Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… It remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.
~ Aaron Siskind
A photographer for over forty years, Nolan Preece has devoted his career to understanding and mastering the challenging techniques of early photography by creating chemigrams.Preece been working with these chemically derived images since 1981.A chemigram combines the physics of painting (varnish, wax, oil) and the chemistry of photography (photosensitive emulsion, developer, fixer) without the use of a camera, an enlarger, and in full light.Experimentation with chemistry and photographic paper to produce various visual effects and themes describes the direction of this work.
These photographs are a combination of cameraless photography and the manipulation of photographic materials by using them as painting media.
The printmaking aspect is the resistance he puts on the paper. He uses chemistry to create the final product.
It is also important to state that this method of working often produces several levels of meanings brought together to create a sense of connection which is intuitive, unconscious and abstract. The images are more accurately felt than observed.
More of Nolan Preece’s amazing work can be found at http://www.nolanpreece.com/
There is something about Christian Richter‘s photography that is hauntingly beautiful.
The photographer developed a certain fondness for derelict buildings, some of which could have been listed and preserved as cultural heritage sites, but which had fallen into irreversible disrepair. He photographs places that have been by the world, by man, by the people who created them in the first place.
ichter tells that when he was young he fell in love with aRbandoned buildings.
After he got a camera as a present, he started photographing the beauty there. He mostly photographs empty buildings with great staircases or interiors.
The locations were as diverse as factory shop floors, chapels or theaters, and what they all had in common was that you entered them at your own peril.
Fascinatingly deserted. We are drawn to this beautiful emptiness is that we can envision what their world was like when they were new.
Christian Richter does not have a particular website, but you can find his work at christianrichter, and at Bored Panda.
French photographer Francis Meslet roams the world searching for abandoned places and striking architectural structures.Like time capsules, testifying to a parallel world and perfect for enabling the mind to wander and ponder, Meslet’s melancholic images brave the passage of time, making way for silence after the memories often left behind by human habitation.In these deserted places, no more than the rustling of the wind can be heard through a broken window or the sound of water dripping from a dilapidated ceiling.These silences nonetheless invite the spectator to slip into these well-guarded and mysterious places captured by the photographer and attempt to bring to life that which has been forgotten.
Meslet’s worlds are the reflection of perfection forgotten.
Ellie Davies has have been working in UK forests for the past eight years, making work which explores the complex interrelationship between the landscape and the individual.
Davies notes UK forests have been shaped by human processes over thousands of years and include ancient woodlands, timber forestry, wildlife reserves and protected Areas of Outstanding Natural.
As such, forests are potent symbols in folklore, fairy tale and myth, places of enchantment and magic as well as of danger and mystery.
The forest becomes a studio, forming a backdrop to contextualize the work, so that each piece draws on its location, a golden tree introduced into a thicket shimmers in the darkness, painted paths snake through the undergrowth, and strands of wool are woven between trees mirroring colors and formal elements within the space.
More of Ellie Davies’ fantastic photography can be found at https://elliedavies.co.uk/.
Rita Faes is a photographer who lives in Belgium. The details she finds and brings out in her images is amazing.
The colors and the flowers she finds are remarkable.
You can find more of Rita’s marvelous work at her old blog (which is inactive but full of beautiful photography) , https://gwenniesworld.wordpress.com), but definitely sign up and follow her at her new site, https://gwenniesgardenworld.wordpress.com/
Oh, I took pictures when I was young. First married. Family, my brothers, my dad. With my kids through school and high school. But they are all sitting in a box somewhere, waiting for my A.D.H.D. to slow down enough to go through all of them.
Then came my first Smartphone. And my learning about Picasa (which has turned into Google Photos).
I am hooked.
You would think I were a master photographer the way I run around taking pictures of everything. Of course, grandkids take up the majority of the space on both Google and my phone. Kids walking. Kids laughing. Kids falling down. Kids in daddy’s shoes. Kids standing on the picnic table. Kids Kids Kids.
None of those would win a photo contest, but to me they are unique moments in time that will never happen again. It’s like driving down a deserted road and watching a leaf fall from a tree. You are the only one in the universe that saw that leaf make its final journey to the ground. How special is that?
Of course, life is made up of special moments. 16 hours a day (the other 8 for sleep, a special moment all its own), 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year.
