Sunday, September 30, 2012

In My Attempts to Lift the Veil


Early this morning, while sitting at my table saying good morning in an email to a friend, I looked outside at the full moon that was still up just over the tree tops. In that same moment, I heard a flock of geese honking as they flew by under the light of the moon. It was not a bad way to start the day.

I've become quite obsessed with the always-changing light this time of year. It reached a fever pitch last year under the crab apple tree, as I chased the light round and round always seeing something new. If I stand in one spot for even a minute, the light will change several times. The leaves that are highlighted one moment become upstaged by the bark, which is busy filling in its rough edges with leftover light.




I learned  long ago that running for your camera at such moments is a waste of time. By the time you return, all you saw previously is gone, replaced by something else, beautiful perhaps, but not that moment. Better to stand still and just look.




However, I have taken to keeping my camera in my pocket and am now attempting to have my cake and eat it, too.



I will sing for the veil that never lifts.
I will sing for the veil that begins, once in a lifetime,
   maybe, to lift.
I will sing for the rent in the veil.
I will sing for what is in front of the veil, the
   floating light.
I will sing for what is behind the veil -
   light, light, and more light.

~ Mary Oliver, from The Leaf and the Cloud








38 comments:

  1. A very beautiful post, Teresa. And Mary Oliver always says it so well. I have that book; it's time to pick it up and read some poems again. Thank you.

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    1. Mary says everything so well. I read that extended poem in bits and pieces and this piece popped out at me this morning and there was the post, complete.

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  2. I do think we have a fair bit in common Teresa, here is your lovely post today about the light. I too always wish I could collect those moments - those flashes like jewels, the colours irradiated, and even when we do find our camera to hand and the photo comes out just fine something has changed as the seconds ticked betwixt the decision and the shutter. Oh! to be able to write like Mary Oliver!

    I hope your week-end is a good one.
    Hugs Jane x

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    1. "Betwixt the decision and the shutter." Well put. Impossible to truly capture, but I keep trying, and love the moments of just quiet reflection even more.

      It is a wonderful weekend. Hugs to you, dear Jane.

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  3. This is a lovely time of year for light, all right.

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  4. beautiful...and you appreciate and enjoy it!

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    1. Every day brings new things to see. To stand in awe of the world is a good way to spend the "time."

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  5. Yes, that beautiful light. And there is a special golden light in the afternoon when the sun is low.

    That tree is SO beautiful.

    Grethe´)

    When I saw the post title I first thought you would tell us you had been dancing the Dance of the Seven Veils! `)
    What is it actually about these veils. I'll have to look in Google....

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    1. That evening light is special. I'm trying to create a montage of photos of the tree, to see the changes. It's an exercise in paying attention. ;)

      I hope you find some interesting ideas about the veil. I have my thoughts, but you will have yours and isn't that wonderful?

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  6. The problem is all too often in the taking of the photo, we lose the moment.
    On the other hand, it is good to be able to share a moment with a friend who is not there. This is beautiful land.

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    1. That's where that darn having my cake and eating it, too, is coming into play. I stand at attention to really take it all in, snap a picture, stay quiet, watching again....not always easy, but if a decision must be made, I opt for closing my camera's shutter, and standing still.

      And I do have fun sharing them with all of you.

      I do love this land.

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  7. So beautiful this post Teresa. I too am obsessed by light and you capture your autumn light perfectly. The wonder of it.

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    1. Joan, You are heading into spring, and that always cheers me, to know life is emerging on the other half of this beautiful planet. It's all about the Light, is it not?

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  8. Sort of a metaphor for life...it's what happens while you're running for the camera or looking for a pen to take notes.

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    1. It reminds me of the John Lennon quote: Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."

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  9. I seem to be enjoying the autumn light more each year. This year has been spectacular for the highs and lows of the light. Rain here today, so am not getting a chance to go out and visit it.

    Mary Oliver sees nature so beautifully.

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    1. Sandy, The light this year seems just outstanding, but the rain is good, too, a different kind of good... :)

      Mary's view of the world is priceless.

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  10. I've noticed that, too--the tree color is not so spectacular this year but the light is sensational. Maybe we just didn't need it or notice it so much when we were busy gazing at all the brilliant trees. Actually, your maple is wonderful, and we have a couple of big yellow boulevard trees that are quite wonderful. (I only know that they are not cottonwoods.)

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    1. I was concerned earlier that the color would not even happen to any noticeable degree, but it has, although not as startling as some years. That light is making up for it!

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  11. The autumn light is amazing. The early morning and the twilight are special. The stillness is dreamlike for me.
    Thanks for helping me to stop and pay more attention.

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    1. It is dreamlike, isn't it, John? And you are most welcome. Paying attention is what we have been called to do.

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  12. Ahh the light on the leaves is spectacular! -- barbara

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    1. It is glorious out there. Beauty everywhere.

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  13. As the sun hands lower on the horizon its lots of fun to watch the longer and lingering shadows on the ground, particularly in the forest. This time when light transcends both time and space it seems as if these northern climates are preparing for rest. And after such a busy summer it is cleat that it will be a rest well deserved.

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    1. I think that's one of the things I like about fall: a respite after the summer. The light does transcend both time and space.

      Thanks, bill.

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  14. Beautiful post, Teresa. Your words, photos, and poem - as well as all the commentes. There is something so intense about the Autumn sun and you seem to have captured it all. I try to carry my camera with me most of the time as well.

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    1. Hi Penny, Sometimes, when I see a familiar scene through a photo, it helps me appreciate it even more, seeing it with new eyes. Even seeing things I missed with my eyes. It's good to have a back-up. :)

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  15. I so enjoy when you share these poems, I only own one of her books and need more.i have read her a lot when I go to the library or bookstore.

    I played a Bukowski poems CD for a friend and her Baptist background made it hard for her to listen for very long.When I taught I often said this vernicular was lack of understanding for our English language, but see it as more of a personal art form. I laughed later thinking how I claimed it to be some of the best and my favorite.I have a good collection of him I might loan for the loan of Mary if someone was interested.

    I like the translucense in the first leaf photo. I often shoot this,it is like a stained glass.

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    1. I like Charles B. in small doses, as I do many poems. Savoring them one at a time and letting them rest in my thought has always served me best. It's interesting how our favorites can change over time and then we re-visit them like an old friend. One we may have outgrown but are still glad to see.

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    2. I do visit poems as old friends. i think I still savor Charles B.to keep me young. I read him first when I was 19 and liked at the time reading mostly all of the Beat writers I could find.I bought all my books at City Lights/San Francisco, they also published under a variety of names.I think he first published with them as Black Sparrow Press, and later City Lights.I remember getting some small poetry books with a construction paper cover.

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    3. the Beats have long fascinated me. those construction paper covered books sound great!

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  16. Hi Teresa,

    You're right. The moment for the perfect shot vanishes when we turn away to find the camera. (Now, where did I put that thing?)

    Because the cameras on phones have gotten so much better, that happens less often. Since I'm not a good photographer, I take a lot of pictures, figuring that I can pick out the one or two good ones in the bunch later.

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    1. I'm afraid my phone is a dinosaur among cellphones, but I do like my camera's ability to take many pictures and then I can leisurely sort through and delete. Every time I'm tempted to curse technology I think of that.

      Thanks, Ray.

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  17. Dear Teresa, thank you for the photographs, filled with light; for Oliver's poem; and for your own lyrical musings. In each, you capture the mystery of fleeting light. Peace.

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    1. Thank you so much, Dee. I'm glad this piece and its photos spoke to you.

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  18. Ah, the wonder of those very fleeting moments of exactly the right light and the precise colors to go with them!

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