The Sun as Eucharist Host

October 30, 2012

Sunrise, Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana (photo September 2007)

“And the trees held the cold moon like an eucharist at the tips of their branches.”
The Journal of Jules Renard, edited by Louise Bogan and Elizabeth Roget

I’ve been re-reading some of my commonplace books, hoping to mine some gems for future blog posts, when I came across this passage about the moon.  I think it is wonderfully descriptive, and it conjured up an image I had seen before.  When I went back in my photo archives to retrieve the remembered photo, I realized that my photograph was of the sun — not the moon.  That didn’t diminish the effectiveness of the simile thankfully.

I have to admit that I couldn’t remember a thing about The Journal of Jules Renard Obviously I had read itthe quotes I had written down delighted me then, and still delight me upon re-reading.  But I had quite forgotten the rest of the journal.  I checked it out of the library again, and I can see why it did not become a favorite book in spite of its many rich passages.  The editing is too choppy, I think, and delivers a piecemeal narrative of Renard’s life.

I think Renard would have understood my forgetfulness.  Here are two more quotes from his journal:

“It’s enough to throw you into despair:  to read everything, and remember nothing!  Because you do remember nothing.  You may strain as much as you like:  everything escapes.  Here and there a few tatters remain, fragile as those puffs of smoke left over after a train has passed.”

“I have a remarkable memory:  I forget everything!  It is wonderfully convenient.  It is as though the world were constantly renewing itself for me.”

 

Quiet Waters, Quiet Mind

September 20, 2012

Red lechwe reflected in pond, Moremi, Botswana (photo 2007)

“Only in quiet waters do things mirror themselves undistorted.  Only in a quiet mind is adequate perception of the world.”
— Hans Margolius, philosopher

“I have collections of shadows, reflections, laundry, baking ingredients, symmetry, clouds . . . among others.”
— Marian Bantjes

I, too, have captured reflections in my photos over the years.  I like how reflections encompass the ideas of mirrors, thinking quietly, illuminating, stillness . . .

The above photo, showing reflections of a small herd of red lechwe, was one of the first batch of photos I took with my (then) new Canon Rebel xTi digital SLR.  I’ve since taken over 30,000 photos with this camera!  When I look back at some of the images I made with my “beginner’s mind,” I’m still pleased with the results.  I particularly like the impressionistic background on the red lechwe photo, and the way the background colors mimic the colors of the animals standing in varying stages of alertness in this still pond in Africa.

I don’t know much about Marian Bantjes, the artist and graphic designer I quoted in this post.  But I found her TED talk inspiring.  It’s worth a look.

Counting Sunsets

October 8, 2009

“Some of my favorite definitions of wealth include the number of sunsets the family sees each year.”
     — Mary Pipher, The Shelter of Each Other: Rebuilding Our Families

Sunset at the watering hole, Botswana, September 2007

Sunset at the watering hole, Botswana, September 2007

Marabou storks at sunset, Chobe Park, Botswana, September 2007

Marabou storks at sunset, Chobe Park, Botswana, September 2007

Sunset at the Villas Caletas, Costa Rica, February 2008

Sunset at the Villas Caletas, Costa Rica, February 2008

Costa Rican sunset, February 2008

Costa Rican sunset, February 2008

Seattle sunset

Seattle sunset