Suddenly the light stands out to me everywhere. I realized I am not photographing my children, or my surroundings. I'm photographing light. That sudden lightning bolt has affected my mental process behind the camera recently and I am always looking to capture the light. I know that it is a very basic and simple photography concept that took way too long to really click into my head but it's not really my head it clicked into; it is more my heart and my understanding of light and shadows and how their interplay makes up the world around us. There's a metaphor there. I doubt there is any visible difference in my pictures, but the consciousness is there and ready to be stretched and developed. I really love the way a camera captures beauty, sorrow, fear, disgust - all these things that can be contemplated later and remembered with a sigh or a laugh. It is my life that I am capturing with the light.
I accidentally capture my children's personalities - Lyddie trying out whether she likes to perform for the camera or ignore it, Rosie mostly unconscious of me in the background looking for the light, Millie deliberately ignoring mostly, but eager to see the pictures later and smiling at the memories they hold.
My favorite current book holds the same light and shadows. Lila by Marilynne Robinson does not disappoint after having read Gilead by the same author. I am swept along in Lila's thoughts, and it is fascinating to hear her story from her own perspective after having read the other book from her husband's point of view. Her childhood of neglect and rescuing, her early adulthood of abandonment and sorrow, her mature womanhood with a pinprick of faith alongside all the mistrust and doubt that come naturally after traumatic experiences. I really do get lost in her memories and reflections as I wander the outskirts of Gilead with her. It is reminiscent of Wendell Berry but rather than writing about fairly healthy and functional communities that are evaporating, Robinson seems drawn to the beauty in the midst of the brokenness. Not that Berry doesn't succeed in the same things, but they are different in that way. If you like Wendell Berry, you will probably like giving this author a go. If you do or if you have already read her books, drop me a note and let me know what you think in the comments.