Time Study


I've continued to be very busy.  The Gallery opened yesterday.  And I've sort of hit a wall.  I've declared tomorrow an official Sabbath.... (these come on me suddenly in my tradition...  when I can't do one more thing... when I feel I'm a danger to myself and others... when I can no longer finish a thought and when I bump into door posts as I did yesterday at the Gallery, I declare a day of rest).  So.  No Gallery... no getting the house ready for rental... no big photo projects...  no emails...  no web browsing.  I need this rest.  I really, really do. 

But I didn't want to let any more time go by before giving you a weekly posting.  So here I am on my Sabbath-eve and I'm looking through my photos for something to show you.  If I could pick one or two things from all the pictures, something simple and brief and nice, what would it be?  So I decided on these pictures. 

These are pictures I took with a tripod.  I took them as the light was fading and also later, in real darkness.   I made the exposure long enough to collect the light that was there.  It collected light I couldn't even see. 

These time exposures play with my head a little bit around the whole question of time.  The picture above was taken in late dusk.  The shutter speed was 8/10ths of a second.  You can see the wave starting to get blurry around the edges.  The picture below was taken about a half an hour later.  That was in real darkness.  (It's amazing when doing this kind of photography, what a difference a few minutes can make.  It changes second by second.)   

The shutter speed for this picture was 25 seconds.  Way longer.  And look what happened to the waves.  In the first picture you can still discern the form of the wave, but not in the second picture.  Waves came in and out again and again, each leaving a trace on the sensor, but nothing defined.  All the waves accumulated into the ghostly, smoky, richly colored nothing you see in this picture.  And of course the stones were there the whole time, substantial and solid, with nothing to do and all the time in the world.

I like this a lot without having too good of a reason... the idea that perception of the passage of time might be optional... that we might experience time at a certain pace and that another creature... say a bacteria or even a little insect that only lives for a day might feel like she has lots and lots of time.  Maybe there are creatures who know time and see the world the way the camera captured the waves in this picture. 

I'm not a very good rester.  I'm sure my mind will conjure some emergency or some new hobby such as learning a foreign language to try to get me back into my comfort zone of zooming around.   I've done this before, declared a Sabbath and decided to start it after finishing just one more thing.  So then a Sabbath turns into a half an hour sitting on the beach just before making dinner.  But I really need this time and I'm determined.  And the tourists who have suddenly arrived and are already walking in the middle of the road will be much safer if I get some rest.  So this is a public service.  I've already decided and now I'm telling you.   I might live on a different time scale tomorrow with nothing to think of, nothing to solve, nothing to start or finish, and plenty of time.  If that's too difficult I'll watch my favorite movie.  Apollo 13 or possibly Star Trek into Darkness.

The sun is setting in a few minutes.  There is a cap of  clouds over the island.  The sky is clear at the east horizon, and the sky is light pink or melon... similar to the color on the water in the picture above.  The ocean is turning into deeper and deeper blue.  It's beginning to get that wonderful indigo color.  It is soft in the west... nothing fancy.  Sometimes the softest colors are beautiful too... just shade of grey, with faint touches of pink and traces where it's glowing in the color of pearls.   Oh, but now the sun has dropped under the clouds and it's like a burning coal on the horizon, and it's beginning to bring fire underneath, and now that's spreading.  Maybe it will light the whole sky like it does sometimes, but now I don't think so... it's darkening, deepening, more purple now.  It's going.   

Maybe in a world that's made like this I don't have to do everything all the time.  Maybe the world will turn without my opinions or directions.  Sabbath is starting now.