Category Archives: Lighthouse

My beloved …

much missed and cherished convertible is back.

She still makes noises and currently has no back seats, but she’s running.

I have missed my little car.

I mistreated her by making her pretend she was a Jeep, but she took it.

I will mistreat her again to get to the places I need to go and she, as she always has, will understand.

She knows me, my dreams and aspirations.

She understands my yearning to see and photograph.

I’m very happy to have her back and hope she knows how much I’ve missed her.

She’s mine; she was always meant to be mine.

I won’t trade her when I am finally able fulfill my lifelong dream and get a Jeep.

No, she’s safe here. She will always have a place in my heart (and in my driveway).

I’m pretty sure she knows that.

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She took me to my falls many, many times.

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She took me to the high places at Clingman’s Dome in the Smoky Mountains, where snow fell heavily in October.

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She took me, in the pouring rain, to Hungry Mother Park in Marion, VA

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She took me up and down Big Moccasin every day, stopping often so I could photograph my favorite trees.

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She took me, more than once, to the Outer Banks of NC.

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OBX again …

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and again.

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She took my girls with me many times …

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      many times.

Yes, I’m very happy to have her back.

Very happy, indeed.

My lovely little …

convertible is, so I’m told, on the mend.

For six weeks, I’ve been without her.

Begging and borrowing vehicles on the fly.

Never knowing from one day to the next what I’ll be driving.

As much as I miss my car, I miss my Outer Banks bumper sticker, which I proudly displayed on my hood, more.

Pirate’s Paradise it proclaimed.

On my hood.

I miss that sticker nearly as much as I miss my car.

I want a Jeep, yes, but on my timeline.

And the OBX sticker is a dealbreaker.

I suppose the only thing (family not included) I love more than my car is the OBX.

I want that sticker, preferably still attached to my car.

Hope springs eternal, right?

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And so it does.

Spring eternally, that is.

Vacation is over …

and tomorrow, it is back to business as usual.

The Outer Banks is a fond memory, both recent and distant.

It seems that, while I know I was there, I wasn’t there at all.

A week isn’t enough time to find everything I left there the year before, or the year before that or the one before that.

I feel, while I am there, as though I am as much a part of that world as the marshes and gnarled, wind-withered trees.

Yet now that I am back in the world I know, I wonder if I were ever there at all.

Will it remember me?

The sea, the sand, the wind, the beauty, the essence?

Will it long for me as I do for it?

I think not.

I am an outsider, a passerby, an intruder.

I am a stranger.

It doesn’t make it any less compelling or beautiful.

It simply makes me sad to know that there was nothing of myself I could leave behind to remind that place who I am so it will recognize me when I return.

 

Sunrise in an orange sky

Sunrise in an orange sky

Sun melting into the Sound

Sun melting into the Sound

Sunset fisherman

Sunset fisherman

Currituck light

Currituck light

Bridge at Whalehead, near Currituck light

Bridge at Whalehead, near Currituck light

Outer Banks (OBX) …

here I come.

Or nearly so.

I have packed the essentials; camera, lenses, filters, chargers and tripod.

I don’t wear make-up or jewelry and have the fashion sense of an oak tree.

I don’t do bars or hangouts
because, for the most part, people make me antsy.

I like to photograph them, from afar, but making genial conversation isn’t really my forte.

I prefer deserted beaches, four am sunrise stakeouts, solitude and the extraordinary beauty of creation.

Extraordinary, by the way, is one of the most useless words in the English language.

If I don’t want ordinary, why would I seek extraordinary.

Because I do and because ordinary rules of photography mean nothing to me.

I follow the light … seek it, find it, adore it, interpret it, read it, succumb to it, belong to it.

I’m not like everyone else, so in my own way, I am extraordinary, which, according to my own admission, means I am useless.

A dilemma, to be sure.

But I am a photographer of creation, so dilimmas are my chocolate coated candy with sprinkles.

