"No one lights a lamp in order to hide it behind the door: the purpose of light is to create more light, to open people's eyes, to reveal the marvels around."
I have been thinking about my friend Steven lately. I am not sure exactly why, maybe because we are in the middle of winter, and I know he would already be anxious for spring. He loved the color green, but he loved it when flowers burst forth with every color imaginable. He liked to photograph flowers, and butterflies, and he was amazing at it! His photos could absolutely take your breath away! I remember once, not long after we began our friendship, I told him that I was going to have to stop leaving comments on his blog, because I had ran out of adjectives.
And I, of course, continued to leave comments that never really conveyed just how impressed I was with his photography.
I can't quite believe that it's been nearly 2 years since I learned of his passing. He died in October of 2009, just a week or so after his birthday, but I hadn't learned about it until 3 years later. People on the Internet come and go out of your life for a million different reasons. Some get tired of blogging and one day find themselves with nothing more to say. Some have busy lives, and make the decision to let real life lead them. Some, like my friend, pass away.
I still think about Frank. What a force of nature he was. We didn't know each other long, but he made a big impression on me. He was so funny. So easy to talk to. Nice. He was a nice man. I still wish he would have listened to us and gone to the doctor! Pam. She died of lung cancer at 50. Well, she turned 50 just a week earlier. She was a great lady. She took time to help you if she needed it. She never made me feel unwelcome. She liked to cook, and she only used lower case i's because she said she didn't care enough to correct them! LOL. She had a way with the camera as well. Her death hit me hard, I think because we were close in age. Or maybe because she was my friend. Not sure which really. Maybe both.
Anyway, I don't mean to be maudlin. I am not sad really, in fact I was thinking the other day how much I have to thank Steven for, when it comes to my photography. His feedback and gentle guidance made me a much better photographer. I still have the hardest time remembering that he won't send me an email of encouragement out of the blue. He used to do that. Just out of the blue. I remember one day, back in the AOL Journals days, we in the community asked others to write a description of our blogs, from their point of view. Steven wrote mine.
"Through the lens of Carly; wordsmith, photographer, and seeker of light."
-Steven I used that description on my AOL Journal header for a long time. Well, until AOL closed that service back in 2005. I used it here for a long time as well, and then one day I decided to change things up a bit. I know he would have wanted me to move on. Still, the other day I was thinking about how much closer I tend to look at the backgrounds on my photographs, and how attracted I am to the natural light. I know it was because of him. His love a light lives on when I see something softly illuminated, or I see movement in butterfly wings. Sometimes, all I have to do is see the color green, especially the first real green you see when the earth has begun to have enough of all the darkness winter demands we endure. It's that first green that helps me seek the light.
"The whole point of taking pictures is so that you don't have to explain things with words." ~Elliot Erwitt It's the last day of January... my... that was fast! LOL. Only 11 months, and 3 seasons to go before the WAR ON CHRISTMAS,
that takes place only in Bill O' Reilly's head, comes around. But in the
mean time, how about we take a look back at what caught my eye this
past month, shall we? January Retrospective 2014
This past month was unusual as January's go. The weather was unseasonably warm, often reaching the mid 80s in the Bay Area. That allowed for some lovely summer-like photos, which I kind of felt embarrassed to post, given the extreme cold the East Coast is experiencing. But there was a special circumstance that motivated me, in that the Maverick's held their annual surf contest a week ago. I didn't get across the bay for the actual event, but the waves were glorious in the days just prior to the contest. And along with the warm, sunny days, came the colorful romantic sunsets. I enjoyed photographing them very much, it had been several months since I had been able to do low light photography, so it was nice to stretch that creative muscle. I am not sure what February has in store for me, creatively speaking. My life in general has settled down. It seems the recurring theme of Plan B has been left in 2013! THANK GOD! It was beginning to knock me down. I understand the need for change, but really, being able to count on certain things is good to. Anyway, I am ready to see what comes next. I will have my cameras by my side to document it, and with any luck, I will see something truly amazing! Or on the other hand, perhaps I will see something common, in a new way. Either way, my eyes will be open to the possibilities. That's a good thing I think. Mood: Inspired ~Me :)
"The voice of beauty speaks softly; it creeps only into the most fully awakened souls." ~Friedrich Nietzsche I love winter for so many reasons, and hate it for one. I hate it because it completely swallows up autumn, and takes away the beautiful colors that can only be seen during my favorite season. Autumn will always be where my heart lives, but look at these blossoms, is there anything quite like the first blossoms of hope that smile on you in the middle of winter? It was a blissfully beautiful day. Dark, cloudy, and just enough mist in the air to qualify as spooky!
