Friday, November 21, 2014

Winthrop Cloud Formations

 I had lifted up a fistful of that ground.  I held it while that wild flight of south-bound warblers hurtled over me into the oncoming dark.  There went phosphorus, there went iron, there went carbon, there beat the calcium in those hurrying wings.  Alone on a dead planet I watched that incredible miracle speeding past.  It ran by some true compass over field and waste land.  It cried its individual ecstasies into the air until the gullies rang.  It swerved like a single body, it knew itself, and, lonely, it bunched close in the racing darkness, its individual entities feeling about them the rising night.  And so crying to each other their identify, they passed away out of my view.  I dropped my fistful of earth.  I heard it roll inanimate back into the gully at the base of the hill:  iron, carbon, the chemicals of life.  

Loren Eisley, The Judgment of the Birds

These clouds are quietly screaming Hallelujah!!

Thursday, November 13, 2014


A farmer was leaning against his hoe in a small garden, enjoying the storm.  Before I could say anything, he asked, "Aye, lad, are you going to the stones?"

I nodded, shivering but bemused.   It was an ancient greeting in these parts.   He looked cursorily at the accordioned map in my shivering hands, then shook his head in dismay and gazed out over the windswept burren.  I asked him where the road led that passed his old thatched-roof house.

"To the end, lad," he replied slowly, "to the end."

Phil Cousineau, The Art of Pilgrimage

This is Eduardo, or Lalo as he's known to everyone, showing off his kitten near his home in the callejón just below Ana's place.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

New Orleans

In Asia, mountains have called pilgrims to them for thousands of years.  In the summer of 1987, I hitchhiked across Tibet in order to walk around such a mountain.  This mountain you could not climb, and not because of physical obstacles; rather there are sacred laws that have kept its crown free from trespass.  For many, many years, pilgrims have made their way to this holy place.  They have come from the south, from the dry and wet heat of India.  They have come from the east, from the high plains, barley fields, and villages of Tibet.  They have come from the grasslands of the north and the deserts of the west as well.  They have walked with and against the sun around this mountain.  They have been brought as babies to be carried around this mountain, and as elders, they have made their way to this place to die.  Some circle this great body in a day.  Others seem to take a lifetime .....  Joan Halifax, The Fruitful Darkness.

Mike and his friends traveling in an old bus from Colorado to the east coast.   Taking the kitty out for a early morning walk.

It was a joy to talk with this nice young french couple traveling across the U.S.
Worker at Cafe Du Monde
Braidan, originally from Oregon but now living in New Orleans.   Stories of Opal Creek and favorite books.
I created a lot of candid street photography in late 2013 and early 2014 (NYC, Guanajuato, Guadalajara, SF, Seattle, etc).   I enjoyed this type of work very much, wanted to dig as deep as I could, while being respectful I wanted to catch a personal slice of time, a moment of life, etc.   I think that this work was very good and felt strong about my June show at Gallery 360.   These current photos are not quite the same.   In these I have wanted to establish more of a relationship albeit a very brief one.   I've wanted to create photographs that get at the journey (perhaps pilgrimage) that the subject is undertaking.  Not in a documentary way but rather in a more insightful way.  This is something I want to think more about as we prepare for our spring 2015 Italy trip.  I have some question as to whether to be thinking in color or black and white for this.   The artful abstraction of black and white is very appealing but, for me, so is retaining the connection to the subject afforded by color.    We'll see...  

Newport Bay

I will never forget how those wings went round and round, and how, by the merest pressure of the fingers and a feeling for air, one might go away over the roofs.  It is a knowledge, however, that is better kept to oneself.   I think of it sometimes, in such a way that the wings, beginning far down in the depths of the mind, begin to rise and whirl until all the mind is lit by their spinning, and there is a sense of passing away, but lightly, as a wing might veer over an obstacle.  

To see from an inverted angle, however, is not a gift allotted merely to the human imagination.  I have come to suspect that within their degree it is sensed by animals though perhaps as rarely as among humans.  The time has to be right.  One has to be by chance or by intention upon the border of two worlds.  And, sometimes, these two borders may shift or interpenetrate and one sees the miraculous.   ~Loren Eisley -- The Judgement of the Birds.