Spark, Margo Wiessman, Absolute Winter, Snow Flake, and I am sure she has other names…re-worked my images of images on photo shop…and she did quite a job. I have offered her a job to be my lab assistant…will have to wait and see…lol…go check out her site and beautiful photographs…Margo Wiessman. Thank you Margo for playing around with these and giving them some life. Perhaps I will have to give up film and go digital…yet more reliance on technology!!!!
Civilized, crying how to be human again: this will tell you how. Turn outward, love things, not men,
turn right away from humanity, Let that doll lie. Consider if you like how the lilies grow,
Lean on the silent rock until you feel its divinity
Make your veins cold, look at the silent stars, let your eyes Climb the great ladder out of the pit of
yourself and man. Things are so beautiful, your love will follow your eyes; Things are the God, you
will love God, and not in vain,
For what we love, we grow to it, we share its nature. At length You will look back along the stars’
rays and see that even The poor doll humanity has a place under heaven.
Its qualities repair their mosaic around you, the chips of strength And sickness; but now you are free,
even to become human, But born of the rock and the air, not of a woman.
Robinson Jeffers — “Sign-Post”
I flew out of the Northwest a few days ago with my son to visit my parents. One of the only things I enjoy about flying these days is the view out the window. Every now and then, I can catch sight of a Cascade volcano…one of my favorite photographic subjects in the Northwest. I asked my son to take this picture of Mt. Adams since I gave him the window seat! Isn’t this an ominous and beautiful looking land form? There are so many powerful processes involved in such a formation.
I was also shocked to see that my parents (found out it was my mom) had actually hung up some of the black and white prints I developed eight or nine years ago. I didn’t even know my mom had these prints. These prints are really sign-posts for me. They are also points of awkwardness — my parents didn’t support my desire to dedicate myself and energy to landscape photography. But, this will be covered in some upcoming journal posts. I had to take pictures of these framed pictures (would never pick black matt for framing!!!) so there is some glare that distorts the black and white shades. The images are much clearer and better contrast when viewing in person…but oh well. These photos were taken with my 4×5 Arca Swiss and I processed the prints at a community dark room.
This gallery contains 5 photos.
I will continue with my journal writing project, but I already know where I am leading myself — to devote serious time and energy to landscape photography in the Northwest. This man below inspired me in the past…and he still does today. I found this short creative piece to be very “soothing”. Strange word to use isn’t it? This post is also for White Spark…a very talented and dedicated photographer who also likes Ansel Adams. Visit her site and see some of her honest work if you have time…especially the winter photographs…because for some reason…she likes winter.
Indeed, your present condition is critical given your financial state of affairs. But, over the last several miserable years, you have, believe it or not, awoken.
It is because of your misery that you began to write once again. The last time you wrote anything of content on a regular basis was during your short breath of freedom traveling alone throughout Europe for over a year. Remember that? Remember…that was when you decided to become a landscape photographer? That was when you picked your subject matter — the cascade volcanoes and the northwest coast. What happened with that idea? Yes, you did take some significant quality photographs with your large format camera and produced some fine prints, but that only lasted for a few years. Eventually, you let yourself get swept up completely by the momentum–years rushed on by with the great wave. You let yourself become numb and fell asleep. Now it is time to begin the process of waking up. Writing is a good sign that the sleeper has awoken.
You have also learned an important skill in the last year – surviving with very little. You never were very good with money, credit, or debt, even when you were making big money. The temptation to Live, when there was actually time to Live, over-powered any sense of restraint. Not that you lived high off the hog. Hell, all you did was enjoy eating out, traveling, paying for a house and car, golf, romance – of course that is all extra expense in addition to all the other shit that costs money to live “the dream”. You were just doing what most people do that are riding with the momentum, except, you may have been a little more aware of how valuable the time to actually Live really was. And, now that you have fallen from the crest of that momentum, you realize how insanely expensive it is to ride that wave and actually Live, both in terms of time and money.
