One Morning

The sun works its way through the Doug firs across the road, then the apple tree, the Bitter cherries and the others,

angles into the window where the glass is obscured by a thousand small dun-colored circles

made by something that got between the panes, leaving a haze that softens the early morning light. It’s 6:50.

I’ve looked up from my reading, seen the sunglow.

I get up, pull the camera bag out of the backpack, lift the camera out of the bag, pinch the lens cap off the camera. I go back to the couch, sit where I was, turn to the light, forget to focus, click the shutter.

Focus, shoot again.

1.

The sun ascends at a steady not-fast, not-slow pace that reminds me

of watching the minute hand work its way around the clock face in grade school classrooms, the delicious game of perceiving

the almost imperceptible motion of the thin, black minute hand

forcing patience but rewarding it, too. Now the windows near me brighten, throwing slats of sun onto the painting of Bobwhite quails that belonged to my grandfather.

He liked to hunt birds.

The patterns are what interest me at 7:10 this morning, the patterns

and the empty spaces between them.

2.

And the reflections, the reflections that mix up here and there,

those interest me.

3.
4.

I go back to my reading – an article about Vija Celmins. I remember standing in front of one of her paintings years ago, eyebrows up, the world gone. The pleasure of entering a universe painstakingly created by a woman whose artwork facilitated

leaving the here, going there.

Worlds inside worlds, and outside of them.

5.
6.
7.

The article finished, I get up and follow the sun down the hall and into the back room where the computer is. There, the benevolent morning light shows me the beauty of ordinary grass and shrubbery just outside the window, but

I knew that.

***


76 comments

  1. assolutamente meravigliose. vibrano di poesia, armonia, bellezza. sei bravissima. Sono un’appassionata del Wabi-sabi giapponese e spesso trovo riflesso nelle tue immagini la profondità della semplicità assoluta. Scusa se rei scrivo nella mia lingua ma mi è difficile tradurre. Grazie!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nessun problema, sono molto felice che ti sia piaciuto e commentato in qualsiasi lingua. 😉 Sono anche interessato a Wabi-sabi e ad un’estetica semplice, che è probabilmente rafforzata dal passare diversi anni in una comunità zen. Grazie e buon fine settimana!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks Lynn! What a fantastic way to start my day, an immersion in your poetic morning, capturing the quietness and magic of your home as a camera obscura. Your reflections on the page are lovely, and what intriguing photos, 4 and 5 especially have a great spellbound feeling to them.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m happy to have caught you n the morning, Robert, when things are quieter and we can immerse a little more easily, right? Spellbound is a good word, I like that! 🙂 Thank you!

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  3. Your shortening of Douglas fir to Doug fir got me to thinking that there must be people out there named Doug Furr. Sure enough, an Internet search quickly found a bunch. I wonder if any of them use a Douglas fir as an emblem or avatar of themselves.

    I’m older enough than you that I remember the clocks in our elementary school had a minute hand that moved discretely rather than continuously. With each new minute the hand would suddenly jump ahead 6° and make a clicking noise as it did so.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Funny about Doug Furr – leave it to you and your endlessly curious sensibility to follow the question and find answers. You know, after I wrote this I remembered exactly what you describe about the early minute hands. Changing the words didn’t work, and I also remember watching smoother mechanisms, so I left it as is. But I could be wrong about thinking I watched that kind of a clock in grade school – maybe that was high school, or later! Watching clocks has kept me occupied for many a long period cooped up in a classroom. 😉

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      • I remember something else of the sort from elementary school. Shortly before the school day ended the teacher would erase the blackboard with a wet sponge. While I sat there waiting for dismissal, I used to watch the way the shiny wet parts of the blackboard shrank as they dried out.

        Coincidentally, a few hours after leaving my comment this morning I was reading an article in the September issue of Smithsonian about the restoration of a boat John Steinbeck had chartered for six weeks in 1940 when I came to this sentence:

        “The old-growth forests of Douglas fir, which blanketed most of the Pacific Northwest, and supplied the original beams, have nearly all been cut down, and the millions of new-growth Douglas fir trees are too young.”

