Friday, March 19, 2010

The fish are jumping

It was a beautiful day here yesterday, and my husband went off to Seattle to have lunch with an old friend, so I treated myself to a visit to one of my favorite places on the island, a sort of junkyard-like spot in the woods beside one of our marinas.

I've been working on a new project lately, exploring what happens when I "play' with images of old surfaces -- mostly metal -- that have been marked by rust, or moss, or mold. So I was excited to go and look at the junkyard with new eyes, just focusing on the surfaces rather than the items themselves, or their patterns.

It was a disappointing visit at one level: it seems clear that yet another island institution is being cleared away and cleaned up: lots of the "stuff" that used to be there (and this is a marine junkyard, not a garbage dump or a car junkyard, so the "stuff" is really fascinating and often hard to identify -- I once took a photo of something that looked like a vagina but turned out to be the top of a keel) has been taken away; a lot of the brush has been cut back, and there are new-looking trucks there, clearly intending to carry away more stuff.

But some of my favorite pieces were still on hand -- including a giant rusty water tank you'll be seeing more of -- and there were some new textures to explore that I hadn't noticed before. So I shot a bunch of images, knowing it might all be carted away before I had a chance to come back. And then I drove home, sat on my deck in the sun for a while to brighten up my mood, and came to my computer to play. SO MUCH FUN!

This one, which I call "Come Spawning Time" (a play on the wonderful song, "Come Harvest Time") was just the mold and scrapes and rust on the side of a dumpster, but when I intensified the color it looked to me a bit like a salmon leaping the waves to come home; even has that sort of battered look those old fish get when they struggle back up the stream for the last time.

Which, if you think about it, is another metaphor for that theme that keeps recurring this Lent: What is Dying to be Reborn? Yes, we are a family in transition; yes, our relationships are all transitioning; and, yes, it's been a bit of a struggle to be true to ourselves while allowing our roles in the family to evolve -- and we're not out of the woods yet. But we're getting better at being present to the struggle, at adjusting to the rhythms of the waves, at keeping our heads above water and allowing our energy levels to rise and fall without getting too critical; at watching our reactions to one another and accepting that they mean more about what's going on inside than what's going on in the room or some fatal flaw in the other person.

By now it's old hat to quote that old Chinese saying about crisis being another word for opportunity. But if we can approach this crazy ride as an adventure rather than a chore, the journey might be less like The Grapes of Wrath (which I saw performed last night at our local theater) and more like Marjorie Flack's delightful children's classic, The Story About Ping. I suppose that could be wishful thinking, but -- hey! A girl can dream!


Maureen said...

A very cool image. It looked to me like islands seen through scratched glass.

It's good you are documenting the junkyard. You might be the only one doing that.

Keep dreaming. I like what comes up.

Have a great weekend!


I think "spawning time" is a perfect title/description for the photo and I agree, what fun to explore forgotten, cast aside surfaces to find beauty and imagination alive in a way the true object may never have conveyed.


Jayne said...

Cool image! Reminds me of the effects my friend Bob Burns is getting with an HDR class he's taking. If you are interested, he's posted some photos he has redone using the technique...