a shooting star

The times I've seen a star streaking across the night sky ... were in one breath, a single flash of a moment that held within it a hopeful magnificence; it's shimmering brilliance and the physical sensations that echoed within. The times when I've experienced this wonderment were ones of simply being tuned into a moment; present, quiet, aware. Unlike those times when I've held a certain kind of expectation - those nights of "ideal conditions"  that resulted in nothing more than a dark night sky; I've never seen a shooting star in under these seeming idyllic settings. 

My own personal path with photography is quite similar to the experience of a shooting star for a picture is at its essence a flash of frozen light; its shape shines with a similar illumination that settles into my insides as that streak across the sky. And just like I cannot will the heavens to do their magical light display at my disposal, I cannot conjure up "THE" image with insistence. Instead this is really about doing:  "inspiration exists, but it has to find us working" (Pablo Picasso) + "chance favors the prepared mind" (Lois Pasteur). These two thoughts work in tandem.

To see a star, I actually have to show up in the night sky....I have to look with sincerity and patience and graciousness - to take in and appreciate the gifts on display. To make mistakes and embrace them. To look with a soft focus, detached and yet intent. Knowing that this night in this direction holds the best promise. Returning over and again for within the rhythm of practice, I cultivate an appreciation for the stars themselves rather than those that loosen and break free.

the boy | ocean park maine, 2015

sandpipers & gulls | lbi, 2015

And so, after some years of showing up and photographing ... with very little idea of where to look or what to look for, peering out among the millions of stars waiting for that one to streak across the sky, I've come to a certain kind of understanding with the zen of the sky - it's not the shooting stars, it's the outline of the whole. Seeing now the shapes that convey a certain kind of elegant longing mixed with nostalgia and a subtle humor ... the simple line I am drawn to time and time again, only now seeing they were there all along. The same image taken over and again in different cities and times of year.