Wednesday, November 12, 2014

to say that a thing is beautiful

I am not interested in shooting new things – I am interested to see things new.

- Ernst Hass

“To say that a thing is beautiful is simply an act of faith, not a measurement on some kind of scale.”

- Édouard Vuillard.

Here is where the real test begins, in winter, when the light is minimal, and there is a sameness to the landscape. Of course, the snow changes everyday, much like Cezanne's sugar bowl, but the stuff is difficult to capture in any meaningful way. Plus: cold. Very cold.

One becomes thinned out, one's seeing is strained, hard earned, difficult. One is always waiting as an artist or writer, but now, we wait even more, for less.

It's been grey for days here, but once in a while the sun has broken out for 10 minutes. It reaches far into the house, low.

I've shot the light on this particular carpet several times. But this time, faint lines, of what is called 'god light' appear beside the central beam of light.

It seems beautiful to me, this simple photograph. And this when I'm completely dissatisfied with every other photograph I've taken for weeks. Which could just be this ongoing insanely exhausting cold I happen to have.

Well in any case and, as Emily Dickinson might say: it's all I have to bring today.


  1. Thanks for being honest and submitting a minimalist blog this morning. I often appreciate being able to think about just one or two photographs and not much text. It makes me become more involved, less passive. The photo today is lovely; I needed some "god light" this morning.
    And I understand about the cold. I had one of those this summer and it really did last for over a month. I offer no advice, just sympathy and the reassurance that you will get better.

  2. I enjoy your thoughts and observations about light very much. I live much closer to the equator and am often recoiling from too much light. It wasn't until I went to Northern Europe last February that I realised how at home I felt in the low silvery light that angled off the snow and came kindly in through the uncurtained windows. In Perth we must keep our blinds drawn, wear sunglasses all year round and the summer sun feels like hammer blows to the head.
    Thank you very much for your words and images.

  3. Ah, but this is more than enough, Shawna. After all, it is all about the light, isn't it and how beautiful is that beam of light on your colorful carpet. We don't have any snow yet but I find myself in a photo funk lately. I'm actually burnt out of capturing fall color, I'm ready for a change but I'm not sure what direction to take. Guess I'll just wait for nature to lead the way. So sorry to hear that you are not feeling well...sending healing thoughts your way!

  4. With thanks for all your kind words and encouragement. Much needed, xo!


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