That’s a lot of camera moments.
I’m also the nature picture girl. I’ve got a thing about taking pictures of clouds, woods, water, animals (when I find them), plants, old houses, old barns — anything that looks like an elf or a faerie could be just around the corner. My husband chuckles at all the path-through-the-woods pictures on my phone. I mean — how many cool paths can there be?
At my age, EVERY path is a cool path. I imagine the turn in the road, the path not taken, the path that leads to Hobbiton and Brigadoon and Diagon Alley. That barn covered in ivy and disrepair might be the gateway to Neverland. That flower in all its unique glory could just have been danced upon by faeries. Pictures of unusual places and things tickles my imagination, and the most wonderful things come out the other end.
Maybe all this is nothing more than wanting to retain images of the things I love before the end. That when I’m old and gray I can look at these pictures and remember when — if at all. For we all have a “when”. And it flies by too fast.
Don’t be afraid to use your camera/Iphone/Android. Create worlds of your own with just a click. Delete the ones that don’t take you to Avalon, Asgard, or to your family and friends. Then let your imagination take you where it will.
Get the photo bug today!
Inspired by nature, recognized body painter Johannes Stoetter turns living models into animals, fruits, flowers, or blends them with the surroundings.
These impressively detailed paintings take up to five months of thorough planning and up to eight hours of work to complete.
The winner of the World Bodypainting Championship in 2012 says that the key to success is to love what you’re doing.
Stoetter says, “I think I observe the world, nature, colors and shapes with very clear eyes and an open heart. And painting is my big passion.”
Looking at his compositions, you can see just how passionate he is.
You can find more of Johannes Stoetter’s work at johannesstoetterart.com .
Seung Hoon Park, an artist from Seoul, S. Korea, is creating the most unusual images with the use of a camera and threading the film to mimic the look of woven textiles.
Each image begins with 8mm or 16mm camera film strips which he lays down in rows to create a larger surface that effectively acts as a single piece of film.
Park then exposes two images in a large format 8×10″ camera using sets of vertical and horizontal strips which are woven together to create a final print.
The final image is a blend of mediums: both photograph as well as woven textile; by threading the film together, Park creates beautifully captivating scenes with textured distortions.
Park has traveled to locations around the world including Rome, Milan, Venice and Prague to shoot images for his ongoing series titled Textus.
More of Seung Hoon Park’s fascinating photography art can be found at https://susanspiritusgallery.com/artist/seung-hoon-park/ . and https://theartling.com/en/artists/seung-hoon-park/ .
Artist Colin Batty puts an amusingly strange spin on photographs of the past.
Taking cabinet cards from the early 1900s, he uses acrylic paint and crafts entirely new and surprising scenes directly on the image.
It’s so convincing that at first glance, you might not notice the images were even changed.
The amazing part is that Batty does this work all by hand — you won’t find a single image Photoshopped in his collection of cards.
More of Colin Batty‘s amazing photography art can be found at http://www.peculiarium.com/colin-batty.
Inspired by the men on bicycles toting impossible mounds of objects he witnessed in Shanghai, French photographer Alain Delorme defies physics with his “Totems” series.
Delorme creates colorful, stylized works that play with our notion of photography as an objective medium.
His series “Totems” surprises with its bright comic book colors and shapes, and ‘can you believe it?’ effect.
The viewer is emerged into a world of exaggerated accumulation, of both everyday objects and towering buildings, an accumulation that has rendered society a slave to the objects it has itself created.
Alain has captured the physical, city translation of the economic growth Shanghai is presently undergoing, in the skyscrapers shooting up in the background, while not forgetting to qualify its success with the walls separating a large part of the population from it.
More of Alain Delorme‘s amazing photography can be found at https://www.alaindelorme.com/.
British photographer Nick Veasey uses industrial X-ray machines to discover what makes up the natural world and highlight the surprising, inner beauty in some of the most common objects.
Veasey got the idea to use X-ray machines for art while dating the daughter of a truck driver who was transporting thousands of soda cans, one of which contained a prize worth 100,000 pounds.
He rented an X-ray machine from a local hospital to find the winning can. Although he was unsuccessful, he credits this moment for sparking the idea that launched his career.
