Rhododendron Dreams

Rhododendron Dreams 


Spring Time  in Western Pennsylvania

What a beautiful morning  here in Western Pennsylvania. 

The world here is alive with sights, sounds,smells today.

My senses are acutely aware of it all because I have just returned from my early morning workout at the gym where I do high intensity interval training. After my workout, my body is 

in sinc 

with the world of nature when I come home.  I grabbed my camera and
shot a lot of photos of the enormous, 20 ft high, 

Rhododendron bush in full bloom

I wanted to capture the early morning light the fully open 

lavender-pink blossoms – hundreds of them. 

I am alive and so is all of 

Nature today!

I have always loved taking photographs.  My loss of  sight has not decreased
the passion I have for those unexpected  and succulent images.  My methods have chanced though.

Two years ago, I sold my 35 mm cameras and all the attachments I had treasured and used so much over the years.  Now, I just take out my GE1040 digital camera and I approach my subject, point and shoot. It is always a big surprise when I finally get to see what I captured.  It is very strange 

to some people around me that I cannot see what I am shooting, but yet, later through technology, 

I can see the shots on my large screen 
computer monitor. U use  ZoomText. 
How I love my ZoomText! It is pure magic for me. It enables me to fully participate as a photographer in the visual world, just like I always did before sight loss.

I am writing about these things, this morning, to say that it  is another
way to capture subject matter and images for poetry! There is no separation
for me bet wen fine art and poetry. My process is the same for creating both,
though the instruments and methods are different.  It is the tools and the
adaptations of tools that enable me to continue to do the things I have always loved to do – write poetry and make art.

When I begin to think about my subject and how I will create a poem from this image, I begin to remember my physical contact with it, too. It is only partly a visual image. My other senses are there as well. I use them all when I begin to create the photograph or the poem. It all begins with awareness of the moment – fully aware of it all.  It is a kind of awakening from a deep sleep – it happens slowly, in layers.

The question is: 

How to take a great photo or write a great poem from an 

image  you cannot see?

Here is my own process:

First, become aware of the  physical aspects of your subject. It has a living presence. It is a tangible thing.Pay attention to the smell of it. It breathes, moves, shifts, changes, lives, and dies.

This morning I listened to  the lone crow calling from the woods surrounding my home when I was outside with my camera.I heard the rushing waters of the creek below the meadow behind my home. Mingled in with the water’s flow, I heard the softer sounds of the wild geese who are down there as they are every spring. Then, a layer of sharp staccato jabs of sharp trills, from a bird, punctuating the top layer of the morning’s landscape.

I touched   the dripping wet leaves as I moved through the trees along the path.  My feet were  cold and became wet  because the dew was heavy on the grass.  My clothing  started to  cling to my torso because  water spots dropped on me.

I breathed in the  early morning cool air and noticed that the day  seems subdued and hazy. But my body was throbbing with energy and excitement as I walked, parting the branches along the way. It all felt so good, so right.My physical contact with my subjects and everything that surrounds me, and
my subject, will come into my photograph.  I will be trying to capture the livingness of this day, through this one particular photograph. If I am very aware of it all, I will have a good photo today! If I am really dedicated to my pursuit of this image and this moment in time in my own life, I will even
have a poem eventually.  

Art and life are one.

Finally, inside the house in the solitude of my office where the clock ticks
on the wall behind me, I begin the additional work   that will take the images from the morning’s experiences. I will take them from the camera, blow them up through the computer photo program, and then begin to crop, select, and edit my photos.  For the poem that might come forth from this morning’s work with the camera and the photo editing, I will begin to record some words about my subject.  I will write a blog about today’s adventure in the early morning. I will post some photos on my Facebook Page for my friends around the world to enjoy.  I will even write a short message to my friends on the Writer’s List this morning. And, I will probably begin the work of turning these images into a poem.

I will consider all aspects of it. My blossoms have center stage, they are
stars, each of them,  on a plant  I had plunged  into the soil about 43 years ago. It was a very small plant in a little plastic container at that time.  As the years have passed it has grown into the magnificent blooming waterfall-type of wall – bursting forth with magnificent  flowers that I saw
this morning.  

Life happens slowly, like the growth of this plant that reaches up into the second story of my very old house here on River Road.
Life is LIVED in the smallest details of those years, 
in this place. 

If only I can capture just a small moment 
of it all today!

Maybe you would like to take a walk today and see what you find blooming in your world!  Go ahead. You might be surprised at what is out there.

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