        Liked by 1 person

    • 🙂 Thank you very much Howard. Quiet helps, and immersing myself in the moment, keeping it loose. And seriously, if I had the kind of “day job” that you have, I would find it really difficult to disengage completely from that focused mindset and just let go. Kudos to you for all that you do!

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  4. What’s better than appreciating the little things – like the light coming through a window. I know folks that don’t give these small things a second thought. It’s too bad because I think not seeing the little things they will miss a large part of life. #6 is just great!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Noticing the beauty that’s in the ordinary is hard for some people, I think, and you make a good point – a lot is missed that brings a richness to life which otherwise might be “saved” for “special” occasions. You must have figured out that #6 is my computer screen, with a photo on it that was taken at a conservatory years ago and of course, reflections from outdoors. Thanks so much, Ken. Have a nice weekend!

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  5. The mornings I have spent watching the light paint and repaint and repaint patterns on the ceiling… Watch closely and you can see it move; and every day is different as every day the light is different. You have captured that and brought it home to me. What is number three?

    Liked by 2 people

    • You describe it perfectly, this shared experience that isn’t quite shared because in the end, we each are in our own worlds. but it points to a similar sensibility for sure. Re #3, I thought about adding an addendum with explanations but realized it’s not necessary; anyone who wants to will ask. There’s a round mirror placed on the floor in our house, leaning against a normal rectangular hall mirror, just because it’s more interesting than hanging it on a wall. With spot metering, everything around the mirror went dark except the reflection of the window in the other room. I hope that makes somse sense! 😉 Thanks, Michael, have a great weekend!

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  6. A dreamy, still nocturnal mood reaches out to the reader, pulling her into your loneliness, before other people have left the realm of sleep. The same mood capture your pictures, I do not know what’s Mord charming. Colors, reflections, shadows, everything between dream and day I find here. The first photo with the indefinite shimmer of light and the fourth, in which I can not say what belongs to which plane, seem particularly intense to me – as if the objects could choose and change. A little more to the realm of scary dreams is the bottle with its creepy inner life – or is it outside?
    These are the rewards for the sleepless.

    Liked by 2 people

    • 🙂 I enjoyed your reaction…it’s all that spot metering that makes the surroundings dark and highlights certain things, and heightens the atmosphere I think. In reality, I wasn’t sleepless (but I often am so maybe that leaked through). I was up early, enjoying dawn and quiet time for reading. I love the idea of finding everything between dream and day here. 🙂 I wondered about lightening the photo of the bottle (which is inside a cabinet but picks up light from outside) and decided to keep it dark because it has more impact that way. I’m so pleased that you pay such close attention, Ule, thank you! (Too bad I couldn’t have joined you after my quiet time for one of those incredible breakfasts!).

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  7. Wonderful pictures Lynn! I love the state of the light in Nr. 1 and 7, this warming light, soft, still, a bit shy maybe 😉 Is this what you call twilight? (I like the word. In German it would be Zwielicht). And I love your special view and the scenes you created in the following pictures, the play with the blind and the screen. The mood from Nr. 1 is wonderful and I like Nr. 4, it is so “fantastic”, you don’t really know when or where you are. I have to think of a circus or a fun fair or a scene of a surreal movie! I don’t quite get how you made Nr. 3 which is wonderful as well. Did you photograph through a ring or an objective? I hope some of this makes sense. I am a bit tired now and my brain is on its way to power safe 😉 Have a nice weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • A bit shy, yes, that morning light is so nice. For some reason we usually use the word “twilight” for that evening half-light, not morning – I don’t know why. I like the German word. But it makes me think, “two – light” or am I spelling two wrong? A circus for #4, yes! It’s an old glass-front cabinet with odd things inside, and the light from two different windows (I think) making many reflections & shadows, as well as shining inside. Regarding #3, see the reply to Michael above. The circle part is the beveled edge of the mirror, the only part that was showing other than the reflection – using spot metering helped make it dramatic. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

