through a lens, darkly v2

today was one of those exquisite spring days.   i spent the morning working in the backyard (sweeping the patio, cleaning the outdoor furniture & thinking that they needed to be re-stained this summer) making sure i took lots of little breaks to admire my work (& to rest my aching back) all this work the downside to having been a lazy bum, ignoring these chores/finding excuses/generally avoiding physical labor.

this afternoon, on a walk through our hillside neighborhood, i carefully composed several  photographs utilizing my digital camera that carefully mimicked those i had taken yesterday with the camera in a mobile cell phone, thinking that they needed to be seen clearly & without the gauze of. its low resolution.

the atmosphere sparkled with sunlight, glinting & shimmering against the little shards of mirror-like moisture/smog/onshore ocean air that makes the light in southern california particularly attractive (to artists, photographers, writers.)  i wanted to capture that sparkling light & hoped that its elusive quality would translate itself as if i had been able to capture the moment when a conjurer makes his beautiful assistant disappear in a wisp of smoke (& mirror.)

with the sun as bright as it was, i ducked among the shade thrown by ficus trees along the sidewalk to take a moment’s cool respite from the sun’s intensityi reviewed the photographs i had already taken & was delighted to see that  it was capturing the mosaic quality of the valley below &  the pixelated light.

interestingly, both gardening & walking have been solitary pursuits, & i have been left with my own thoughts & dreams & ruminations, only the thrum of the occasional car passing by in the canyon below or speeding up the hill–birdsong punctuating the script.  i am often stunned by the lack of people walking & enjoying our beautiful neighborhood & the stunning views we are privileged to have at a moment’s notice.  i rarely come across anyone else on one of my perambulations through the neighborhood which leaves me saddened & elated.

i faced the steep uphill walk, its vanishing point a shady goal from the relentless (but pleasantly familiar)  sunlight, a warm, friendly arm around my shoulders.   i thought of a drafting class that i took in 8th or 9th grade, taught by mr. ________, the crew-cut, button-down, chino-wearing ‘shop’ teacher who gently allowed me my incompetencies in wood/metal shop class (in case any of us were not cut out for further academic study, technical school instead) & encouraged & admired my drafting flourishes with kind words & high marks.

a young star pine (aka norfolk island pine) at the top of the hill drew me to its gallant handsomeness, branches bursting from its trunk in a joyous hallelujah of matter over mind (will we see more clearly after death?)  a joyous evocation of the beauty of nature/the nature of beauty.

i heard the beating of my heart in counterpoint to the beating of a bird’s wings, the rush & rustle of the wind on the upbeat;  the sun, even, harmonically shimmering, twinkling, tinkling.

again, like yesterday, i looped around the top of the hill through a more manicured community, each shrub, tree, lawn, pavement, shadow elegantly topiaried & espaliered; all bending nature to do man’s bidding; thinking that for now, we may believe we can see through the lens of this life, but darkly, darkly.

version 1 can be read by clicking here.


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© Robert Patrick, and Cultivar, 2008-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, photographs and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Robert Patrick and Cultivar with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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