Friday, October 31, 2008

A Halloween Gift

I spent most of yesterday afternoon hanging a new exhibit at our local theater. They've just finished a run of Macbeth, and next month's program features an orchestra performance called The Music of Shakespeare and a play called Saving Juliet (about a teen playing in Romeo and Juliet on Broadway), so my exhibit is appropriately entitled Shakespeare's Italy, and each image is accompanied by a quote from one of Shakespeare's plays.

We've had a spectacularly gorgeous fall on Bainbridge this year, and I keep meaning to take pictures but Pippa's death has left me feeling rather out-of-sorts and it's been difficult to feel much enthusiasm for my camera. When I left the house shortly after noon to take the photos in to hang, I thought about bringing the camera, but the only memory card with any space on it was still plugged in to my computer, and I was running late, so I just left without it.

As is usual when I leave my camera behind, there were some beautiful scenes just begging to be photographed as I drove into town, but I was so tired by the time I finished hanging the show that I just wanted to go home and collapse. So I went home and had an orange, sat and read for a while, and kept thinking about the images I wanted to shoot. The sky was darkening, both preparing for the rain we have this morning and moving in to evening, but eventually I gave in to the impulse, put the memory card and a new battery into the camera, and went back into town.

After shooting the specific things I'd seen -- a stand of brightly colored trees beside the fire station; some late-blooming cosmos against the gray wall of the shoe repair shop; the bright red maples of the Safeway parking lot -- I decided to pop down to Waterfront Park for old times' sake.

For the first few years I lived on the island, I did most of my shooting at Waterfront Park. There's a public dock there, and the folks who live on boats in the bay or in the marinas across from the park tend to row into town to pick up supplies and leave their boats tethered at the dock.

The boats come in all shapes and sizes, but are mostly working dinghies, canoes and kayaks, and I love to photograph their sturdy practical shapes reflected in the calm waters of early morning.

There's often a lot of activity at the dock in the evening (which is why I tend not to shoot then), and yesterday was no exception. But the water was calm, the rain was still only intermittent, and to my delight there was an unfamiliar boat there: a bright orange canoe.

It was a perfect Halloween gift, all black and orange -- the bright canoe with its woven seat and wooden paddles; the water, darkly reflecting the looming clouds and littered with orange maple leaves; the mysterious black shadows cast by the boats and their masts and lines, wavering as the big weekender boats from Seattle made their way into the marinas -- and so I share it with you this morning, along with a reminder that we're really celebrating All Saints Day. So think of the loved ones you have lost, hold them in your prayers, and don't forget to pick up some candy for your trick-or-treaters.

Happy Halloween!

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