Friday, October 17, 2014

filigree and scrollwork

"You become things, you become an atmosphere, and if you become it, which means you incorporate it within you, you can also give it back. You can put this feeling into a picture. A painter can do it. And a musician can do it and I think a photographer can do that too and that I would call the dreaming with open eyes."

- Ernst Haas

“The artist's vocation is to send light into the human heart.”

 – Robert Schumann

"What do I make of all this texture? What does it mean about the kind of world in which I have been set down? The texture of the world, its filigree and scrollwork, means that there is the possibility for beauty here, a beauty inexhaustible in its complexity, which opens to my knock, which answers in me a call I do not remember calling, and which trains me to the wild and extravagant nature of the spirit I seek."

- Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

I looked out my study window yesterday morning as Rob and Chloe were getting ready to leave for her school drop-off. I can see a sliver of the highway out my window, a sliver of the utility corridor. And there was fog. Which is rare enough here, so I hurried to ready myself and the dog. By the time I made it out there, fifteen minutes later, the fog had mostly burned off, and as I walked toward the entrance to the field, had vanished. I continued on, expecting nothing then. Emptied. I had no thought  to photographing anything. I dawdled, I let my eyes wander, I kept a sharp eye out for the coyote. Which is when I reached a point in the field where the sun had risen high enough to make it over the tall houses.

I kneeled down on the damp and dewy path I was on, I looked and squinted.

I received.

I began what seemed like a daydream, photographing the filigree and scrollwork of the world. Letting the light into my camera, into my heart.

On one of the photo sites I read, I recently came across the advice to take fewer photographs. Which generally I agree with. The idea is to slow down, to compose, and take fewer photos that you'll only need to delete later, saving you time. But the light was changing every minute, and it was so bright I couldn't at all see the preview screen. So I just clicked and embraced the light and was happy. I let myself daydream.

Is this a vocation? I don't know. I only know that some mornings, beauty calls, and I am obligated to answer.


  1. Wow, those sculptures of grass and spider webs are amazing. Like they were really made. First one looks like a jumping dog and I also saw a chicken somewhere and more. They are delightful! Maybe it's right to take less pictures, but just keep showing us your wonderful art.

  2. "I only know that some mornings, beauty calls, and I am obligated to answer." And what an answer you provided! I am speechless!

  3. Nice autumn photos. My favourite season is here.

  4. Well, thanks everyone, you're all so wonderful...! xo S.

  5. I know these mornings, the calling of frail plants and light, kneeling on wet grasses to get closer, see, connect, receive and offer my breath in return as a parting gift of thanks.


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