Mist that will turn into rain tonight. But there, in the middle of all the darkness, in the middle of the stick forest, was a tree, bursting with fragrant pink flowers. Hope. You wouldn't believe how beautiful the air smelled the moment I took this photo. I am not sure what kind of blossom it was, but it was beautiful. A true sign of good things to come! This same tree, will turn a lovely gold and cinnamon when autumn comes back around later this year. My heart is happy.
"I am intrigued by the smile upon your face, and the sadness within your eyes."
I came across this pair of broken glasses, while walking through Golden Gate Park last week. They intrigued me. It was a sad thought that someone had lost their glasses and their ability to see. No seeing the beauty in the park that day, or the amazing waves that are just off the park at Ocean Beach. No seeing the sunsets the Bay Area has been graced with. I would hate to lose my ability to see, especially if I missed the light in someone else's eyes. I once knew someone who had so much light in their eyes that they nearly blinded me. All I wanted to do was look at that incredible light, even if it did scare the life out of me. Funny how things are sometimes.
As sad as I feel sometimes, because I haven't seen that light for many years, I am so much better off for having got to see it in my lifetime. I think that is why when I meet someone new, it's always their eyes I notice first. The eyes tell a lot about a person, they share everything sometimes. Sometimes they share too much, but either way, the eyes are indeed the windows to the soul. I believe it completely.
"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed."
By the way, it seems that scientists have indeed proven that the eyes really are the windows to the soul.
"Mere colour, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways." ~Oscar Wilde I love this time of day. I love that right here everything was a soft gorgeous blue, but just right over that ridge was a wild full sky of pinks and reds as the sun set. I love my camera, I see things I would miss otherwise. The camera, my cameras, help me slow down, and see what's in front of me. There was a time when the pain in my life was all I saw, then little by little, as I really put effort into my picture taking, I realized how lucky my life was, and how much pain everyone was in. Suddenly, it was less about me, and more about how at the end of the day, the sun sets on all of us, just maybe from different perspectives.
"Dusk is just an illusion because the sun is either above the horizon or below it. And that means that day and night are linked in a way that few things are. There cannot be one without the other, yet they cannot exist at the same time. How would it feel, I remember wondering, to always be together, and yet apart." ~Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook While in Pacifica the other day, photographing the big waves, I spotted these two watching the sun down down together. They didn't leave each others side. It made me smile, and reminded me of two California song birds that had built their nest on my balcony, back in the 1990's, when I had my first apartment. The male bird took such loving care of the lady bird, bringing her food, and watching over the nest. I loved watching such love and devotion as that. It's a happy thing to carry as a memory. One of my very favorites when I am blue. Mood: Happy
"I almost wish we were butterflies and liv'd but three summer days... three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain." ~John Keats, Bright Star: Love Letters and Poems of John Keats to Fanny Brawne Sigh. Of all the places, people, and things I have photographed, I think butterflies are my favorite. This little butterfly, the Great Southern White (Ascia monuste) was a newly emerged butterfly, as evident by it's slightly curled wings. What a wonderful day it must have been for that butterfly. The world was brand new, and each time it landed on a new flower, it was a new experience. It must be amazing to see this world, through new eyes. Smile. Mood: Happy ~Me :)