Saturday, March 28, 2009

Ice and Fog, Mist and Mountains: Photographs of Quabbin in March

The long view is clouded in the sulky immediacy of ice-out fog; the mist both bridal veil and funeral shroud: Spring born on the last breath of frost.

And tho' the seasons may be counted, the curtain of human uncertainty prevails and filters the future, line of sight lassoed into a tight and constant radius. One must step into the cloud or stand still, an unread letter in an envelope of white.

What is over there? What is on the other side of opaque? Gypsies and wanderers wrap themselves in the warm blanket of fog, moving through the haze like ghosts searching for home, questions looking for answers.

Contours and curves reveal themselves in the gradual lilting dance of elements. Spin with arms spread wide, fingertips reaching: This is your world. The known, the seen, the touchable and changeable. The rest is fluff and fog swirling about in a constant perimeter governed by one's own paralysis or progress. Who knows tomorrow? We may.

The planet is a gracious host despite her unruly guests, sharing party favors of ice and water, earth and sky; though she'd revolve just as surely and steadily as a barren rock for eons still were she to turn a cold orb and shrug her visitors out the door. And it matters not to her.

Moments come to pass of misty clarity, distances discerned with a reasonable certainty of truth and calculated measurement. The flat path or the mountain climb reveal themselves as choices, the way slipping again into the siren shroud of the unknowable with the first step of the embarking soul. Other roads are for other lives. This we discover.

Etch-a-sketch landscape, ever-changing, murky pitfalls scooped in sand caught lurking as the trap-door cloud of camouflage slides back over the complicit reservoir. The restless spirits of Quabbin are scarcely contained within the confines of her banks and boundaries: Their strength erodes and expands limits frailly imposed by man.

And at the end of the day, looking back on the hike, revealed is what once was hidden. The fog rolls out, rocks smooth to sand and the road rising ahead is bathed in light and easily trod. The way home from a journey taken. We rest there. Wait for the others to emerge from the mist.

As always, thanks for stopping by and take care.

Photographs taken in Petersham, Massachusetts, March 29, 2003.

More about Quabbin Reservoir on EWM: The Quabbin Page.

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