      • The effect of Nr. 3 is fantastic! Good work! – With two are you referring to “Zwie”? If so the syllable zwie means something like intermediate or between. I don’t know really where it comes from. There is also the Zwiegespräch (dialog) or the Zwiespalt (antagonism). – A cabinet with odd things – that fits perfectly to my imagination of a kind of fantastic world 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • It wasn’t so much an idea as a compulsion or an urge. 🙂 Lots of off-center stuff here too, which I know you can relate to. Thanks, Adrian, have a good weekend, and stay out of trouble, OK?

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      • Couple compulsions and urges with a camera and all sorts of good things can happen! Yes, off-centre, go for it! Not sure about the trouble thing, feeling old and achy at the moment – and very luckily just missed being hit by a crashing car on my way back from the Levels on Friday! A 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • We’ve had quite a lot of sun, and a little rain too, which is always nice over the dry summer. The early morning sun as it comes through the house is really beautiful – late-afternoon too. Is it ordinary or is it extraordinary? 😉 Thanks!!

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  8. You’re up way too early for the likes of me… then again you delivered a marvelous little tidbit in your mention of Vija Celmins. I recognized the name as being a fellow Latvian, but roughly six years older than I was when we all escaped the Soviet invasion. I’m sometimes amazed at the number of Latvians I encounter for coming from such a tiny country.

    But thanks for providing me with a glimpse of the stillness the early morning light conveys in your images. Something I’m rarely in the mood to appreciate if my eyes are forced open at that end of the day. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • I didn’t put that together, the Latvian connection – that’s very interesting. I wonder if there are mannerisms or anything in the video that tells you she’s Latvian too, even after she’s been here for so many years. I thought her accent sounded like NYC or Long Island. 😉 It is indeed a beautiful time of day, but the quiet is just as evident, if not more so, late at night, right?

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      • My cousin, who would be the same age as Vija, still has a noticeable European accent. I found that most kids who were 5 years or younger (like me), didn’t generally keep the European accent, but beyond that there usually was a faint whiff of one or more. I looked but didn’t find a video. I followed your link, but it was a still painting. Perhaps I didn’t find the right button for the video?

        I suppose the key word in your last sentence was “quiet” whether it’s early or late. Nice to be conscious when most others are not. 😀

        Liked by 2 people

  9. Lynn, I am very moved by your post. Your stunning images of the moments before you are subtle yet powerful. It reminds me of the quote I love by Walter De Mulder: “Always seeing something, never seeing nothing, being photographer”. I would add writer to that for you. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Happiness is a comment like this. 🙂 Did you tell me about him before? Someone did – anyway, that’s a good quote, isn’t it? Thank you for that. I’m so glad that you were able to enter into this in the spirit in which it was written. A grateful bow going out to you….

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Isn’t it wonderful how the individual moments of our quiet mornings can be so significant, how they can be minutely transforming in the evocation of our awareness (reflected as they are in these streams of consciousness),and registering as they do with a tiny, yet somehow profound impact…?

    So nice, Lynn.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Such interesting and unique images, Lynn. I don’t have any direct light from the rising sun so all these are so pleasing and cause for wonder. You made a moment of reading into something that makes the mind happy. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • What a nice thought, the writing making the mind happy. I didn’t have morning sunlight before moving up here last year, in fact, we had precious little direct sunlight at all. It’s been a real pleasure to settle in and watch it. Ha ha – maybe that’s why I don’t go out and photograph sunrise the way you do! Thanks Steve!.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Reflections and reflections. Two of my favorite things. But I think you’ve outdone yourself on brilliant writing with this one. And you know me well enough by now to anticipate my appreciation of these images. Intriguing, and begging for yet more contemplation. An interesting journey with you today…Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person


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