For Juan

Melt II: Photo by Noelle

Melt II: Photo by Noelle

Melt: Photo by Noelle

Melt: Photo by Noelle

Did you know that when you take a photograph you can be in no other moment than ‘Now’. I learned this from my friend Juan. Our conversation began in a very dark time of grief. I could not find a haven from my sorrow and anger and I certainly could not stop my mind racing in an endless search for answers. He suggested I take pictures with my cell phone as I hiked the foothills near the Rockies. That it would help settle my heart and mind, if only for a moment. I did not own a camera, had not taken a photo in more than twenty years and had, in fact, jettisoned most of my personal photos in the previous year. But I had no where else to go. My rage was so great I couldn’t engage in much of the art that had filled my spirit until then.

So I began to take photos of grass and summer flowers. Most of it not very good. He’d coach me and give me ideas and my work grew. Yesterday, as I looked at these two pictures on my iPad and saw the moment caught so perfectly in this “Now”, I thought of my friend. Stay in the now and you will heal, he said. And I did.

Those drops floating in mid air, Juan, are you.

Winter Sun

Winter Sun: Photo by Noelle

Winter Sun: Photo by Noelle

Winterscape barren as white bones picked. Edges sharp, light and dark. No color and much shadow till it weighs the heart to stone. All life in movements of sugar dust winds at high speeds across the now crusted snow. Crows cling to power lines as cattle huddle on grassless slopes. It hurts to look. To wrap oneself tight feels the only comfort. A lonely hug in a bereft land, silent, but for the wind.

Willfully, I force the aperture open wider than nature allows taking in angled rays, piercing and yet strangely soft in brilliance. Hitting the retina at full force I refuse to blink. Face warming despite wild, moisture sucking winds I open my arms wide. An invitation I give; opened and exposed. The cold strokes my warm belly as if it were a lover. I tolerate the chilly caress with shivers to remind I am no fool. I wait, each breath a blacksmith’s billows, for all treasures want for my patience. Then it comes as she tips along the mountain ridge.

Diamonds alive in the snow. Pinks and yellows arc across the lens with halos in green. Sunlight refracts off tearing lids bouncing back with a light of my own. Pupils snap wide as the eyes see what was there, but ignored – a rich, cornflower colored blanket surrounding the Earth. A blue sky as deep as Spring waters and endless as a sea. The heart quickens. It feels life and nearly breaks in exaltation of a winter’s suns penetration down to the soul. Warming the optic nerve, a pulsating signal to a wintered heart. Quiet my soul has slept in the cold, dark hours of December, but the great orb offers her hand now to dance. How could any spirit refuse a winter’s solstice waltz? Surely, I cannot.