Thursday, September 18, 2008

Walking on the Moon

I've always been afraid of the Dark. Until I was ten years old I shared a room with my little sister - she's not really afraid of anything. When we moved into our new house I got into the habit of sleeping with the door closed because I couldn't bear to watch the shadows dancing in the hallway beyond my door. As a "grown up" in my Manhattan apartment I sometimes have to turn the lights on just to get a drink from the kitchen less than thirty feet away from our bedroom.

I'm not afraid of many things really - just, usually, sometimes, the Dark. It sounds silly, I know. There has been so much change in my life over the last twelve months that the unknown doesn't frighten me the way it did in the past. Yet, in the Dark, no matter where it is, I can feel vulnerable and scared and I am like a child again.

We were in East Hampton last weekend and at around 9:30 we went out for milk. In the city we would make it a trip to Tasti d'Lite or Baskin Robbins and a nice walk before going to our Korean deli across the street. In East Hampton it's getting in the car and driving for five miles to try to find some place that is open. We drove a few blocks away and D asked if I wanted to go to the beach. Umm...yeh-ah. I love the beach, even at night, when it's all dark and "scary..." So we went back home and got my camera and tripod.

We drove to Main Beach in East Hampton and the parking lot lights were on and there were a few couples sitting by a bonfire. I love fall in the Hamptons because of this. Perhaps in the middle of summer there would be a hundred people there, but, in September it was us and six other people enjoying the beach and the fall breezes and sky.

Seven years ago I took a trip with my family to the Grand Canyon for my mother's 50th birthday. I was fascinated by the vastness and darkness of the place. When you go to the beach and you see that huge moon in the sky, you look down and the light is dancing on the water. You see ripples and waves and you hear the water when it touches the sand and goes back out. At the Grand Canyon you look out into the darkness and when you look up you see the huge moon but when you look for the horizon, you can't find it. When you look down, you see nothing. No sounds of water, no waves or ripples or reflections of the moonlight - just blackness. Both places have made me feel small. Both places have made me feel like there is so much out there and I am but a blip trying to make my mark. But, even though I was made to feel small by these incredible places, I feel huge and both places have helped me to overcome my fear of the Dark. Does that make sense? I'm not afraid of the Dark? Yes, for me, it's a question.

At the beach last weekend I was honestly afraid of the darkness but in a way where I felt like I conquer it. There was light all around and my settings on my camera captured it (kind of) but it didn't seem real. D encouraged me to put my feet in the water. It felt so cool on my bare feet but similar to how I felt at the Grand Canyon so long ago, it was as though it was going to eat me up, swallow me whole. Back then, that feeling overwhelmed me. Today, I feel like I could challenge it. I closed my eyes and just embraced it. When you have a fear, it's a big deal to be able to do something like that. Whether it's the ocean or an immense canyon, it's not so scary anymore. This is how I know I've come a long way.

Today I was reading and article
in the New York Times about Julian Schnabel. Incidentally, I blogged a bit about him yesterday. I think the man is so relevant, a real artistic genius with so much to say even though his reality is so unlike many artists - he's brilliant - he's the art-world equivalent of Bono, Steve Jobs, Oprah, Bill Gates, Barack Obama, I think. In any event, I read this awesome article about him and I posted it to my Facebook page. I read this line, a quote of his, in the article and it just stood out at me... I love these little accidents. In no way, shape or form am I comparing myself to him but it really resonated with me and how I was feeling when I took these photos and when I decided to blog about them and just me, in general...

“I like when I’m looking at something that’s just about to form itself. The disagreement between the surface and what’s behind it — that space in between is what interests me.”

Me too.

Most of these are not processed...you can tell by the crooked horizons and natural light and saturation. Everything was perfectly imperfect. The smell of the sea, my frizzy hair, the long shadows, the little light, the ship passing in the night and breeze, the footprints in the sand...everything.

Today's soundtrack (not related in any way to what I've written or the images but I love it and I love the film and because I really want to learn how to play the guitar)

De Usuahia a la Quiaca - Gustavo Santaolalla




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the space in between

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