18 July 2008

I can't be held responsible for the things I see, for I am just a vessel in vain

Gatewood Park, Pulaski, VA

I had the day off from work today, so I decided to drive to Pulaski and take photos. Once I got there, I didn't really feel like walking around town, so I drove up to Gatewood Reservoir (where the town gets its drinking water), and kayaked for an hour or so. A large chunk of that time was spent playing tag with the heron in the top shot. I kept trying to get close enough to get a decent shot with my 18-55 mm lens (about 10 ft. or so), but every time I started to close in the heron flew across the reservoir. When the heron took wing, I paddled across, first rapidly, then slow, increasing my stealth as I moved in closer. This happened about 20 times, but the top shot is the best one I got (which added to my appreciation of Jean Luc Mylayne's work).

I'm not sure why i took the other photos--the gold color of the water when the sun hit impressed me. I found myself reciting Robert Frost's "Nothing Gold Can Stay," corny I know (but perhaps a self-effacing kind of corny). It can't stay, I said to myself, it's the hardest hue to hold, clouds are on the way. I took the photo of the cloud because it was obscuring the sun. Just as Robert Frost said would happen, the clouds overtook the sun, and the gold vanished. While I was waiting for the sun to re-emerge and bathe me in gold and warmth and glad tidings, I looked up and took the shot of the stubborn, slow moving cloud. At that moment, I was thinking of Eggleston's Wedgewood Blue and those "unmoored spaces" (jesus, they're all unmoored) but I was also thinking, damn that's an impressive cloud. It made me think of a cathedral, and silence.

Bill Callahan, Retread Sessions, "Nothing Rises To Meet Me" and "Vessel in Vain"

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