Wednesday, March 9, 2011

From "Under the Live Oak"

Clouds are stacked in a succession of brooding blue-black banks. Topside, the white film rips and siphons upward into a golden backlight, while below the underbellies are heavy and cold and dark with water. The land beneath is the crude stuff the earth is made of, clay, golden brown, rust red dust and yellow snatches of dirt and mud and rock. The stuff is now furzed with trees, miniature from up high. The trees dip and disappear and reappear as the land rises and dives and between the flat tabletops and valleys one can see how the great landscape was sculpted by engulfing waters and flowing tonnage; boulders with no earthly reason for being. Blue curtains of rain can be seen at intervals where parts of earth and sky are one and where the cloud cover is torn, light shafts of gold pour down like flights of angels.
If a person didn’t know better, they might think my father, with his silver white hair and amber eyes, is creating this scene for his own enjoyment, or mine. He needs a lot of space around him and this is his to command. I photograph him here, on this granite promontory, at this elevation, the grandeur of this land behind him. I pray the Hunted and Hunted will be gentle with him when he enters it.
“This is what the beginning of the world must have looked like,” my father says.
I smile behind the lens, my father locked in the viewfinder. Not everyone loves my father, but I feel sorry for them.

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