Yesterday, I went out to the dock to photograph the last sunset of Winter. I had run into a friend in the grocery store, early in the day, who had just returned from her annual winter’s stay in Hawaii. I asked if she was able to get up her long and twisty road, and she said luckily it had been cleared, and she inquired about my steep and twisty road, and how had I fared this winter. I told her wow, it had been quite the long winter. Yet, standing on the dock last night, on the eve of the spring equinox, I thought to myself, “well, it wasn’t so bad.”
Over the years, I’ve had many misadventures with my old and dear friend, Tini. She owns a travel company, “Challenge Unlimited”, and after every mishap we’ve shared during her “challenges”, she always declares, “well, that wasn’t so bad, was it?” I’ve thought they were horrific, but when she declares it wasn’t so bad, and because I love her, the experience takes on a different hue. Already, on this very first day of spring, I am in the early stage of nostalgia, coloring this winter as not so bad. Don starting the fire at 4:30, soup on the stove, watching our shows with Jameson Black Barrel and a little chocolate, and to bed by 9:00. Well, that wasn’t so bad, was it?
I’m taking a drawing class at the college, and yesterday afternoon I drew the pot of shamrocks on my dining room table, backlit by sunshine streaming through the windows. At the end, I had to decide where to draw the horizon line, to rescue it out of thin air. I had the choice to put it anywhere. And, when I took photographs of the sunset from the dock last night, I could frame the horizon line in a way that made the picture be all sky or all water. I could make it be whatever I wanted it to be, just by altering the horizon. I love Billy Collins’ perspective about ‘horizons’ in his book, The Art of Drowning.
Horizon by Billy Collins
You can use the brush of a Japanese monk
or a pencil stub from a race track.
As long as you draw the line a third
the way up from the bottom of the page,
the effect is the same: the world suddenly
divided into its elemental realms.
A moment ago there was only a piece of paper.
Now there is earth and sky, sky and sea.
You were sitting alone in a small room.
Now you are walking into the heat of a vast desert
or standing on the ledge of a winter beach
watching the light on the water, light in the air.