Due to the high risk of working with radiation, Veasey custom built a concrete structure to contain it.
To get his pictures, subjects are placed on a lead surface with film behind it. The X-rays pass through the subject and then onto the film where from there he can control the exposure time in a separate room.
Veasey doesn’t actually use any human subjects, as they would have to endure radiation for about 12 minutes. Instead, when a model is needed, he uses skeletons in rubber suits or cadavers that have been donated to science.
Veasey focuses on finding an antidote to the “obsession with appearance” by revealing the beauty within.
Veasey’s work also comments on our society’s increasing paranoia and control by security and surveillance. “To create art with the technology … that helps remove the freedom and individuality in our lives … brings a smile to my face.”
More of Nick Veasley’s fantastic photography can be found at http://www.nickveasey.com/.
Australian photographer Steve Axford ventures into forested areas near his home in New South Wales to photograph the unusual forms of fungi, slime molds, and lichens he finds growing there.
The permutations in color, shape, and size found in each specimen are a testament to the radical diversity of living creatures found in just a small area.
His amazing photography catches images of fungi most have never seen.
Steve lives and works in the Northern Rivers area of New South Wales in Australia where he often travels to remote locations to document the living world around him.
The delicacy and uniqueness of the fungi is beyond imagination.
It’s his work tracking down some of the world’s strangest and brilliantly diverse mushrooms and other fungi that has resulted in an audience of followers who wait to see what he’s captured next.
More of Steve Axford‘s amazing photography can be found at Flicker https://www.flickr.com/photos/steveaxford/sets/7215762943586123/and https://steveaxford.smugmug.com/
I tend to shy away from commenting on photography blogs, because with today’s equipment the most fantastic images can be found all over the Internet, and I am in awe of it all.
I take a personal interest in Gwennie’s World (https://gwenniesworld.wordpress.com/) and her former blog Gwennie’s Garden (https://gwenniesgarden.wordpress.com/) because her photos are so up close and personal. I have tried flower photography myself, but since my only weapon is a cellphone, they pale in comparison.
Maybe it’s because I’m all thumbs at gardening, or that she lives in the North of Belgium at the border with the Netherlands, but I have never seen such gorgeous pictures of plants. Whether from a flower show or her own garden, Rita has a knack for catching the details of the simplest — and most unique — plants.
I really want you to take time and drop over to her blog, Gwennies World, and see her magic for yourself. Here are some images to get you going:
Thanks for joining me on this fun Side Trip! See you Soon!
A busy weekend has taken me far away from my Artful meanderings. Taking care of family has superceded strolling down the softly-lit backstreet of the Sunday Evening Art Gallery.
So please sip your wine, your tea, your milk-in-in-a-wine-glass, and come peek at past Gallery surprises!
Alexandre Duret-Lutz, a Paris-born photographer, uses a Pentax K10D with fisheye lens to focus on spherical panoramas and Escheresque spirals.
Expressed in technical terms, Alexandre calls his images “stereographic projections of equirectangular panoramas”.
His perspective makes his work beautiful and dizzying.
His website Wee Planets reflect his fascination with curvature and panoramas.
More of Alexandre Duret-Lutz‘s photography can be found at the following sites:
Be sure to go and take a whirl at his photography!
Tonight’s Gallery is a break between worlds. A pause between dreams.
I am so delighted with the direction of the Sunday Evening Art Gallery that I am taking time to make it whole and circular and ever spiraling. I hope that every Sunday Evening I bring more magic into your life; more sights to share with family and friends; more ideas to bring creativity to your own life.
I hope to expand my site http://www.sundayeveningartgallery.wordpress.com into a continuation of the uniqueness I find around me. That includes changing the domain name and making it a presence like no other.
So for our intermission, let me share a few of my (amateur) photographs of the world around me.
Let us wander the roads and lake shores together, setting our imaginations of fire, and find out what lies just around the corner…
A beautiful evening for beautiful images!
Last October I created a Sunday Evening Art Gallery in here called Trees (http://wp.me/s1pIBL-trees).
And since it is Spring, and trees are budding and blooming, I have opened a new gallery in THE Sunday Evening Art Gallery called….yes….Trees!
Come and see the diversity Mother Nature shares in the form of Trees.
