Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Open to the sky.

Along the rocky shores of Ruckle Park I am taking different kinds of photographs today, ones that reflect the cool wind and choppy ocean. A way of seeing the world I learned while on long perilous voyages across the Pacific: the natural world of which I am but a peripheral player to the main action, - the rush of wind and crash of waves on rock over immense spreads of time and space. A lonely business, if it were not for a sense of participating in something transcendental.

The black, rocky shore is exposed right down to the low tide line where the sea surges hopefully at the land, but I am not risking a soaking. Up here at the transitional high tide line is close enough today. So what am I to find in this jumble of rock that is meaningful? A kind of sea grass grows in the cracks, matted and flattened and so I use it as a foreground contrast to the complex interlocking rocky forms.... I make a leap of association and see the grass as a kind of pubic hair in a complex of black limbs. There is a relationship between these raw and impersonal elements. A photo doesn`t get much more personal than this! Or does it?

With my mind now tuned, I step carefully down slope to the low tide line  where a giant boulder has been split in half. The rising water swirls within the crack, and I take another photo before my ‘nice’ mind can blank out what I have seen. It is a crack that replicates the most basic parts of female genitalia, yawning wide and open to the sky. What is happening today could simply be normal male preoccupations that get buried in more refined thought some of the time, but I am inclined to think that it is the elemental quality of the day meeting the basic forms of rock that has brought this understanding to the surface of my mind.

I wonder if this was recognized as a sacred site by the First Nations peoples who would not have been shy of recognizing this fertility image of mother nature? Did they see a large figure lying with her legs spread along this rocky shore, - part ocean, part land, open to the sky?

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