A 2AM stroll for needed cigarette as I write.
By Mark William Darus
Satisfying day granted as camera mating with firm, a far more confident left hand holding it, as I began taking black and whites at Wallace Lake. I take colour photos as well, catching both stagnant waters that people swim in. I also shoot the sewage drain that spills freely into this lake. Draining filth unhindered, it is hidden from view, eclipsed by dense foliage and paths less traveled. Strolling through poison ivy most dense, trundling over exposed roots of various trees, sounds of chipmunks scurrying about, the smell of dying leaves and their dryness as fall takes over for its share of time.
I sense belonging in this world as I walk and take shot after shot, catching tiny glimpse of nature and its sounds and smells. I believe myself most fortunate for my ability to take the time and, forgive this cliché, to smell the roses.
It is with my sincerest sense of belief I say this: As we see the world around us, our eyes are cameras, our ears always recording, our noses taking in subtle changes of climate most amazing as fresh green grass is taken over by that of arid leaves shed from trees. I believe a writer, artist, and photographer see, hear and smell what most do yet others fail to make a connection with. This is what makes them a highly astute voyeur in their walk of creative life. Perhaps journeying down roads not less traveled by most, but certainly looked at vastly different in all respects.
Humanity: We are little more than strainers of varying meshes. What passes through yours is caught by mine. That’s okay. We’re all so incredibly different as we pass through each others lives, share a glance in a parking lot or the line of an under-staffed Walmart. Like particles in the vary air we take in, we are connected in one form or another.
When planets do align, sometimes we make contact. When conversations go beyond the 5 minute mark, personal connection reached, it is at that point we begin to toss away paranoia and share our lives with others. This, to me, is one of the greatest aspects of humanity: The undying ability of some to go on, live life and grow from their open joining with others. A world where sharing opinions, thoughts, concerns create landscapes of many forms, colours and shapes without judgment or flagrant disapproval. A simple, to me, pure land fostering the lifting of being to higher areas unknown.
With all creation from birth, as we grow, I shared this with a girlfriend of many decades ago: The only bad pasts are those we create ourselves.
Come on people! You might hate your ex and call them every name in the book, but where does your share of personal error come into play? Who is the asshole in this: The asshole for being one or your choosing to be with one? Granted, I have not always known this revelation, but I have learned from its sharp knifes edge as it cut through me.
Being most wordy, I strayed from the meaning of this post. Forgive me for this.
I was granted a chance to photograph a moving horse. Prior to this, I displayed animal shots of ducks, geese and squirrels. My photos caught the attention of a Facebook friend. She asked me to take photos of her and Earl. After meeting this incredible 1100 pound animal, looking into his eyes, stroking his nose and sweaty body, I knew I was about to learn much.
Prior to this, I had little experience with horses. I drove them poorly, impatient beast below me always sensing my weakness and taking course of area with really low branches to discard me.
Needless to say, I am an absolute beginner in this arena.
I was greeted with the warmest of smiles from her as well as her horse, Earl.
I cannot believe the things I witnessed as she took care of her trusty steed. The care and poise as she brushed him, occasionally looking into this eyes as his beautiful tail swatted flies away. I was between Earls tail and a fly, he soundly met the right side of my face with a hearty ‘smack!” I smiled from this experience. My past feeling of horse hair was from paint brushes I ran my fingers through. This smacking was so much more wonderful.
She gave Earl a new saddle blanket which she beamed about as her eyes meeting her face, smiled most honestly.
In little time, I began taking photos of Earl and her captain. They slowly warmed up, taking large passes of the indoor arena. Fighting bad lighting, loving the challenge this gave me, twisting my frame, feet solidly planted, I followed them as my shutter took its time as I struggled to hold things in frame.
Frame after frame taken, standing taller with each attempt, cherishing this moment in time, I kept firing away at Earl and his happy care-taker. Occasionally catching sharp forefronts with movement in background, taking life as it moves.
The shoot being completed, she asked me out for drinks. I told her my stance on beer-breath and driving and told her a tea would be fine.
I spent the next several hours sharing with her areas of life seldom given without open minds and hearts. We shared. Wondrous. To me, it has been a long time since the last time.
As we walked to our Chevy’s, we hugged, smiling.
To her, owner of Earl, I, like your proud animal, bow my head to you.
You are exceptional!
Mark William Darus 09132012