Friday, April 7, 2017

A Day of Discovery

A friend sent me a review of Patrick Barkham's Coastlines: The Story of Our Shore. The reviewer wrote, "Bleak and windswept, the place [Scolt Head Island] was no idyll, and after an episode in which Barkham's father spotted two men stealing rare eggs but failed to persuade the island warden to confront them, the family stopped going there. Revisiting it 35 years on, Barkham surmounts the discomfort he felts as a child to achieve a dreamlike peace or hypnagogia -- no easy matter when you're swimming in the North Sea."

I am not British, nor have I a shore. I don't remember a non-idyllic place which my family visited, nor have I swum in the North Sea.

But I know hypnagogia.

I experience it every time I take pictures outside or in, when I see something beautiful and want to experience it both outside the frame and in it. At those moments, I suspend thinking and simply look and do.

Today, though, I paused long enough for the wind to die and realized that even when I take lots of not-so-great photos, I could keep doing it and keep failing all day. Happily.

Fortunately, after struggling to photograph a Shooting Star, I found something that doesn't move.

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