The twin architects of our daily lives, time and space, occupy very different places in my mind/experience. Space is a concept I’m comfortable with; I can judge size accurately, I have a keen feeling for landscape, I relish the myriad permutations of form I come across in life. But time, that’s another matter entirely. Past present and future don’t always differentiate for me the way they seem to for other people. I am perpetually behind, I sometimes foresee what’s coming like it’s happening now, and I constantly get stuck in a mesmerizing present that puts me beyond the reach of the normal interruptions of daily life. Over the years I’ve learned to live with this mushy sense of time, and thankfully, people close to me usually tolerate the inconvenience it causes them.
Maybe my experience of malleable time and the erasure of boundaries promotes creative expression. Maybe new flowers grow in a place where time is not so fixed and the the border between now and then is smudged into oblivion.
I want to tell you something
profound about time but
I have never understood it. They say one moment
is followed by the next. No,
this morning in dim gray light
the towhee ziggs-zaggs under the feeder – a
svelte, dark shadow
and junco’s white tail feathers flit in quick arcs
between the sword fern and the bird feeder, and
my grandfather smiles gruffly at the pretty redbird,
a cardinal gracing his front yard, and the Song sparrow pours
song into the air from a wire
outside my old apartment in Hastings-on-Hudson: the same
buzz-and-trill melody, over and over, and
the chickadee’s delicate claws
precisely grasp my seed-filled ten-year-old hand and
a thin, gossamer thread, twinkling rainbow colors in an
almost-felt breeze connects
all of it, here,
The intention is for the images to convey a feeling of movement. Tempus fugit. Rushing ahead pell mell, turning back on itself in circles, the hazy fog where nothing is hitched to anything else….time is unpredictable and cannot be grasped. And at times it seems to stand still, but maybe not – as in the last photo of the German countryside seen from a speeding train car, where perhaps time is morphing into space.
- A flock of birds takes off across the bay at a refuge near Seattle. The horizon is tilted and the colors are distorted for effect. f6.3, 1/80th sec. December, 2016.
- Blurred Atlantic ocean water washes a bone I found on a beach many years ago. The bone is probably a dolphin scapula. From an old slide, circa 1979.
- The road rushes by on Big Basin Highway, Big Basin Redwoods State Park in California. Intentional camera movement on a Samsung phone. October, 2016.
- Intentional blur and intentional camera movement from a car, colors altered. Avenue of the Giants, Humboldt Redwoods State Park, CA. f4.5, 2/5 sec. April, 2018.
- A Red-breasted nuthatch flies away from a suet feeder. f3.2, 1/125th sec. Not intentionally blurred but I liked the effect. June, 2016.
- The scenery disappears quickly through the window of a train in the Netherlands. Intentionally blurred. f22, 1/4 sec. April, 2019.
- Carp at a conservatory in Tacoma, Washington. Intentionally blurred. f20, 1 sec. November, 2017.
- Flowers on my deck at home. Intentional camera movement. f5.6, 1/3 sec. September 2016.
- A blowing leaf at a park, intentionally blurred. Aperture information unknown – vintage lens. 1/800 sec. February 2018.
- Rushing water in a creek in the foothills of the Cascades. Intentionally blurred. f11, 1/8 sec. September, 2014.
- I don’t think this doubled image happened intentionally – maybe the photograph was taken through a window, I don’t remember. f3.5, 1/320 sec. December, 2008.
- The view from Goose Rock, Deception Pass State Park, Washington. Intentional camera movement. f22, 1/3 sec. February 2020.
- A roadside outside of Portland, Oregon. Intentional blur and camera movement. f22, 1/8 sec. April, 2018.
- Fields seen from a train traveling between Cologne and Frankfurt. The view seems static but it’s actually blurred by the train’s movement. f3.5, 1/200 sec. April, 2019.