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Friday Musings

Arcane Shores (Strata of the Untold) © 2018 Jered Dawnne

Arcane Shores (Strata of the Untold) © 2018 Jered Dawnne

It’s Friday. This week was one of those, “hey, that didn’t go as planned” weeks; this panorama was one of those “hey that didn’t go as planned” panoramas; and the post-production on it as I experimented with monochrome effects was a collection of “happy accidents”; so I figured that today was an auspicious day for sharing. I’ve deliberately merged the horizon with the sky a bit, here. It’s somewhat representative of my life: One just never quite knows what’s coming, even if it’s silhouetted on a ridge line or standing alone on the horizon.

I’m hoping to re-shoot this ridge in mid-August from the trail down on the verge. It would be a better composition with a wider angle, and more dramatic. From this vantage, though, you can see across the plains, and in monochrome, one can almost lead the eye into seeing what it was like when these formations were being formed by the river which flowed between them, and the lake upon which they bordered. Thus the name for this one, “Arcane Shores”.

Nikon D500, Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR @200mm, PTGui, Adobe Lightroom Classic CC, DxO Nik Color Efex Pro 4 & Silver Efex Pro 2.
9 pieces, hand-held.

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A Requiem for the Undecided

A Requiem for the Undecided: Copyright © 2018 Jered Dawnne

A Requiem for the Undecided: Copyright © 2018 Jered Dawnne

It was while standing here, back in the fall of 2015, that I realized something, which was in turn the beginning of the end of a certain indecisiveness. And it was while standing here again a week and a day ago, hand-holding the camera for this panorama, knowing it wasn’t the right way to do it and knowing that no matter how careful I was it was going to be a bit of a process to post-produce, that I silently vowed to myself that this was the last time I would do this without some sort of temporal or situational need that prevented me from using the right equipment. But I couldn’t help but to think back to the last time I was here as well; that’s why I mentioned it. This is a place which engenders realistic thought in me. It’s just dirt and scrub brush, and the dirt is eroding away; but that’s really all it is out here: dirt and scrub brush…and the occasional snake, but I’m going to skip that particular metaphor today. Sometimes, it’s all pleasantly arranged, and often times, it’s layered in ways that remind you that we’re little more than the same. So, it’s worth visiting, and it’s worth spending some time here. Because it’s worth being reminded that our dreams, our hopes, our decisions are merely vapors which pour from a wetware which has an extremely finite lifespan. Dirt lasts longer than our aspirations.

To wit: How many times have I set out to revive my creativity? A cursory scan through the contents of this blog will reveal that it’s about every couple of years, and this incarnation of it doesn’t even include all the original writings or imagery which would drive that reality home all the way back to 1998 or so (before which time my creativity simply….flowed). It’s hard to do with working and refereeing, yes, but that’s not really much of an excuse. “Hard” isn’t impossible. It’s a matter of priorities. I keep stacking up all these things as more important than myself. And many of them actually are more important than me, because they’re genuine responsibilities to the people I love, but not all of them meet that measure. And more to the point, I keep layering these things above myself until another couple of years rolls around and I wake up feeling like it’s been a long time. Of course, two years is a long time in some ways, but it’s barely a whistle in so many others, and I need to quit getting caught up in the time-that-was-lost and immerse myself instead in the time-to-be-spent. I look at the layers in these formations and I think about the layers of my life, and the comparison annoys me.

I got really thrown off back in 2014, or at least that’s when it came to a head. I’ve said repeatedly that the (now temporary) resignation from refereeing was the right thing to have done, but in retrospect, it was the other major stressor in my life which should have been removed at the time. That’s what I pretty much came to realize back when I was here in 2015, and what for some reason I could only really come to admit to myself last week. I wasn’t being true to myself, even when I thought I was taking courses of action which protected my center. A lot of things, really from 2010 forward, were the result of me foundering in the Realm of the Undecided. It hasn’t been healthy, and it certainly wasn’t beneficial when I was standing here that fall of 2015. I’ve come a long way since then, but there’s still a ways to go. There are lighter layers to be cast down upon those darker ones, yet. Layers which will hopefully be fruitful soil for something more than scrub brush and weeds.

While standing here back in the fall of 2015, there came a fairly minor realization about a relationship that was already showing itself out the door, and had been damaging me for over a year. That relationship didn’t end for another several months, it took me until January of 2017 to come back to refereeing, and it still took until this summer for me to start taking myself seriously again. I may not have managed to prove it to myself as we stopped through the Badlands on our way back to Sioux Falls from a long weekend of youth baseball in Rapid City that weekend, but I’ve finally begun approaching my photography with the deference and the passion that it deserves (that *I* deserve), even if I might not always have the equipment I need on-hand, nor the time to use it properly. To be fair, that’s something that’s been churning from the events that led to the closing of my business back in 2008, but the visit here back in 2015 was supposed to be an exercise in creativity, and it wound up becoming another spiral into self-doubt. But that was then, and this is now. The making time for it, the moving towards it, the study, the preparation, the expansion it requires? These things are being done already, and no longer slowly, and no longer bound by the All That Never Was.

