Saturday, January 16, 2010
Since the pocket digital broke, there have been too many times that I’ve been caught without a camera; Friday it happened again. Traveling over the causeway at high tide, we drove through chunks of blue ice, stacked on top of each other, rising and sinking like deep breaths at the edges of the crumbling road. For what seemed like the millionth time lately, I said, “Oh, I wish I had the camera.”
After dropping off my daughter’s friend and returning home, I puttered, then challenged myself to take an “Artist’s Date” (as recommended by Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way--I’ll write more about this later.) Grabbing our Nikon, I climbed into the Jeep and drove back.
When I arrived, the tide was lower, the picture less inspiring, until I remembered how different things look now from the image on the Middle Passages masthead above, which I took at the same location this summer. You may recall I have an ideal in my mind’s eye about this place. The photo you see every time you read Middle Passages is the closest I’ve come to what lives in my imagination.
Friday however, was about discovering more subtle beauty--yellow salt marsh hay slumping under a burden of snow, ducks swimming up against clear ice and turning away, an elderly woman, who walked up to me and then with me, until she could point out the Great Blue heron feeding in the marsh. And my cove, minus the rowboat, quiet and sleeping. A car in the distance harrumphed as the driver changed gears, slow water shivered as it flowed under the street, shifting ice squealed--all sounds traveling on thin air, arriving muffled and subdued--hints of life residing under chilled surfaces, deep down beneath the January cold.