We don’t usually get a lot of true freezes around here. Winter in Oregon is typically all about rain, and clouds, and temperatures in the forties or low fifties. But this week has been clear, and that means cold. It’s been freezing every night, and in the morning the sun comes up and everything glitters until the frost melts. I can’t resist taking multitudes of pictures. I love frost! Even though I could do without the coldness. Brrrrr.
The thing about frost is, it makes ordinary things seem different. I love going out to my own yard, and seeing it in a new way, just because of what the weather has done.
Finding ways to see the things we look at every day in a different way is one of my favorite exercises. I think most of my photos are part of this exercise; I like to get close to small parts of things, see that little spider making it’s home in a blossom, see the texture of a leaf, the unexpected colors in something that you can’t notice until you get really close. Like the red tinges in those rose leaves up above; I wouldn’t have noticed that before I was looking close to see the frost crystals.
When I get closer, I’m reminded that infinity stretches in both directions. Or maybe I should say, in all directions? There are infinitely large things that we can’t grasp so well, it’s true. But there are also infinitely SMALL things, whole worlds that my eyes can’t even take in, where life and rhythm and cycles take place. I suspect that the truth is, smallness goes on for infinity too, just like bigness, and we will never comprehend the smallest thing that exists any more than we’ll ever comprehend the biggest thing that exists. And now I’m getting off topic!
It’s good for the brain. It’s good stimulation for the creative process too. And it’s almost meditative to lose myself in that kind of intense focus. And then when I pull the photos up on the computer, change the size so that they fit on the screen, crop them if necessary, I get another chance to see things I didn’t notice when I was taking the photo. This whole new intimate relationship with my environment opens up, and it makes me feel even more connected.
How’s that for better living through technology?
P.S. Part of what got me thinking about details in this way was this post by my writing friend Cat Woods, about how the small details of our real lives can add depth to the fictional lives portrayed in our stories. Cat’s blog is always thought-provoking, so you should go visit–especially if you are a writer, or are interested in writing.