I have to admit that I am having a ball with the Sunday Evening Art Gallery part of the blog. Every time I turn around I find one sort or another of Art and Creativity that makes me go, “Woah! What is this?”
I’m also blown away by good writing: insightful blogs, humorous blogs, books, poetry. I often want to cut and paste all the great stuff I’ve come across for future reference. But if I kept everything I found, I’d have to link three or four computers together for research.
There are so many branches of the Creative Tree of Life I’d like to climb. Don’t you feel that way sometimes? Maybe its rooted in in my monochrome job. Computer play I like. Computer data entry, I do not. But it pays the bills and the co-workers are fun and it makes my day. So I do the best I can.
Needless to say, most of my spare minutes (break time, lunch time, bathroom time) is devoted to playing in my mind. I look at the bracelet I’m wearing at work that day, something I bought at one of those over-priced jewelry parties, and say, “Man...I can make this!” I read about friends’ blogs on photography, cats, cooking, and I think, “Wow! I can do this!” I read a great novel, something fast and fun and romantic, and I think, “Man…I can write this!”
And of course there’s always been the traveling thing. I’ve got friends who write traveling RVs blogs and others who pursue quaint castles and villas. I want to visit all the out-of-the-way places. I want to visit the museums in Italy and the moors of Scotland and the ranches in Texas. I’d love to go to a Broadway play and go to the Cherry Blossom Festival in Japan and drink hot chocolate at a Swiss chalet.
There’s always so much I want to do. So many worlds to explore, so many things to try. But because of time and money and Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, there’s so many things I’ll not be able to do.
I have managed to keep my fingers in the pies of creativity through the years. I’ve painted iron gates and stone walls and pots overflowing with ivy on the wall; I’ve painted faux bricks around my dining room, and I’ve planted some awesome herb gardens. But my taste in activities has changed as I’ve gotten older. Maybe I’ve just worn out the old ideas — or maybe I’ve just run out of walls.
It could just be Spring Fever knocking at my door. Warm evenings and pink skies can do that to one. But sometimes I feel like a kid standing outside of Disneyworld. I want to ride everything at once. And I feel I’m running out of time.
Do you get struck with wanderlust like this? I know you have to pick and choose — everything from life to love to TV shows. We can turn this way, that way. But in the end we have to choose one over another. And when the choices are all so sweet, so enchanting, so revealing, it’s hard.
Let me know if you’ve had to choose, or if you’re still choosing your creative path. Are you are managing to do more than less, or if you are a one-thrill-at-a-time creator. Have you been tempted? Do you do a little of lots or lots of just a little?
Let’s all wander together, shall we?
Alas, writers always write faster than they think. And here it is, Sunday evening, and I’ve been doing a lot of thinking.
I so want to open an additional page on this website to highlight all the extraordinary images of Art I have come across through my travels. Images that add to the Sunday evening blogs I’ve been creating for you. But I’ve been dissatisfied with my progress, my ideas, my inability to put my thoughts onto the page in just the right way so that I can share them with you.
Like all of you creative muses out there know, you can’t put something out there until it feels right. Yes, there will always be something that needs to be tweaked; thank goodness there is no such thing as perfection. But it it doesn’t feel right *here* you shouldn’t put it out *there*. You need to take your time. You need to get it right.
So instead, I am going to offer some my own photographs on my Sunday Evening Art Gallery blog…photographs I took. I am in love with color, so that is what this gallery is called. Colors. I hope you enjoy them.
As I work on revising my Sunday Evening Unique Art page to include all the great art I have found, I want to turn you onto another blogger and the fantastic art he led me to.
Live & Learn by my friend David Kanigan is a wonderfully creative world where he brings in poetry, quotations, photography — whatever his inspiration at the time. I asked (and he graciously agreed) to let me highlight an artist he highlighted a few weeks ago.
Brussels-based photographer Jeffrey Vanhoutte created this stunning project featuring an acrobatic dancer displaying various expressive poses that seem to be frozen in time.
The dancer throws clouds of powdered milk up in the air while fulfilling graceful and fluid movements.
A unique look at movement in motion. A spray caught in mid-air.
Movement is art — photography is art. This is a delicate combination of the two.
