Tag Archives: Northumberland

11
Sep

Waiting for Never

OlympusTrip007

“Waiting for Never”

Olympus Trip / Profilm 100

“Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world.”
― Voltaire

31
Jul

Hold Tight

Alice-Ted-Yashica-early-2013-600

“Hold Tight”

Yashica 124G / Ilford film

My funny little boy is a real treasure, so full of love and yet so hard to reach. He teaches me to live one day at a time and to let go of the small stuff. And the medium sized stuff. And most of the big stuff too.

8
Jun

Late Afternoon

130516-009

“Late Afternoon”

Lubitel 166 / Kodak

“How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?”
― Dr. Seuss

3
Jun

Four in a Row

KCS-022

“Four in a Row”

Kodak Coloursnap 35 (1959) / TMAX 100 Profilm (5y expired)

“What strange creatures brothers are!”
― Jane Austen

2
Jun

The Fells

130516-001a

“The Fells”

Lubitel 166 / Kodak film

I forget which camera took this roll, my best guess is the Lomo. It’s medium format and 6×6, so it’s that or a Yashica. Just now I am using another Kodak, this time a Retinette 1B, made in 1959, the same year as the Coloursnap I used last week. The Retinette has a much higher quality feel, and a Rodenstock Reomar 45mm f/2.8 lens in a Prontor 500-LK shutter, with speeds from 1/15 to 1/500th, so already it is considerably more promising than the ‘snap. If it takes pictures half so well, I will be happy.

Everything about vintage cameras is an exercise in uncertainty and patience. That is good for the soul at least. Last year I read The Left Hand of Darkness for a second time (I first read it in my teens). This stayed with me:

“The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty: not knowing what comes next.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness

31
May

Deep Water

130516-020

“Deep Water”

Superheadz / Kodak film

“I will arise and go now,
And go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there,
Of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean rows will I have there,
A hive for the honey bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there,
For peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning
To where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer,
And noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings

I will arise and go now,
For always night and day
I hear lake water lapping
With low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway
Or on the pavements gray,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.”

― W.B. Yeats

30
May

A & H

KCS-014

“A & H”

Kodak Coloursnap 35 (1959) / TMAX 100 Profilm (5y expired)

Two (beautiful) pieces of the increasingly complex puzzle of family.

“For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness.”
― Barack Obama

29
May

Among the Pines

KCS-012

“Among the Pines”

Kodak Coloursnap 35 (1959) / TMAX 100 Profilm (5y expired)

“For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow.

Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.

A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail.

A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live.

When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent. You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all.

A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one’s suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother.

So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.”

― Hermann Hesse, Bäume. Betrachtungen und Gedichte

28
May

On the Riverbank

KCS-007

“On the Riverbank”

Kodak Coloursnap 35 (1959) / TMAX 100 Profilm (5y expired)

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: first, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.”
― Confucius

27
May

Wilderness

130516-019

“Wilderness”

Superheadz / Kodak film

We live on the doorstep of the Pennines, it’s one of the few wild places remaining on this little island. Years ago I read Thoreau’s ‘Walden’, it’s an amazing book that meditates on the importance of solitude and time spent with nature, because there is no simpler way to understand that we are not the centre of the Universe, and that understanding is the tonic for the soul, to which he alludes. Thoreau said:

“We need the tonic of wildness… At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.”
― Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods

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