29 November 2009

Moss on a tree trunk. Side view. Happy fall.

  After I fell, I rolled over and saw another moss-covered tree on the ground. Like entering another world. Going back tomorrow
for more.

Can you take care of yourself?

Battenkill Farm, Salem. Support the ASA Calendar. Otherwise, this farmland will disappear and everything will look
like New Jersey. I've seen it, I know it can happen.

  I've learned a lot about panic and other forms of anxiety in the past couple of years, and one thing I've come to see is that a lot of panic comes from people doubting that they can take care of themselves. Things like recessions, which generate a swarm of bad news, real and feared, bring that particular fear into focus for people. For many years, I did not believe I could take care of myself, and I passed a lot of my life onto other people, hoping they would take care of it for me. I was good at that, and I found people happy to do it. It's a creepy way to live.
  As I have learned to take care of myself, my panic has eased, receding, and then returning when something new or strange pops up. I am coming to see that I can take care of myself. Also that it is important to support that notion in others, and not to undermine people's belief in themselves by doing things for them that they should and need to be doing for themselves. People who are not allowed to have problems have no way of knowing they can solve them. I understand that I sometimes have to help the people I care for by not helping them. The people around me seem to know that.
  They need to know they can take care of themselves. So do I. It is the best antidote to panic.

Advent Day. The Christmas Season

  The Rev. Rob Rose is a good friend, as is his wife Sarah and kids. He is the pastor of the West Hebron Presbyterian Church, and, like my friend Steve McLean, a warrior for Jesus. He invited me to his family's celebration of Advent Day, the opening up of the Christmas Season. Rob and I joked about how Black Friday is becoming the truly sacred American holiday, the media obsessing on sales and stats as a measure of our economic and spiritual health.
 But I found the true meaning of the season in Rob's rectory, where he and his family and some friends gathered to talk about what Christmas really means, and to celebrate a season of light and gift-giving. I got numbered presents to last through Christmas Eve, and he left some shirts for Maria for her quilts and potholders. Ironically, Bedlam Farm is visible through the window.

Moss on a tree trunk, cont.

  The tree trunk was lying on its side, and the sun hits the spot for just a few minutes a day. I was lucky enough to fall when it hit
and caught it. I love the way photography can surprise you. I had put the camera away, giving up on shooting anything new. Then I fell.

Moss on a tree trunk, in the morning light. A happy fall.

Taken with a 100 mm Canon macro lens, ss 1/125, aperture f 3.5,
 ISO 100 at ll a.m.

  This shot was a happy accident. I was climbing up a slope to push away some deer guts Lenore was eating and I fell, sliding down
in the mud and landing on my shoulder on top of a tree trunk, my camera and bag scattered all over the ground. Rose running up to lick my face and push me to get up. I was covered in mud and crud but when I rolled over to get up, I saw this gorgeous sight: a beam of sunlight was falling right onto this moss-covered tree trunk. I took off the 15-36 medium zoom and got the macro because I wanted to focus sharply up close, and soften the light to the front and back of the focal point point. Then I lay down on my belly and put my face on the tree and just lay the camera down in front of me. Yukky but sweet.
  Creativity to me is responding to things. A fall is no fun, but look where it landed me. I would never have thought to take that photo walking around. And the deer guts are still out there.