More of Jeffrey Vanhoutte’s black and white marvels can be found at http://www.ignant.de/2015/01/14/dancer-freezes-time-in-jeffrey-vanhouttes-project/ or at http://www.designboom.com/art/jeffrey-vanhoutte-freezes-acrobatic-angels-in-powdered-milk-showers-01-20-2015/.
You can find Jeffrey’s unique art at his own website as well, http://www.jeffreyvanhoutte.be/.
And do stop by David’s blog, Live & Learn — http://davidkanigan.com. Tell him the Goddess sent you!
“To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.” William Blake
I’ve always loved that quotation. Full of imagery, full of chances to make magic. So many imagery paths to choose. But which one?
Who really ever thinks of sand? The dictionary defines sand as “small loose grains of worn or disintegrated rock.” Rock. Building blocks of roads, mountains, and gardens. Boulders and cliffs. Sand is merely the accumulation of hundreds and thousands of years of erosion. Isn’t it?
Sand fills our beaches, mixes with our soil, pots our plants. We wash it off our feet and make castles out of it. So versatile, so insignificant.
But if you stop by Dr. Gary Greenberg’s world, you will find grains of sand are so much more than that. For Greenberg, his photography, his art, is a doorway through which we can more deeply embrace nature. His mission is to reveal the secret beauty of the microscopic landscape that makes up our everyday world.
The more I see the intricacies of the world, the more I am amazed. Astounded.
See more microscopic visions at www.sandgrains.com. You will be amazed, astounded, and humbled too.
Water. So soothing. So refreshing. So tumultuous. A friend one day, an adversary the next. Yet it makes up 70% of our bodies.
I have seen hundreds of beautiful images of water. Waterfalls, lakes, oceans. One is as breathtaking as the next. But when I came across Clark Little’s take of water, I found a new inspiration from it.
Clark not only takes pictures of water, of waves, but takes them from an angle only surfers can see. And in his creativity, he captures not only the force of water but the peace that lies just beyond.
Whenever I see pictures like this, I imagine a story to go with it. But then again, any extraordinary image can have a story to go with it. I love pictures that make me ask, “How do they do that?”
Alas, like the magician and their tricks, if you knew how it was done, a bit of the sparkle goes with it. I would rather look at something in awe and keep the childlike wonder of how it works.
You can find more of Clark’s wonderful photography at http://www.clarklittlephotography.com/. And go ahead — take your time — wander through the waves. A whole new world exists just on the other side of it.
The older I get (I never get tired of saying that!), the more I am taking time to discover corners of the world that I’ve never seen before. Now, that statement is all encompassing, all omnipotent. Yet for me, it’s very simple. I can only explore one line of extraordinary at a time. There is fantastic scenery, scrumptious foods, unusual land formations and mystical forms to be discovered.
For me, it is Unique Art.
What does that mean?
There are thousands of fantastic images floating around the Internet. Blogs and websites dedicated to all branches of the hallowed world of sculpture, photography, painting, sketching. I couldn’t possibly visit, showcase, and recommend all the beauty that exists outside my middle-aged sphere.
So I have decided that once a week I will showcase creativity that stands outside of reality. Outside the every day. Now, everything can fit into those parameters. So I hope to show you images you’ve never seen or imagined or saw somewhere on Facebook and let pass. Some will have links to websites; others will just be visions that have passed my way. I will honor the sites I borrow the visions from, and I do hope you take a few minutes to visit their homeworld.
If you’ve come across any unique worlds, let me know. Let’s make our next 20 years as out-of-the-box as we can make it!
And if any of my wanders tickle your fancy, let me know that, too. For I’d love to have company along the way….
Like many or most of you, I love the written word. When used correctly, words can expand three times their height and width as they push their way into your thoughts and heart. Of course, we all like different words. That’s the beauty of freedom — we can nod at one and shake our head at another, yet appreciate both.
One of the blogs I follow is written by a very creative and talented writer and visual artist. I was struck by her imagery and imagination. I just love the images that pop with each turn. Unfortunately, this creativeness was brought about by a migraine, not the sort of writing prop we look for. While I wish her swift healing and relief from what can be a debilitating episode, I asked (and was granted) permission to share her creativity. It’s a little over 1,300 words, but I think you will appreciate them all.
