rimeMorn © 2007 Jered Dawnne: late winter, Lincoln County

rimeMorn © 2007 Jered Dawnne: late winter, Lincoln County

A mere week after “underTree and overWrought”, my view was thus. Another place I miss quite a bit: this was part of the daily scene from our back porch of our first house in South Dakota. 3.5 acres was beyond our means to keep up with, and that was unfortunate. My upstairs condo of today pales in comparison, and has a far less intriguing view. Although to be fair, the ploughed fields weren’t exactly always “pretty”, either, I suppose.

But, I used to love those rime-covered mornings out there. It’s such an infrequent and fragile thing, the rime, and so very ephemeral. During my first few years in South Dakota, it was a novelty to me, of course, just like snow, sleet, and freezing rain were, growing up in central Texas.

The flat rise across the center of the image is the raised track for the old Rock Island Railroad. For four years or so, it was my favorite place to walk. Two of the old bridges over Spring Creek, built in the late 1800’s, lie to the left of this image, but would be obscured from this vantage. I used to visit them several times a month, as they had their own little ecosystems, and were a welcome distraction from hours upon hours of wedding post production and the long work-days spent for someone else’s benefit.

As winter approaches again, I am reminded that similar mornings remind me of this time, and even of this day in particular. It took me a week to pick up the camera again for myself, after the visit to San Antonio. I shot this having only briefly reviewed the photos from that trip; I was too raw, and raw in a manner it has taken me two handfuls of years to begin to come to terms with, in some ways. I shot this, with “underTree and overWrought” very much on my mind, actually. This was the day I gave it that name. Yes, “briefly reviewed”, for me, actually means a few things.

I learned to love the snow, here. It is very likely that I’ll eventually move even further northward, to the lands where the snow truly rules over all, and covers certain memories from obsession. That wouldn’t be a further evasion of my roots: more of an acknowledgement of the branches I slowly spread.

I might be done with trolling through my memory-factory for a while. There is still a bit of a story to tell, there. But for now, let me be on to other things.

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underTree and overWrought

underTree and overWrought © 2007 Jered Dawnne

underTree and overWrought © 2007 Jered Dawnne

This walk I took that day: a winding, twisted path through half-faded memories and fractured emotions, engraved new scars on a forty-year-old man still struggling with the all that never was, and frustrated by the need to deal with it. I came here for a moment of solace, but that moment was a fragile thing, compared against the history of this place and its echoes across time.

This is the courtyard around the fountain at the Alamo mission: a place where many people died, long ago. There were many days in my youth, when I was supposed to be “helping” at my adoptive father’s office at City Hall, when I’d steal some time away and come sit under this tree, just sitting, listening, and sometimes comparing the silence to how it might have sounded when the fighting was all done. Yes, I was a morbid kid, internally, anyway. My parents would have been amazed had they known what I was doing: the just sitting, just listening, just…being. Odd things for a clinically hyperactive child.

When I was eleven or twelve, I ran away from home. This was the first place where I stopped. The courtyard was very different, late at night, and not at all welcoming. It was a foreshadowing I failed to recognize until I visited it again, on this day, but it was also a temporary thing. I had always brought my fears to this tree, but that night, I made new ones beneath it. It was the night I realized that eventually, I would very much be on my own in truth, and that I was woefully unprepared to be the man that I would become.

I took this photo after a drive through my old neighborhood, and past my childhood home a couple of times. I couldn’t stop there, of course; home hadn’t been home since 1985: nearly twenty-two years, on this particular day. So, I came here to find a moment’s peace. Of all the images that haunt me in my dreams, and which ultimately faded after my visit that day, this tree still rides along with me, and this place still frames some reveries.

Of course, it looked very different, that late-winter noon in 2007. I probably hadn’t been there since 1983 or 4, truth told. My ties with my adoptive family were incredibly strained by my first year of high school, and they eventually disowned me in 1993. But still, that old oak greeted me with open arms, rooted in the memories of the dead and forgotten, very much like I am rooted still in the abandoned memories of a former self.

And I didn’t become the man I thought I would be, on that night, long before. It felt like I needed to let my old friend know this. Thus I indulged myself, but it was what I needed at the time.

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arch nemeses

arch nemeses © 2007, 2015 Jered Dawnne

arch nemeses © 2007, 2015 Jered Dawnne

for my soccer teammates (Go Team Nemesis!), “nemeses” is the plural form, not another typo! 😉

It’s a funny thing. I took several photos of these arches on that late-winter day, and at the time, I hated them all. The LensBaby was a troublesome thing, there was a throng of people passing behind me the entire time, and impatience got the better of me. In fact, this photo and its iterations are the reason why I only published a few photographs from that day on my old personal blog.

I was closing down Lightroom today, and accidentally clicked on this one; suddenly, I liked it, so here it is. I had cropped it as an 4:5 ratio at some point along the way, apparently trying to see into it in different ways, but I don’t remember doing so. I reset it to the 2:3 aspect ratio I very much prefer, and took it from here.

I do like the full-color original, and I’ll eventually put it out, but “grey would be the color, if I had a heart,” right?

Photography with anxiety: the perpetual mind-fuck.

It’s focused on the extreme lower right: forever frozen there. My kingdom for a flat shot and a bokeh filter, but here you have it: the perpetual dream state.

