My brain was full and I needed some time to think. I had come to this place to rest - to retreat - but so far, more had been stirred than settled. Julia’s words from the prior evening lingered in my mind:
I lie down there under Orion’s belt
until snow melts through my hair
to the back of my neck. This is the best
thing you ever taught me: to stop
and stretch out under tree limbs or clouds.
I almost forgot how good a pasture feels
beneath a sore back.
I grabbed my camera and headed out. I didn’t have Julia’s snowy pasture, but the river beckoned and I envisioned myself as a little green lizard, sunning peacefully on a rock. I set my camera on a tuft of grass and tried lying down. The boulder pressed into my spine and poked me in the head. I began to wonder if I was crazy and should just get up, but I gave her the benefit of the doubt. I exhaled the discomfort and concentrated instead on the feeling of solid rock supporting me.
how the sky will open above you. Think
how the ground will hold you
as it always has, as it certainly will
until it takes you once and for all.
I turned slightly to see the river, as the rock must see the river. Something caught the light. I sat up and searched the stone and finally spied a snippet of fishing line. Who was here before me? I wondered. What story does this almost-invisible thread hold? I snapped a quick picture and got up.
Away from the river, I found a covered porch and swing. How peaceful it would be to sit there. But Julia’s words returned, so I lay on the hard wooden floor instead. I considered some fallen flowers around me and looked for their source - a creeping vine overhead. I snapped another picture and continued my journey.
I came to a stone wall and became fascinated with a wind chime hanging nearby. I immediately lay down beneath it. I studied the triangular-shaped hole and the contrast of the circular clapper. Tucked up in the top was a small wasp nest, unnoticeable unless the wind blew the clapper to the side. I waited for the wind to blow again and snapped a final picture.
Changing perspective is an important tool in a photographer’s toolkit because it forces us to see our subject in a new way. This month, try lying down and seeing the world from the ground up. You might be tempted to just sit, but go all the way...even if it feels weird!
Directions for November’s PhotoPlay:
- Lie down on the ground (not on your couch!)
- Take a few moments to take in the scene around you.
- Snap away!
- Share your favorite images by uploading them to the High Calling Focus Flick Group by Wednesday, November 16th, for a spot in the gallery and a possible feature at The High Calling.
- Tag your images with “Photoplay 20” and “THC.”
Note: Only images submitted to the High Calling Focus group are eligible for inclusion in the gallery.