If you enjoy what you read, pop on over and check out her website: Inner Focus (www.katmphotography.wordpress.com). It’s a wonderful combination of poetry and art.
a new fever has me in its clutches… i can feel her long, bony, icy fingers twist my spine and contort my brain… i need paracetamol… i need a glass of water… i need to sleep…
but sleep won’t come easy…
paracetamol… a glass of water… bed.
i climb into bed… i am shaking… my hands are tingling… am i hungry..? am i over-tired..? i feel exhausted… i feel sick… nausea rushes at me like a jealous mistress… my head feels twice the size it should be… my forehead is hot… my feet are cold… i am shaking… i swallow the pills and wash them down with a long drink of water.
i climb into bed… the pillow feels cool beneath my heavy skull… i close my eyes and then it starts… i must ride this out until it breaks…
micro flashing neon lights spark inside my minds eye, igniting visions… visions… murky, but i look deeper… deeper into the grain and chaos… i see a face… a man’s face… it is Stalin… he is standing outside an old house… a house on a wild beach… a house with a red door… suddenly, he vomits all over himself… then dissolves into a puddle on the ground… i look out to sea… but the sea is not a sea… it is a vast expanse of rippling silken fabric, billowing in the breeze… i look up to the sky… a pterodactyl swoops in low over the water towards me… i duck for cover and close my eyes tight, anticipating being snatched up by the giant predatory bird… nothing… the wind has picked up the pace and snatches my breath… i gasp and open my eyes… i find myself atop one of the steel eagles that grace the lofty Chrysler Building in NYC… i am terrified… the wind is strong… my hair whips my face… i am too scared to look down… but i do… and now my palms are wet, sweating… i cannot hold on, i lose my grip… but wait! i am typing… i am sat at a desk, in the middle of a forest, and i am typing… typing incoherent words on a sheet of stiff, white paper… The typewriter is old and battered and clunky… a pale blue Olivetti electric typewriter… my curious eyes follow the flex… it is plugged into a giant snail… the sound of my fingers tapping the keys rattles my brain… the words make no sense… the words make me shiver… i open a cupboard… an old farmhouse style larder- just like the one my Aunt Mary had at Fullerton Farm… i open the door and find hundreds of tins of Baked Beans… i close the door… but the door is a mirror now… i stare at my own reflection… i smile to her, but she does not smile back… she is naked… pale, gaunt… two headless horses appear behind me… one black as night, The other white as snow… the white one speaks to me in a language i cannot comprehend… but we start to dance… the floor beneath me turns to silver sand… the sun is beating down on me… i pull the quilt around me and nestle into the comfort and familiarity of my bed, despite the madness of these visions… visions i have no control over… i cannot make them stop… they come, in a flood… my mind is a fairground… i look at my hands… six fingers on each hand… i cut off the tips of my fingers with a large pair of shears… they are bleeding… i put on a pair of bright yellow rubber gloves and go outside into the night… there are two moons in the sky… both are full and resplendent… the night is cool… i am alone… i look to my left and the buildings start to crumble and fall… an apple falls from the sky and rolls towards me, stopping at my feet… It speaks to me… beckoning me to take bite… i pick up the lilac apple and bite into its soft, juicy flesh… it tastes salty… so i throw it away… it explodes on impact… in the distance, i hear a child’s voice… it is my lover’a son… he appears out of nowhere, wearing a flappy bird t-shirt and red jeans… he is barefoot, as i am… he takes my hand and tells me to follow him… i do… suddenly, i find myself, alone, inside a computer… i look at my hands… i am made of pixels… i peer through the screen and see a morbidly obese man, sitting on his sofa with a boxful of donuts… he is playing a computer game… he is controlling me and my movements… he is controlling the CGI world i now find myself locked in… i like it here, but i cannot stay… i call out for my lover’a son… but he is gone… he has left me a note… it reads “gone fishing, be home Tuesday!”