Thursday, August 29, 2013

Fire and Ice

Interesting that at a time when I’m attempting and producing very little writing, my mind is actually in a much more creative space than usual. I seem to be heading down a different road at the moment though. For years I’ve been taking my camera with me almost everywhere I go, clicking away at images which capture my attention or imagination, but as they mount up in their files on the computer, and the occasional one turns itself into a framed enlargement, I still wonder what to do with them all.

Gone are the days of filling photo albums, and my snaps are not good enough to turn into a photography career, but there seems to be little point in accumulating them ad infinitum, other than going back to look at them, reminding myself of that moment when I stood in wonder at what was before me. Actually, I guess that is the point.

Such was a morning last month, definitely not one during August as we’ve broken all rainfall records here and seen very few sunny days. I woke just a little later than I would have liked, to the most brilliant sunrise. It was a freezing winter morning, but as soon as I dragged myself out of bed I was kicking myself for not doing so about ten minutes earlier. The sky was on fire, every shade of orange you could think of, but of course in the few minutes it took me to get dressed and race out of the house to my usual sunrise photo taking spot, all had changed. The sun was already peeping over the horizon, the brilliance had dissipated and the moment was gone, so I trekked off on my usual morning walk.

 
All was not lost though, for as I headed through the centre of the village I was treated with a rare sight. Our massive gnarly old Village Green tree made up for what I had missed by turning on its own light show, bathed in the vibrant morning sun. The sheer beauty of it stopped me in my tracks, I’ve lived here more than eighteen years and I’ve never witnessed it before, but its transformation blew me away.

Not to be outdone, my early morning walk also offered up a mob of deer leisurely wandering along the street before heading back into the bush for the day, and then another surprise, one befitting the freezing temperature. I came across a couple of frozen puddles, one with ice so thick it was almost white. Like a molten glass sculpture, it just begged to be noticed. It never ceases to amaze me how the most simple and unassuming things, especially in nature, can provide images so stunning that you can’t help but stand in awe. Well, I can’t anyway.
 
And it is this more visual journey I find myself on of late, wondering how to combine my growing collection of photos with my writing in some sort of creative way. Still working that one out, but having the brain ticking over thinking of possible projects is an enjoyable process.

I’m forever fluctuating between my own fire and ice moments, times when I’m fired up, my imagination is engaged and I’m actually producing something, and those long drawn out bleak periods when it feels like another creative thought is never going to emerge from the recesses of my brain.

What I can do in those moments though, is to continue observing, absorbing, and reflecting on the world around me, capturing moments with the camera if necessary, for in doing so I’m storing up a wealth of images, memories and emotional responses which will simply have to find expression in some form or other.