In The Moment
The wind came, a sirocco, an African wind that crosses the Mediterranean and blows sometimes for days, driving people a little crazy with its relentless howling. It starts innocently enough and then just keeps coming until you can’t stand it anymore. Here at the beginning of the blow it darkened the skies and carried a smell on the air that might have been some of the desert’s dust still bearing the arid scent of ancient sea bottom.
Photographing the elements is something I have been trying to do for a while, but in another form, simpler, purer, without the horizon to make it familiar, just the phenomena of each of the elements. It’s not been easy to make them interesting, but I still work on it whenever the potential image appears. Yet, when the wind blows and the sky goes heavy I respond wherever I am, because that is all we can do; to try to be in the moment, in the place where we find ourselves.
Whenever I see architecture of extravagance; cathedrals, palaces, monuments, etc., particularly from 4 or 500 years ago, I give myself over to the experience of wonder that they produce in me. I love the birthday cake-like fantasía that architects in those days offered their wealthy clients, and that those clients, often the Church, would accept that kind over-the-top decoration, probably as a way to bring the paying multitudes in, grandeur being a seductive call or advertisement for the pageants produced therein.
Looked at today these places still hold up their end of the bargain, as one can see by the tourists regularly visiting these sites. For me though, it’s part of a continuing record I keep of the craziness of a past time, and I wonder what of our structures today might still be here 500 years from now.
We went to Lucca to hear a Leonard Cohen concert and the day started off sunny and bright, then dark and stormy, then back to sunny again, and on and off for most to the day. I always like being out in the weather, watching the way it clears the streets as everyone runs for cover. Sometimes it produces a photograph or two.
Be In It
Nature in full force is a beautiful spectacle. Where do the colors come from? How did the clouds become tinged with that faint magenta tone when all the light seems to be mixed into a grey?
To stand in the path of all that energy and let it sweep towards me is one of the joys of living in nature. I always experience the feeling that I must go out into it rather than run for shelter. It was the same for me during my years photographing on Cape Cod. When the weather was at it’s worst – then it was at its best – and the invitation was clear; be in it!