… i smell coffee… i look down and find myself in a bathtub full of warm, steaming coffee… it stains my skin… my lover appears… he dries my wet skin with a cloud, gently patting it dry… he lovingly combs my wet hair and strokes my face… we kiss… and float out the wind into space… we swim through the stratosphere and look back at Earth… it looks radiant and blue… i take a bite… it tastes like battery acid… the shock cuts my tongue and i spit out blood and a chunk of France… “it never used to taste like this…” says my lover, his eyes filled with tears… he spits a mouthful of India out into the blue stratospheric air… he fades into the night… “soon…” he says, blowing kisses as he dissolves into the ether… i find myself in a deep, Belfast sink… the cold tap is turned on and the sink is filling up with tiny sea horses and goldfish… they sparkle and shimmer and swim around me… but i need to urinate… i open my eyes, climb out of bed and make my way to the bathroom across the hall… my legs are shaking… i feel weak… perhaps sleep will come soon… i hope for a dreamless sleep… but instead, i find myself in a field full of rabbits… hundreds and thousands of rabbits… rabbits of all different colours… the pink ones are my favourites… odd… i hate the colour pink… but they are the friendliest… i reach up to the sky and reel in the sun… i hold it in my hands… it burns, but only momentarily… my cold hands chill its fire and it turns from burning amber to brittle blue… the sun shatters in my hands… i am left holding fragments of turquoise glass… i throw the shards up into the air… they tinkle and twinkle against the sky, like dying light… The tranquility of their peaceful chimes turns into an ugly chaos as the fragments of harmless light turn into bullets… they rain down all around me… everything has turned to dust… children lie dead around me… women scream… another bomb goes off… the ground shakes, like the thunder of the apocalypse… there is no colour… everything is grey… the course of death… i hear the wail of an electric guitar… someone, somewhere is playing a guitar… it wails, like a wounded animal… i cover my ears and crouch down, holding myself… crying… i open my eyes and see a young deer, chewing a leafy twig, at the foot of my sweating bed…
the pillow is damp… i turn it over and, with trembling hands, i gulp down a glass of cold, clean water… i close my eyes… please let me sleep… a dreamless sleep… please… these rapid fire flashbacks of former trips inside my minds eye and visions of my subconscious’ innermost thoughts and fears, as surreal as they are, are raping my brain… i am exhausted… i want calm… i want to feel well again… i look at the time… three hours have passed… i have been away for three hours…
i take two more pills, and water… and close my eyes…
but wait! my feet are covered in sand…
I’ve been having a thing for photography lately. I am a writer by heart, but my recently-discovered ADD (my own diagnosis) has opened a number of other doors of possibilities. I had some half-idea of starting a second blog, maybe under my name, maybe not, that would pretzel together faerie hiding places, scenic photography, and sprinkles of poetry, quotations, and philosophy. It’s still a crysalis, waiting to butterfly, but it’s just another road that I want to drive down. Even if it’s a dead end. I don’t have a fancy camera; the camera on my phone is about the best I can do. I try and capture the magic of the wild, of places where faeries might hide, and all that.
This photography thing is kinda getting out of hand, though. Last week I did a double-role dance with my SUV (I survived, and am fine). Landed on the tires. My phone, IPod, and various things had flown out the shattered window, leaving me dazed and photoless. Once I came to my wits and found that I was indeed alive, not bleeding, nothing broken or missing, a passerby called 911 and the possey came to the rescue. Someone found my phone and I called hubby who in turn called son, and both personal calvary came to the rescue, along with the county Sheriff and local EMTs. My doors were crushed in, so I had to have one pryed off so I could make a graceful exit to the ambulance.
So what does this have to do with my story? Well, seeing as I was no more off center than usual, as the sheriff and others talked to me, I was handing my phone to my son, saying, “Take pictures! Take pictures!” Of what, praytell? My crooked view of the sky? Of men in yellow jackets? Of a SUV that had seen better days?
The seeds of creativity are planted deep. They sprout helter skelter, like in a wild field. You never know when creativity will rear its sassy head. Sitting in the passenger side, waiting for them to kindly open my crushed-in door, I’m more interested in taking pictures of the moment, than wondering if I’ve got a concussion or a broken leg. I’m surprised I didn’t pull out a spiral notebook from my bag and start writing a poem or something.
I’m sure if I were more seriously injured there would be no room for levity. I’m not making fun of being in an accident; I’m speaking about our survival instinct. When the immediate danger passes, humans tend to find release in the oddest ways. It must be because we’ve cheated tragedy, and find the closest outlet we can to vent the madness that just passed. Those who have passed the scythe often react in upside down ways. Some take up a dangerous pasttime, some laugh and get dizzy; some swallow the seriousness of it all and become morose and fearful. And the older you get, the more upside your reaction can be.