Believe it or not, your current miserable job is also good for you. You can actually see and feel the very base and nature of the wave and from where it draws its power. You get to experience it firsthand — you and the other slaves that reluctantly perpetuate the momentum, with no benefits, and not enough money to live. You can see, hear, smell, taste, and feel how much the human being is truly worth to the momentum. In your previous high paying desk jobs, the pain and realization of your slavery, wasted time and energy, was masked by the thin veneer of sedation, contentment, and acceptance. But now, when you are at work, there is no confusion…this is work…not a passion…not a career…not achievement…not fulfilling…not important…not important other than the fact one needs to engage with the momentum in some shape or form to be able to live. The key difference is a clear, conscious break and divorce from any delusion that the momentum has anything to do with your passions, interests, or fulfillment. The problem of course is…how do you get from living to Living and Becoming?
I may offend or disturb some people, but that really isn’t my intention. I have always found natural disasters to be terrifying, but also exciting and enlightening — an awakening from an unconscious state to an intense short-lived glimpse into reality. I have experienced several large earthquakes when I lived in California as well as some violent storms when I resided in Florida. I was terrified, of course, but I also felt like the events had shaken me from a long drowsy state of being that tends to assume our planet is a peaceful place built just for us.
Natural disasters, whether it be an earthquake, a tsunami, a hurricane, a tornado, or a volcanic eruption, reminds us that the planet and the universe is a very chaotic, powerful enigma that continually changes without regard to our existence. Although we have five senses and we have learned a great deal about the nature of the earth and the universe at large, we rarely comprehend what it means. We can’t feel or sense the huge chunks of continents we are standing on move…they are all moving right now. We can’t feel the intense heat at the center of the earth that is driving these continents to move. We can’t feel the earth free-falling through space at hundreds of thousands of miles per hour. We can’t comprehend the enormity and complexity of forces that combine to form a massive energetic hurricane.
The forces of the earth and the universe are obscure to our senses and work on a much grander time scale compared to our internal and man-made clock. We are insulated from what is really going on all around us. It is only now and again, through the terror of a natural disaster, that we get a sense or a glimpse into the power of creation and its counterpart, destruction. One of my favorite photographic subjects in the Northwest is the Cascade volcanoes — Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams, Mt. Saint Helens, Mt. Hood, and Mt. Baker. These land forms are so impressive relative to the surrounding landscape — they stand out like alien beacons to signal that there is something mysterious at work…a secret…a gateway to comprehending reality. They provide so much majestic beauty — from the towering glaciated peaks, down through the abundant pines, rush rivers that fill up lakes or replenish the ocean. So much wildlife thrives around these imposing giants — yet in an instant, these masses of swelling rock and ice can violently explode and wipe out everything around the perimeter. Incredible powers of creation and destruction, a process that repeats over and over again on earth and throughout the universe — this is a piece of reality.
Two men debate the same old issues and tell the dumbed-down masses what they want to hear. As if one middle-aged decaying corrupt corpse could actually reverse our self-made death spiral.
Meanwhile, the leaves have begun to change color at this small corner of the planet. The winds have picked up and a slight chill penetrates to the skin. Two young people, whom believe in true love, walk in a tree-lined park holding hands admiring each other and the autumn leaves. The colorful leaves drink the last drops of fading golden light.
Soon, strong winds will approach with cold that penetrates bone. The leaves will be torn free to die and enrich the soil. Little children will heap up piles and plunge into that which gave them air and now soil to grow.
The change in season hints that we are part of something infinitely larger than man and his silly age-old adolescent problems. The earth’s tilt, rotation, and orbit around the sun determines the change in season. The earth, the sun, our galaxy, every galaxy, are plunging through the vastness of eternity at incredible speeds with no guarantees for a tomorrow.
So let these narcissistic men twirl their wretched tongues. I prefer to listen to the wind blowing through the trees and watching the fading light flicker among the colorful leaves.