Thursday, August 10, 2017

august 10 glimpse

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.  


  1. I read two shorts stories of Berry, and I liked one, but I haven't cared for his novels I've started Jayber Crow and didn't finish. I read Nathan Coulter and disliked. I wouldn't call that community functional or maybe I just don't like the values. I couldn't get over the absolute callous barbarity to animals. I'm going to try Hannah Coulter because you've mentioned it several times.

    I've got Lila, I think, from the library now. I love picking up reading recommendations from bloggers.

    1. Interesting- I don't recall anything I'd count as barbarity towards animals personally in any of his work. The only immediate things that come to mind are that Wendell Berry comes from a definite small farm agricultural viewpoint so I would figure that would be reflected in his views on everything, including animals. I loved Jayber Crow and it was my first exposure to his writing. I read Nathan Coulter a long time ago and don't remember it in great detail. I do love Hannah Coulter. I would say that within his communities are broken individuals that have dysfunction but as a whole the history of Port William is based on love for one another in spite of and sometimes because of their brokenness. Anyway- there doesn't exist one single book that is enjoyed by everyone in the world so it could be just not your cuppa! I hope you do enjoy Lila. I find it so beautiful and intentional with every layer of her past and personality peeled back slowly as for the reader, much as it would feel to get to know her in person.

  2. I love the first shot :) I have got to read these books, I think one is on my wish list somewhere. I've been sticking to light books during the summer, the ones I can pick up and put down easily. I'll be ready for some serious reading once September arrives.