Sunday, January 18, 2009

Life's lens~

In this fourth New England snowstorm--a beautiful one with snow falling gently and clinging to trees--I took my camera and braved the poorly plowed roads to capture the beauty in pixels.

Feeling expansive, thinking of the nation poised to inaugurate a new president, I chose my wide-angle lens to shoot landscapes. I'm aware that my mood, my mindset, controls my photography. I was not in the mood today for close focus, certainly not the minute detail a macro lens allows, and I had already zoomed in on birds waiting in the tree by the driveway for their turn at the feeder.

I wanted to think about the country while I focused on the beauty of the countryside.

I don't know what the future holds. I listen to the president elect's words on the radio in my truck and think how he has not provided specifics, but he's fed hope to a hungry nation . . . a nourishing meal, as long as it lives up to its promise.

I'm anxious for a breath of fresh air that a new administration brings, yet aware that hope is just that. Hope. I will remain optimistic. If the talk of change provides only a temporary placebo effect, then . . . I will still remain hopeful.

I stand at the edge of a field, a stubble of corn stalks, like stiff whiskers, poke through the snow. The trees are soft in the falling snow; two hawks rest in their bare branches.

My cell phone rings. A teacher friend's husband has died. Unexpectedly. Victim of a brain aneurism. Discovered when his wife got home from school.

Lenses. I think of lenses. How this friend's lens was wide-angle as she drove home. She was thinking of how happy she was to have a day off on Monday--Martin Luther King's Day, maybe. Maybe she had plans she wanted to share with her husband. But her wide angled view abruptly narrowed. Macro. Up close. The world fades away in times like these. The funeral will be Monday. Her day off.

I continued to walk along the road beside the fields, stopping when I came to the place where the bridge is out. A wide chasm splits the road in two . . . like my friend's world.

I know the snow will stop. The clouds will open, allowing the sun's rays through, and even with eyes shut tight in pain, my friend will feel their warmth, although she will not see the light for a while.
I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next.~Gilda Radner


RiverPoet said...

Beautifully put, Ruth. My prayers are with your friend. What a hard thing to deal with.

Peace - D

Ross Eldridge said...

Hi there, Ruth,

A reminder, I guess, that while snow is soft and beautiful, it is cold and deadly, depending just where you are in relation to it. As is life.

I'm losing friends and family now who were, so far as I know, healthy. My unhealthy folks are mostly dead. My sister says: You know so many dead people!

And so, I guess, more than ever, we should tell people how much we care for them before they, or we, go out in the cold.

Gilda Radner says enjoy the moment, I say fashion the moment so that it lasts just a little after the spell is broken. An echo. Something to ease the loneliness.

Nice work, as always, Ruth. Keep warm and well. May the pixels be with you.


Wanda said...

A time to reflect.... A time to be thankful for the little things of each day.

I will pray for your teacher friend, as we do not know which lense we will have to face tomorrow.

I love the way you say things, Ruth, with tear in my eye, and a feeling of needing to ponder, I thank you.


Pauline said...

Death is always in the midst of life, isn't it? If only that fact was as easy to accept as say. And yet your photos show that life is always in the midst of death. If only that was as easy to see as to say...

Janice Thomson said...

Your posts are always so thought-provoking with a gentle wisdom that clings to the reader. I appreciated the metaphor of the photographer's macro and wide-lenses in your analysis and comparison to life. I guess in the end we must be prepared to change our lens at a moment's notice if we want to capture that meaningful picture whether it is in photography or real life. Thank you as always Ruth for your wonderful posts.

Tere said...

This brings back so many memories. My husband was also at home alone when he died unexpectedly. One minute life was so normal for us and then everything changed. Your words described that feeling perfectly. Thank you for understanding and providing the words that help everyone understand.