Saturday, February 09, 2008

Watching and Listening on the Hill

What was I doing out here? I grow weary of cold and winter and deep snow and the color blue, and I sometimes consider hibernation, but somehow or other, I never weary of silence and stillness and the color purple when I encounter it in the woods, on a hillside or in a field on a snowy day.

On a wild and stormy day, one can stand in a quiet place and see in the heart of every tumbling snowflake a tiny whirling silver moon. When the flakes comes to rest on the roof of the old granary, on nearby rail fences or among the trees, they tinkle and chime and ring like bells. It's the singing of the universe around me, the music of the spheres, or as the Irish hero Fionn Mac Cumhail once called it, "the music of what happens". I close my eyes for a moment and picture, not what is there right before me, but camel caravans bound for Tashkent and trains of yaks ambling through the Himalayas.

Sometimes, radical measures are necessary. Looking for silence and stillness and the color purple (any color at all except blue), I went out to the woods yesterday and just stood for an hour or two, watching and listening as the snow fell thick and fast. Snug in my hillside shelter and out of the wind, I caught a falling snowflake on my tongue - it tasted like moonlight and had the heady aroma of adventures, wild magics and faraway places.

I've been out on that very hillside on icy winter nights when the northern lights were putting on a fine display, the skies overhead an astonishing panoply of shifting colors and rustling taffeta melodies. It's fine stuff indeed and good medicine for one who is longing for color, music and rhyme.

On the way home through the deep snow afterward, I looked at the raft of images stored on the memory card in my camera and thought that there wasn't a single one that captured the magic of the hour or did justice to the day. How does one capture tastes and sounds and perfumes in a photograph anyway?


Anonymous said...

That is fantastically beautiful, like a watercolor fantasy. It makes me feel as if I'm inside a magic snow globe.

Just don't get too cold out there. :)

Anonymous said...

Re: "How does one capture tastes and sounds and perfumes in a photograph anyway?"

You do an awesome job of it.

Dianna Woolley said...

I agree with "fireflynights" - you do an awesome job of it!

What is left to the imagination in your beautiful photography is captured and complemented through your eloquent commentary! I am surprised at myself to see how I enjoy the freezing cold scenery portrayed through your lens.

So captivated that I've chosen your site for an "E" Award - that's for Excellent Blogsite Reward. Hope you'll stop by and read the details at my site. In the meantime, keep up your beautiful work.

I'm wondering if I first saw your work on the Cafe Writing blogsite. If I didn't you should submit your work there for others to enjoy!

Hope to see you visit -


Lil said...

as you look through your lens out to the wintery wildness around your neck of the woods, i watch mine through my toddler's eyes:

"if alllll the snowflakes
were candy bars and milkshakes
oh what a world this would beeeee!

i could go outside
with my mouth open wide
ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah (picture tongue sticking out to capture said flavours)

if allll the snowflakes
were candy bars and milkshakes
oh what a world this would beeee eeeee!"

that about sums it up how we feel about snow!

erm...except on snowdays when the house is filled with 4 kids, it's -21 and it's the third @&!$# snow day in a row!

*grining a knowing grin*
Lil xo

Suzanne said...

Barbara, I love your comment about the magic snow globe. I felt like I was looking at a fairy tale -- the magic snow globe image is as enchanting as the photograph.

Thank you for capturing the magic and for your lovely words, Cate.