Ripples, Fountains, other things perhaps best left unsaid. Take me home.
Once in a while you get shown the light, In the strangest of places if you look at it right.
You rise like a wave in the Ocean, only to settle back into the Sea.
When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy. – Rumi
I was overheated, lethargic. The world looked gray and dull for photography. Yet there was that something in the air – subtle signs of weather change. I figured I’d try to cool off swimming in a local cove for relief. The high temps and humidity had me feeling pretty lazy, so I figured I’d leave the camera home. Realizing this was dumb, and anticipating rain, I left the heavy lenses home, but put my camera into a surf housing.
Hemlock Cove was refreshing. The god awful record-breaking brown tide was all but gone. All was calm, but storm clouds were moving in, looking good. Had a swim, took a few shots and the wind shifted North. White caps within three minutes inside the cove!
A North wind smooths the surface of the ocean, countering the usual onshore breeze here on the south shore of Long Island. I ran across the parkway, and jumped in. A nice storm, and being in the ocean are two things that re-energize me. Can ya relate? Yep.
Photo tips: I use a Nikon 16-35mm lens with an Aquatech base model housing. The base model has no real controls, so I set the F-stop to where I want it, and shoot in Aperture priority. I then set the ISO to auto. This way the camera has a chance to give me a good exposure. In the menu, you can set the lowest shutter speed and the highest ISO that you are comfortable with. (If the amount of available light means your shutter would get too slow at your chosen F-stop, the ISO will automatically increase, allowing the camera to keep your shutter speed fast.)
The wide angle requires a dome port. To prevent water droplets from blurring a pic, they need to go. First, make sure you have no oily greasy fingerprints on the port. (dish soap, but rinse well.) Then, spit. And spit. And lick. The dome port actually has a lot of surface area. Spit a lot. Lick a lot. You may get funny looks. Keep the housing under water until right before you shoot. The water will fall off, leaving a thin film of water with no drops. Keep spitting, keep licking, keep shooting.
Questions or comments? – feel free to hit the comments. Thanks for looking!
Half-way over that mythic sunny bridge… A little more ocean warmth, some warmer breezes, sun, sun, sun.. salt water baptisms, and lively stirrings of the soul…..
Monday, March 20th at 6:28am on the east coast, was the vernal equinox. Picture the imaginary plane upon which the Earth revolves around the Sun. The Earth is always tilted at an angle of 23.4 degrees. All winter, the southern hemisphere was tilting towards the Sun. This kind of sucks for the northern hemisphere if you don’t snowboard. It even sucks if you have a wetsuit. On the equinox, however, the Earth’s tilt is such that the Sun shines directly on the Equator – the half-way point between the southern and northern hemispheres. “Equinox” – “Equi” meaning “equal”; “ox” meaning not the 53 point Words with Friends move, but the dyslexic Aussie down-under “kiss”. (Their toilets flush backwards too, xo.) More Sun kisses further into the night. Lord knows we all need some more Sun kissing our faces.
Astronomers often mark this equinox as the beginning of a new orbit around the sun. Astrologers start the year with the Sun entering Aries. Since ancient times, it has been known as a time of new beginnings. Think of the great traditions – Easter, Passover, Spring Break, or the bloody human sacrifices of the Mayans at their main pyramid El Castillo at Chichen Itza, Mexico. The main staircase of the pyramid is constructed at such a precise way that, on the day of the equinox, the sun aligns perfectly to create a serpent of sunlight, slithering down the staircase. Ancient Aliens??? Illegal aliens???? No. Stop. Their calendar ended, died, on the winter solstice of 2012. Sometimes people get out of bloody control and too wrapped up in their own customs.
Easter is a nice myth symbolizing rebirth. Kill a savior. Resurrect him. Rebirth. He planted a pretty big seed there. More symbols… Easter eggs. Eggs. Birth, fertility. Someone planted the seed that on the Equinox, you can balance an egg on its end. Well, don’t try this at home. You will die trying. Some myths are out of bloody control. Some are even co-opted by bloody control.
And, clams come out of their shells.
…slowing the whirlwind, not one step at a time.
…a short piece of writing by Dean Potter, ex-Flow king climber/base jumper:
***Cold air from the valley drifts upwards. It’s predawn and I’ve been moving on the north Nose of El Cap through the night, focused on the rock in front of me in the faint light of my headlamp. Suddenly, I think of how tired and exposed I am, alone, ropeless, far past any point of retreat. A surge of panic courses through me. I try to think of the summit but that thought, too, is dangerous.
An image floats into my mind. I’m following my father in the early through a pasture in the White Mountains in New Hampshire. He strides towards Moosebrook, his favorite fishing spot. I’m not even half his height, and the frosty grass brushes all the way up to my waist.
We reach the river. My Dad skips from rock to rock, downstream to the first hole, and looks back for me. The water is freezing, and the rocks are covered in slime. I’m afraid to follow. I burrow painfully through the thickets of pricker bushes, swamp, and blackflies as my father calls for me. The bugs chase me back to the river’s edge. and I timidly wade in and try to catch up. Tense and anxious, I lose my footing, and fall into the river. I gasp for breath in the icy water, but manage to scramble onto a rock where I bawl until my father comes back. “I don’t like fishing. I want to go home”.
My father shakes his head at me, and his eyes sparkle. “Dean, put everything else aside. There’s nothing to be afraid of, except a little cold water. Just focus on the next step you are taking. I feel so happy running down the river, the sun reflecting off the water, my body naturally going where it’s supposed to. I almost don’t think at all. I just respond to what’s in front of me.”
He stops talking and heads downstream again. We slowly pick our way across the rocks, catching rainbows and brook trout. The day passes quickly and my confidence rises. Soon, I’m playing and racing down the rapids with eyes wide and senses alert, not knowing I’ve just received my first lesson in Zen.
The air drifts over my body. I grasp the immediate. I reach for the next hold.****
This story struck a chord in me. I vividly remember being about 6 or 7 years old, visiting my Grandma in upstate NY. There was a gully with a stream rushing through it, complete with rocks at all angles, slippery moss, and icy water. I used to love hiking in that stream as a kid. It was beautiful, serene. Fairly quickly, I learned the art of sprinting from rock to rock, without any distractions. As you pushed off with your right foot, your body already knew where your left foot was going to land, and the precise angle you should land on to prevent slipping, while sending you in the direction of the next “pre-selected” rock. And it was all so effortless. It exhilarated and calmed me at the same time. I guess my addiction to the state of “Flow” started here. In one way or another, I’ve been pursuing this state ever since.
In the moment, harmony, complete concentration without effort, zoned in. When you experience this deeply, there is joy, a smile on your face for days. You have tapped into a great state of consciousness that is not always easy to do.
OK, enough rambling… Go back and read the article again. Instead of reading about climbing and rock-hopping, read it as a metaphor for life. Life as it should be, not the whirlwind of stress it often becomes. Life can be a rock hop if you allow it.
(good luck Pats???)
That’s the Boston skyline on the horizon. Beautiful trip to East Point Light in Glouster, Ma. Since I’m not from there, I hope the commercials are good… Enjoy!
Once in a while you get shown the light,
In the strangest of places if you look at it right.