While looking for a small image for business cards, I remembered the antique trunk decorated with strips of scallop-shell embossed tin that I’d photographed a few weeks ago.
I have a strong fondness for scallop shells, not only because of my name…
Found, at the back of a wonderful old room that’s now used for yoga by those who love the full light that streams in through windows on three of its four walls: An antique, tin-decorated trunk.
Swirls of scallops circle and repeat across the tin strips on the lid, a dance of four shells times eight, times 36, and more… I offer a sampling of their dance, in this detail from the trunk.
Some time after editing this photo, I was looking for an image to place on business cards, and came back to these scallops, which feel symbolic of life and creativity to me.
I’ll be moderating the panel Friday afternoon, March 8, 2013, at Talking Fresh 11, the free festival of writing and writers hosted by the Saskatchewan Writers Guild.
It should be fun, with panelists Noah Richler, Kimmy Beach, Joel Thomas Hynes and Chrystene Ells sharing their perspectives on writing in Canada, with specific focus on writing location.
I tried to learn to play the guitar once, and failed somewhat miserably. I couldn’t get my fingers to draw music from the strings and instead, produced only a dull, painful thudding.
Others in my household are more guitar-gifted. Like my son, the owner of this shiny red electric guitar. (He has at least one other guitar, and his father seems to have a few, too… I can’t keep track, but only know there are many cases in the basement, and several instruments freed from all constraints, playing on the living room sofa and chairs.)
A friend recently e-mailed about the photograph I’d been using in thumbnail on my blogs. She wondered when it was taken — five years ago, I realized, so time for a refresh.
As I’ve been putting other people through the fun (or annoyance?) of portrait posing, I decided it was also time to start taking pictures of myself.
Self-portraits are an exercise in patience, a meditation on the self, an illustration of the gap between what we’d like to see in the mirror and the face we wake up to.
They are also a way of seeing what’s it’s like on the other side of the camera. And I know which side I prefer. (Hint: I like testing the light, squinting into the viewfinder, planning the shot…)
Under the bridge, the lines repeat as the columns recede, down the hill and across the river, bearing cars, buses and pedestrians to the other side of the South Saskatchewan.
Perspective diminishes into dirt on the riverbank. Pilings pull sight sideways into lines and shadows, dark angles repeating right under the bridge.
I’m fortunate to be attending a writers and artists retreat at St. Peter’s Abbey in Muenster, Saskatchewan.
The retreat is a joint program of the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild and CARFAC Saskatchewan, and it attracts a wide range of talented people from across Canada.
I’m in my second week, focusing on poetry — I’ve finally wrapped up my first manuscript, and have started on a second project.
I’m also working on a few short fiction pieces and, in the breaks from writing, I’m exploring the great photo ops. (So far in this wonderful place, I’ve seen deer and Great Horned Owls, heard coyotes, and taken pictures of chickadees, redpolls, nuthatches and White-winged Crossbills.)
Three more days. A short time left, but I know I’m very lucky to have this luxury of time to write — and explore.
Confession: I am more a fan of photographing mushrooms than of eating them, though I will make some exceptions for fried mushrooms with steak and Portobello mushrooms stuffed with crab or other delights.
But I’m in awe of the undersides of fresh mushrooms, the crisp lines of gills, the soft rounded skin…
For looking, not cooking. Enjoy!
Chickadees. Snow. A barbed wire fence. Simple clear lines and the cold — could winter be anything more than this? (Yes, of course it can. But here’s the chickadee, anyway.)
Late last year, when the leaves still glowed with orange and red colours, I captured this image of snow gently dusting a branch beside a local park. This image reminds me of the transience of life and seasons, and the artificial boundaries we place between things. Like Winter. And Fall.