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Entries in aspen (2)


Path through the Woods

In the just-over-a-year that I've been writing this blog it seems to have evolved from a photography study into personal journal with pictures.  It seems to be getting more personal by the day, which leaves me wondering exactly what is appropriate to put here.  Is it the job of this space to be pretty and cheerful?  (I have that in me.)  Inspiring?  (Erm, some days, maybe.)  Real?  (Well this seems like the obvious choice.  But down this path lies danger.)

So I was scared yesterday to publish a catalogue of my failures.  There's a part of me that feels like it's so immodest to make all of this public.  Dirty laundry should be private!  And then there's the part of me that has discovered this space feels like a release valve... my life gets so full, and pressure builds, and publish and a measure of relief. I guess I'm not sure what the exact right function of this space is yet, but I'm feeling my way through the dark by instinct.  Soon I will get some light bulbs, and then we'll have a real party!

Amy Z left this in a comment yesterday, which I love: Revel in living life outside the crop. It's where the REAL stuff happens that makes up the rich fabric of your life, dog puke and all. Those struggles - be they laundry or light bulbs - are what connect us all as imperfect humans.

Thank you so much for letting me be imperfect here.  Pretty and cheerful feels like an awful lot to live up to.  Thank you so much for telling me your houses are messy too.  Maybe real people do live this way.  Thank you so much for letting me be real.  (Unless you are my mother-in-law, in which case it was all an exaggeration for comedic effect.  We're great.  Really.) 


Enchanted Forest, Or Why There's No Point In Hiking With Me

354.365 16mm f6.3 1/125 ISO 200I have, apparently, become impossible to hike with. 

This weekend was one of peaks for fall color - which, in Colorado's high country means everything is yellow yellow yellow.  That's because aspens are basically the only deciduous trees in the mountains and they turn gold in autumn.

Aspen trees are as charming as they come, to my mind.  Standing armies of stark white trunks, quivering heart-shaped leaves, a delicate rustling sound.  Also, they share a root system, so while they may look like individual trees, they are really one big interconnected community.  This appeals to me on a metaphorical level.

I was preoccupied with finding the perfect aspen grove and capturing that fleeting, magical fall feeling.

But this weekend reaffirmed my suspicion that a photowalk is best undertaken solo.  It doesn't adhere to the logical forward progression of the trail.  It is winding and slow and moves in fits and starts, guided by generally imperceptible shifts in light and shadow and halted by tiny details.

355.365 24mm f2.8 1/320 ISO 200I noticed this weekend that it is probably only minimally enjoyable for, say, a squirmy 35-pound-toddler or the lucky patient strong parent who must carry him.

My hope is that fresh mountain air and quivering golden aspen leaves are their own reward.