More to follow.

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solace, twain

solace, twain © 2014 Jered Dawnne

solace, twain © 2014 Jered Dawnne

i didn’t know, when i first saw these trees, how much they would stick with me. this original photograph is from 2006, about two-and-a-half years after i’d moved to the property this photograph was shot from. i didn’t actually risk the trespassing to shoot these trees from several angles until we sold that house another two years later. so before i left, i made one final trip around the area and saw the thing i was already pretty sure i knew—a thing i suspected, but couldn’t really see from our property: the two trees do not actually entwine above the ground. i’m sure their roots are all wrapped within each other, but above the surface of the earth, both trees are independent, though obviously complementary.

i managed to recover the raw image from a drive i thought was dead last night and was very pleased to rediscover this particular image. when i shot this, these trees were still an “it” (a double tree) to me. retouching it last night, i could only think of it as “them” (two separate trees), despite knowing they are fundamentally entwined beneath the ground. with some minor manipulation, i was finally able to bring out what should have been more than a suspicion to me at the time. the specific direction of the wind that morning caused the rime to build only on the north-most tree.

for the time that i lived there, these trees meant a lot of different things to me, but in these latter days, it has come to represent living here in a generally simplistic sense. i’m fairly well engrained within the community, but i very much stand alone. the challenge, and the joy, are the various collaborations within our differences, the strength we draw from one another, and the way we shape the wind.

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shrouded (prime) © 2014 Jered Dawnne

shrouded (prime) © 2014 Jered Dawnne

so rushing past deep valleys grew and danced along the road

visions of a world run silent moving greyed and tumbled
sang to me and cloud-surrounded winter-worn stole me
pulled from me those shadows pale like charity and faith and hope
until i dreamt of them and us unwrapped from evening’s settling shroud

when winter comes and covers us in cold and silent whiting
warm me with the constancy of cloudscaped silent home
and like those shrouded mountain-dreams unmake these chains that bind me

it’s a word-play. the mountains entwined by these clouds are Mount Faith, Mount Hope, and Mount Charity (The Three Sisters), Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.

some will recognize these words as patterned from the poem “of bluer skies and rain” © 1988 R.J. Dawnne Gee, published in “the sabre”.

text and image © 2014 Jered Dawnne

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indefinite appeal

Sleeping Dragon, left panel © 2014 Jered Dawnne

Sleeping Dragon, left panel © 2014 Jered Dawnne

on some nights, it stretches out before your eyes as if there could be nothing else, as if nothing else ever was. you see it in your dreams in intensely colourful monochrome, and upon waking into the desaturated world, it is the most colourful thing you know.

(this is the left-hand panel of “Sleeping Dragon”. the right-hand panel covers the Fairholme Range and Mount Rundle. the pair are sub-portion of a full 180-degree pano which stretches from the Cascade Valley 180 degrees past the southern ridge of Mount Rundle and the Three Sisters. shot from Sulphur Mountain in the Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. shown here are Cascade Mountain, the city of Banff, the Palliser Range with Mount Aylmer to the rear, the Bow River Valley and Lake Minnewanka.)

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weather, towering © 2014 Jered Dawnne

a view from Sulphur Mountain, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada, looking roughly northward.

You fold yourself into a thing, because the enfolding is more significant and meaningful to you than the simple act of being there and participating in it. You move, within and between the trees and mountains for a while, hoping, yearning, needing to be a part of this place, wishing you had come to it sooner, had drawn it into yourself and defined yourself with it, by it, for it. You embrace it for the time you are there, but the time is too short, too involved, too limited, and you know that even when you return in the future, that visit will have the same inherent lack.

Having folded yourself into it, you are no longer merely yourself, and when you leave, some small but powerful portion of it comes away with you, inside of you and surrounding you, transparently opaque within your mind. It is written on the inside of your eyelids every time you dream; it is written on the inside of your mind every time you breathe. It haunts you, and the haunting becomes you.

As you have folded yourself into it, it has wrapped itself inside of you, between and within the folds of flesh and mind, but to say that it has become you is to make it less than it is. You have become a small portion of it, is the thing, and the becoming, then, has a magnetism that is both unavoidable and inescapable.

So, you know one thing: You will stand within it again, and you will walk beneath its eaves and breathe its air and hear its whispers in the leaves and needles, more clearly than you do as you dream each night. And once you have partaken of it again, the enfolding will redefine you.


Text and image © 2014 Jered Dawnne

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veiled intensities

a collection of retouched photographs from my trip to Alberta, Canada in the summer of 2014, done with a specific set of treatments. just wandering, for the joy of the thing.

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