fifty-five: sunset

i am obsessed with sunsets. obsessed. ask anyone who knows me best – my wife, pocketbrit, even my kiddo – they have all lost me to a good sunset chase at least once.

when i say i have hundreds of photos from which to choose, i mean it.

i don’t quite know why i continue to try and capture them, because none of the photos i’ve taken have come even close to the beauty that is playing out before me. i inevitably end up frustrated with the deficiency of the tools i’m using (and my own self for not succeeding, yet again), cursing quietly, swearing i’ll never try again, that next time, i will just try to enjoy the moment. my daughter even said this past summer (with maturity beyond her eight years) after a particularly fruitless chase, mom, it’s okay, there’ll be another one tomorrow. and i wanted to cry and stomp my feet because didn’t she know, there won’t be today’s sunset ever again. i missed the only chance i had to hold the end of today.

it’s so silly. i know it.

so, you can see some of my other inadequately-memorialized sunsets here and here, but i’m leaving you with this one today. (pocketbrit: rays, right? xo)



forty-three: sky

i have long been fascinated by the sky.

while i was swinging, as a little girl, i aimed my feet up high, sure i could eventually reach. daydreamed about it, when i wanted to get lost in an inner world, when i wondered at the meaning of infinity. have tried to capture it, everywhere in the world i travelled, from behind the lenses of cameras but also, in my mind’s eye. the few times i paint or use pastels or try to pretend i know what i’m doing with shading, it’s always the sky i go after, and nearly always, a sunset.

i also have endless photos, from a fairly young age, looking up to the sky from below, beneath trees, branches reaching out, clouds and blue in between. i love canopies of trees, can think of several over the course of my lifetime that i can call up *like that* (i just snapped my fingers as i wrote that, what a weirdo) in my mind. my first university campus. spokane, washington, over a swinging bridge. the road that leads down to my therapist’s house. my favourite hiking trail.

i can recall the day i remembered the first instance of sexual abuse by my father: a room with mirrors on the ceilings and walls (it was the late 70s, you know) and my desperation to avert my eyes. i was likely three or four, best guessed by what i could see from my vantage point (e.g., i was approximately eye level with the dresser and laundry hamper), but also, what i could see out the window. namely, my view of the sky, and the top halves of trees.

when i remembered the many times i looked out at the sky and those trees (in every season), i wanted to tear up every picture i had of treetops and sky, they made me sick, what the everloving shit was i memorializing that for?! and one of the two therapists i was seeing at the time listened to me rage, and then said gently, ‘that sounds like a future art exhibit to me.’

so…it’s not quite an exhibit, because frankly, yesterday’s post was a mere preview to a completely hellish, shame-filled day and i’m not going to dig them up and collate them in any sort of artful way…but here are just a few of the skies i’ve tried to capture.

because you know what, i’m reclaiming the sky. fuck them. they’re not taking that, too.