October 28, 2009

New Planet Discovered

Scientists were flying high when they were able to capture this photo of recently discovered exo-planet DeZKo-54. The atmosphere of the exo-planet is marked by strong pulsations and a fine white powder.

Scientists were also able to capture one photo of this whirling phenomena located in Boelin Alley, an area of the galaxy marked by numerous violent and often ill-aimed collisions. They suspect that bizarre objects of this type are everywhere in our solar system where they exert a tremendous monetary-gravitational pull on other rotund-bipedal objects and strip them of their precious metals.

October 24, 2009

Far On A Dark Wind

A depression settled on me this week the likes of which I have never experienced. Every movement, every endurance of every moment was an agony. At night I alternated between sweating and shivering and driving my wife crazy. No real sleep, no real rest for either of us.

When these depressions come each is more severe than the last. I don’t know how any could be heavier than this. No life. No interest. Having to do something every moment to take my mind off how deep I am in the fugue state. An old friend recently sent me an article about how depression, mental illness and addiction often go hand in hand. Those afflicted resort to a variety of dysfunctional practices to keep the day-to-day, moment-by-moment horror of life at bay.

I have endured addictions of many sorts. I have to be careful of everything to make sure I don’t begin to like it too much. I can/will grasp at any distraction to keep from seeing my life the way it really is, to keep from feeling the pain my decisions cause others, to avoid see the mess (literal and figurative) all around me.

Like many others I also turn to art, the process of creation. Trying to re-create? This urge/drive/need to forge the ugly dysfunction into something at least I recognize as a thing of beauty has been with me for many, many years. It is truly a blessing and a curse because any solace it provides is transient, only the passing over of the eye of the storm.

I struggle to get at the heart of it. Genetic? My family is living proof. My father and my mother’s father died from the long-term horror of alcoholism. Both sides of my family are riddled with cases of addiction and the inherent dysfunction. But for me it is also the weight of November. My father died on the eve of Thanksgiving in 1971. It was bitterly cold and the end of his battle with the bottle. At the age of 36 he died in his own piss and blood. My four siblings and I watched as his dead, emaciated body collapsed, pinning our mother to the couch. I was eleven. Following his death our lives of poverty, disgrace and abuse actually marginally improved.

His death has proven to be the axis mundi of my life in many, many ways. It is the event from which I cannot free myself. To compound the issue (as I was reminded recently) I am pretty much physically identical to my father. I guess in other ways we’re also the same. He was a talented man and an artist in his own right but the weight of it all was just too much.

How long is his reach? Why? Why? Why? Thirty-nine years later and still I sit here in tears trying to put the ghosts to bed. Sleep well Dad. I wish I could.

October 17, 2009

In The Gloom

These photos were taken on a very foggy day on or near the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia. All three have been modified to highlight not how the scene through the viewfinder looked but how it felt. All three are darker than the originals and gloomier. Although not faithful to the light and shadow of the moment they are faithful to the somber beauty of the Appalachians.

Or perhaps it is a reflection of the gloom that seems to permeate my existence of late. November is yet weeks away but already I feel its cold grip and cache of memories better left buried. The elasticity of memory. Some seem to remain forever attached like barnacles, hard to break loose only to come back again.

October 13, 2009

King Cotton

While on the way to Statesboro to visit my daughter at GSU I stopped long enough the take these photos of cotton in the field. Much of the wealth of the antebellum south came from cotton sales as the raw cotton fed mills in the United States and in Europe. The process of growing, harvesting and turning the cotton into thread prior to the invention of the cotton gin was very labor intensive and helped make slavery a sad reality in the southern states. This is cotton in its raw state.

October 9, 2009

Fort Clinch

These photos were taken a week or so ago at Fort Clinch on Amelia Island, the northernmost of Florida’s barrier islands. We were there for a field trip/picnic. As with most structures this old it lends itself well to being photographed.

More photos of the fort are available at The Bosom Serpent.

October 7, 2009

Prefab Beauty

I took these photos earlier today a few blocks from the house when Sophie and I were out for our daily walk. Even in prefabricated public spaces there is beauty if we really open our eyes to look. What at first glance appears to be just more plastic and metal is transformed into a hypnotic repetition of form, a face with glaring eyes, a metal backbone. Discovering or "seeing" this art hiding in plain sight is one of the great joys of photography.