There has been an abundance of spiders in the area where I live this Fall, and I love to observe their webs popping up all over, as long as they aren’t over my kitchen sink (which has happened and then they have to go). They work so hard weaving their delicate, deadly baskets. They catch a few flies, dismantle the web, and start all over again.
This photo made me think about the web of my own life. Weaving a thing of beauty, catching something or someone in it, enjoying it all for a while, experiencing disintegration, and then repeating the process again and again. After so many years of trying, of creating, of exploring, I wonder if I am learning anything after all. Are my patterns any different than they were thirty years ago? Has the web changed at all?
I am laughing at myself as I write this, knowing that this true and not true all at the same time. Still laughing. Knowing that I am both the spider and the fly.
I took this photo in the late afternoon. I wanted to capture the mostly glass objects in the kitchen window from the outside. It was kind of a joke. We were kidding around about how valuable they were, which they are not. And we were saying that we should have a photo for insurance purposes, and in case the Met wanted to buy the collection. So I took a photo, several actually. This one really struck me because of the reflection in the glass of the sky and the trees behind where I was standing. That was not what I was seeing at all. I just focused on the objects, and look what else I else got.
It reminded me how much we all mirror each other whether we know it or not. We know each other by knowing ourselves, and vice versa. “Just like me” as my friend Anita Bondi is so fond of saying. When I took the photo, I only saw what was inside the kitchen window. The mirror reflection showed how much more there was to see. Just like life. Just like me.
Every time I fly back into Seattle, I hope to catch a glimpse of Mount Ranier from the plane. I know to sit on the left side and I always want a window seat. If I’m lucky, it begins to loom on the horizon after crossing over the Cascades, and shows up as the plane is descending into Seattle. Sometimes, it is invisible, shrouded in fog and clouds. Every once in a while, it is huge and shining and the air all around it is clear and sweet. For me, it means that I am almost home. And seeing this glorious mountain reminds me of the power and sanctity of nature.
On Monday, I was flying back from Chicago and there it was. This time, the clouds did not surround it completely, but only allowed its shape to emerge ever so slightly through the window of the plane. I decided to take a few pictures anyway, thinking that maybe they’d be better than I thought. The pictures looked fuzzy and Ranier was barely visible. But even though the mountain didn’t look like much in the camera, I downloaded the pictures anyway. Then I started to play around, cropping a little, playing with contrast, saturation, light and dark. Left a little tilt to the photo, so the idea that it was taken from a plane is obvious. Finally, I made the image black-and-white. The horizontal chain of mountain and clouds is still merging into one another, but Ranier can hold its own.
Just a fun exercise. To get a grand view of a grand mountain, well worth the effort.
A Butterfly on a Butterfly Bush
I had a great holiday weekend! I didn’t go anywhere at all. Friends came over on Monday, so I cleaned a little and cooked a little and we all had fun. Just stayed home and wandered from the garden to my studio to my computer to the kitchen. Despite the lack of activity in my life, the feeling that it was a holiday was somehow still in the air, and I gave myself a vacation from stress, from haste, and from the need to cross things off my constantly growing list of things to do.
On Sunday, it was especially beautiful out, and I found myself picking up my camera and just walking around the house, down to the studio and back, and all around the house, down to the meadow, and back around again. I took a lot of pictures on that sunny day. For some reason, I wanted to fix that moment in time . It felt important to document the house where I live and the flowers that I nurture.
It was part of my holiday, like going away to an exotic place, and taking a million pictures to capture all those memories and visual treasures. But I didn’t even have to get in my car to have the holiday experience. I just stayed home and started looking at things with a fresh eye. Discovering the brilliance of the azaleas as if I had never seen them before. Watching the bees swarm around the chive blossoms, I felt like I was on a wildlife expedition.
It was too much fun! I picked out a few of my favorites to put here. Normally, I play around with photos trying to make them better, adjusting the light and the color to get what I want (or think I want). But this time, I just left them the way they were. No cropping or changing them in any way. Snapshots. Postcards. From my holiday at home.
I think that I’ll come back to this place again.