Thursday, January 17, 2013

Under cover

Snow sugared down as I walked along the river gorge, the sky heavily veiled by gray-white streamers of cloud over cloud. 

Fine, icy pellets stung my cheeks; before long, the damp wind snuck under my jacket and around the edges of my hat, which were not quite warm enough for my meandering pace. Especially not for bare-handed photography. 

But walking through the subtle layers and patterns of this day was pulling me into wordlessness. And that's what I was seeking, after all. So I tucked my hands into my sleeves and let the low light quietly disclose some secret caches.

This showing-not-showing, revealing-yet-hiding, had a playful quality...

Lacking the distraction of color, the winter world is delineated by shape and texture; all gracefully curving forms and exquisite points, pattern on pattern, rich as a William Morris damask

Copper and flaxen oak leaves huddle together companionably, making hobo homes in boot prints from an earlier snowfall.

The leaves even danced playfully around this ice boulder. Recalling my cat when she hides on the other side of the laundry basket piled with clothes, daring me to catch her, if I can...

...and I never can, unless she lets me.

Even something as prosaic as parking stripes take on a ghostly, topographic quality, as the flying snow snakes and writhes and chases itself across the asphalt.

Then I slipped back out of wordlessness and into coldness, and hurried back to my car to take turns holding the reddened fingers of each hand up to the heating vents as I drove for home, where coffee was waiting. 

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