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greenFall © 2007 Jered Dawnne

greenFall © 2007 Jered Dawnne

I miss this lens: an old-school photojournalistic lens (Nikkor 24-120mm EF ID) which was simply wonderful for just about everything. And of course, dipping into old pics from around San Antonio is always a mixed emotional bag. I have a resonance with this image, as simple as it actually is, a resonance weighted heavily with “the all that never was.” Someday, I’ll have to resurrect those writings, too, so I can bore you even further. 😉

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a brief walk down conflicted memory lane

"around the bend" © 2007 Jered Dawnne

"around the bend" © 2007 Jered Dawnne: San Antonio River Walk, early evening, late winter

When I was a kid, I spent a lot of time down along the River Walk. I volunteered at the main library branch, and my adoptive father worked at City Hall, so the River Walk was always the more pleasurable route between the two, except maybe in the dark. In those days, some portions of the River Walk were great places for experiencing the less ethical side of life, after dark.

Returning to San Antonio in 2007 was an odd mix of emotions for me. I hadn’t been there since 1989, and that visit was only for a few hours. The last time I had “really” been in San Antonio was for a couple of weeks between duty stations back in 1986. Oh, I grew up there.

I used a LensBaby on a Nikon D2X for most of the shots I took down there: A decision I question to this day, because it fundamentally limits what I can do in post…to the extent that it’s taken me the larger part of nine years to care to dig into them. Subconsciously, I think I did it that way because the San Antonio I knew growing up had changed so much, I was trying to capture it all the way I saw it in my dreams, not as it really was. And maybe that worked a little bit. San Antonio pretty much quit haunting me shortly after this trip, anyway, so perhaps some form of closure on a fairly anxiety-filled childhood was had.

The photo has not been manipulated except for a small amount of color balancing and tonal control.

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Downtown Sioux Falls, October 7, 2015

Downtown Sioux Falls, 9:13am October 7, 2015 © 2015 Jered Dawnne

I had to take my camera equipment to work the other day in support of our “Customer Service Week”, so when a meeting dropped off my calendar, I noticed that the clear skies to the east (behind me, from the vantage presented) shining on the light low clouds made a nice backdrop to the cityscape. I’m not normally one for cityscapes, actually, but this is where I am, and a piece of what I see every day, so I thought I’d share it with you. The high-resolution image is available for non-exclusive, paid release.

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Layered Erosions

Layered Erosions (v2) © 2015 Jered Dawnne

Eroding hills in the Badlands of South Dakota.

The days fade like candles slowly feeding on themselves: layer after layer eroding to the core. But after a point, the rush towards winter is anything but ponderous, and all downhill. Stand resolute all you wish, yet time will change us still, washing us away until the core becomes flesh, still yielding, still diminishing, still eroding into deeper understanding. Each day, each year, is like this. We say the earth-mother changes slowly, but she does not, and neither, we. What is known today is not the same tomorrow. The differences are subtle: enough so to be unseen in glances. But what we are, and what we see are never truly stagnant, provided we are truly alive. So, the constancy is change, and all our veiled complexities kneel before it, like the hills beneath the winds and snows and rains.

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The Archon of Gradual Decline

The Archon of Gradual Decline © 2015 Jered Dawnne

The Archon of Gradual Decline © 2015 Jered Dawnne

When walking alone, memory-filled yet tomorrow-facing, that particular sidelong introspection becomes a certain form of solace. One must wander, not without direction or purpose, but likewise winding and curving without seeming reason, until the wanderlust becomes its own symphony, its own enactment, its own dialogue. There is a purity to that process which verges on sacredness: every step leads towards sanctuary and peril, and everything in between.

Time erodes us in exponential maunderings which evince more slowly than we truly understand. Even the stones fade away. Even the skies are never truly as they were in the where and when. Even the universe cannot return to what it was.

And we: We are more transient than this by far, bound to an objectivity we barely discern and rarely recognize.

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The Temple of the Slow Demise

The Temple of the Slow Demise © 2015 Jered Dawnne

The Temple of the Slow Demise © 2015 Jered Dawnne

Where I live, metaphorically. It’s not a place I enjoy, but it aptly describes the past…far too many years.

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the summoning of the muse

downWandered (prime) © 2015 Jered Dawnne

“downWandered (prime)” © 2015 Jered Dawnne

I have, obviously, been struggling to find my Muse again. Half a year, for goodness sake. I am aware, now, that I have been focusing on the wrong things for me. I’m not an eyes-forward kind of guy; I have a side-long view. That doesn’t mean I never look ahead, it means I don’t normally drive along my path just looking forward. Which is, unfortunately, what I’ve been doing of late. I am reminded of some old words of mine from a past, similar time when I struggled to find my Muse. I’ll leave them here while I once again take up the task of finding Her. She’s a damn slippery one, this Muse of mine, and I’ve grown so accustomed to ignoring Her of late, I fear my search will yield little, if anything. She really should be hiding by now. I’ve been an ass lately.


a value indeterminable
a consolation wrapped in fear
for what has been
it peaks in unrecognized restraint
how faultless
this heartbroken beauty lies
wrapped in a power
now unspoken now unclear

visit me in nightmarish dreams
and i shall reconcile
a fate untold which glistens
in unrequited love
you shelter me in vain
and i cannot come to realize
your uncommunioned strain

assail me not in your digression
nor visit me through windless sheen
or i shall cling to this unsated
that you no longer scream
in the shades before my eyes

“apprehension” – original, 1992.05.23 © 1993, (revised) 2015 Jered Dawnne

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