I don’t think I wanted to take pictures to add to the faerie blog. On the contrary, there was not much to take pictures of — crunched SUV, yellow-jacketed EMTs, worried family members. Maybe it was just that I wanted to remember the moment I cheated death. I mean, no one cheats it in the long run, but I was able to close its door for now. See ya. Don’t want to be ya. Don’t want anything to do with ya.
Adversity rears its ugly head all the time. Cancer, diabetes, estranged children, divorce, all stand at the doorstep, waiting — or more like forcing — their way in. We can vitamin, we can exercise, we can love or hate or not care either way. That doesn’t stop our cars from crashing or our companies downsizing. We can be caught off guard at any time.
So why not let the creative vine wrap around you and become a part of who you are? Don’t ask why a moment calls for a poem or an ink sketch. Don’t worry about the “when” of the muse — just be aware that he/she appears at both opportune and inopportune times. The close call I had with tomorrowland reminded me just what was important … what was worth living for. Grandchildren. Sunsets. Chilly fall breezes. Birds singing and cats climbing on my lap. Chocolate and sappy movies and rock and roll. Makeup parties and sleepovers and writing contests.
You have your own reasons to fight off that nasty scythe. Fight it off with off with all your might. Fight it with your creativity.
You never know when you’ll be in a photographic moment.
Not the blog — the blogger.
Six-0 has really taken a toll on this body. Not that I was knockin’ them dead at five-9…or five-8…or five-7…you get my drift. I’d like to blame my meds, but I think that’s only an inkling of the reason. I suppose I’m not moving around enough, drinking too many glasses of wine, enjoying spaghetti waaaay too much (I had to stop making my own sauce so frequently…I eat it all), too many of my daughter-in-law’s deserts (she is so awesome at those things!), and not enough fruit and fiber.
I need a new photo of myself for a book/magazine that I will be writing a column for (only twice a year, but it’s a great publication: Crone: Women Coming of Age http://cronemagazine.com/). So I need some updatin’. I have a couple of older pics, but upon reflection, they are about 5-7 years ago, and they’re not quite me NOW. Honest in age, and all.
I’ve asked family to take pictures of me. Ick. I am not photogenic in the least. I’m a lot of fun and magical and goddessy and deep, but I am not photogenic. Recently I discovered “selfies”. (Actually, I never knew what selfies were until someone on FB posted a pic on what cats would look like if they took selfies). So I tried that. Here’s one of me looking off to the side. Here’s one with a smile that looks like I’ve got cramps. This one looks like I’ve got sunburn — or hives.
What is this intense focus on how I look?
I mean, I’ve never been one for the mirror. One of those childhood hangups, I would guess. I must have looked fairly okay all these years, though, for I’ve had a husband for over 32 years that still chases me around. Or rather we ache and pain around. But that’s fodder for another story.
I could go to one of those glamour photo places. They could soft focus me and clean up my Polish complexion and maybe even slenderize my neck. Maybe they could give me a new hairstyle while they’re at it. And either take the shadows out of my glasses or get rid of the puff bags under my eyes.
Maybe I could have my pic taken from far away. But that’s not quite a mug shot, is it. Maybe I could be peeking through some ferns, or be looking down and reading a book. Or typing on my laptop. But that angle would just enhance my neck rings.
Or maybe I can just get over it. This is not the Miss America Pageant here. This is a publication about the great things getting older offers. Experience, love, insight. Those I definitely have. Then there are the natural rewards. A mature palate. Check. Old enough to afford Hacker-Pschorr German beer. Check. Old enough to walk/exercise at my own pace. Check. So what does it matter that my aura is a little rounder?
I really can’t lament what I never really had. Just gotta get it overwith. There are more important things in life than looking a little toasty in a selfie.
So…what do you think?
It’s a hot Sunday afternoon. One of those icky, sticky days with no AC and not much shade. I might go drive around in the car just to get some cold air. Then I’ll be sorry. But hot flashes during the dog days just zaps my creativity. So instead of being witty and poignant I will just leave you with a few pics from my yard. Have a GREAT Sunday!