I. Am. Me.

It is all I know how to be. 

So I be it.

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         Janette’s Pier at sunrise

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                    Bodie Light

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         A Chameleon turning blue

A few difficult days …

are, once in a while, good for me.

They remind me that I am stronger than I think and that gives me confidence.

Confidence makes me manic, which is my baseline normal.

I like being manic as it makes me think clearer and feel empowered.

Right now, all is right with the world.

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              My favorite marker

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          My favorite Lighthouse

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               Sunrise in my world

There is something about rain …

the sound of it, anyway, that is mesmerizing.

I love it.

I find myself getting lost in it.

The soft sounds or the heavy, torrential pounding that a good storm can produce.

Imagine my joy when I recently learned that there is a musical instrument that can make the sound of rain.

It is called a rainstick and, as with all things that are new to me, I had to find out more about it.

What is it?  Where does it come from?  What is it made of?  What makes it work?  How does that sound get inside?

I asked all of these questions and went in search of answers.

I found them.

I was told only that the sound of rain in a friend’s musical composition was made by a rainstick which he described as “a percussion instrument that lets pebbles cascade over small spikes”.

With that image in mind,  it was hard for me to imagine something other than plinko.  You know, drop the disk and let it bounce off spikes and hope it falls into the slot you were shooting for.  It is a game, one of pure chance, and I was not about to be satisfied with that.

After researching the rainstick, I found the history of it to be most fascinating.  So fascinating, in fact, that I almost forgot why I was looking it up to begin with.

As it turns out, the origin of the traditional South American rain stick isn’t known, not definitively, anyway.  Indian tribes in Chile, Peru and Mexico all lay claim to having invented them, and one compelling theory contends that African slaves who arrived in the New World during the Spanish occupation brought them.

The euphonious sound of the traditional rainstick were supposedly once thought to have the power to bring rain and was used in prayer ceremonies among the Aztecs as well as others.  The sound was so lovely, however, that it made its way into the making of music, something that is as old as time itself.  Music.  And, now that I think about it, rain, as well.

The rainstick is made primarily from the dried Eulychnia acida, or Capao cactus after it has lived a long and healthy sixty plus years.  The “arms” are harvested, dried, cleaned and  hollowed out.  Spines are pushed into the hard body of the cactus and many very small stones are sealed inside.  When the instrument is inverted, the stones cascade along the helically spaced spikes making the sound of rain. (There are likely other varieties of cacti that rainsticks can be fashioned from, but Capao came up consistently in my research.)

Ingenious.

As with everything else, however,  it had to be classified, reclassified and sub-classified.  It is now known to be part of the percussion/shaken idiophone family.  The shaken part is, as any music nerd can likely tell you, a sub-category of the idiophone.  Me?  I had to look it up.

I listened to the piece that drew my attention to the instrument over and over while writing this post.  I listened to it because it is brilliantly done and pleasing to the ear.  The fact that is was written by a friend was coincidental, but he doesn’t need to know that I found such favor with it.  Don’t take my word for it, though, take a listen and judge for yourselves and then decide if you can live out the rest of your life without owning your own rainstick.

I decided that I couldn’t.  I’m expecting it in the mail by next Friday.

It is official …

I am out there swinging.   For those who suffer from manic episodes, no explanation is necessary, for the rest of you, all I can offer is a pathetic, well meant yet mostly misunderstood, “I’m sorry”.

What am I sorry for?  Ummm, where should I start?

I can’t explain it.  I don’t even try anymore.  It makes less sense to me when I try to make it make sense to someone else.

So I don’t because that in itself is an enigma wrapped in a mystery wrapped in a riddle.

I’ll be back, though, at some point, as my old “weirdly abnormal” self.

Lucid and in total (okay, yes, a stretch even on a good day) control.

Until then … well, just go with it because ultimately, it is what it is.

And I take it as it comes, deal with it however I can and sometimes ignore those who are most important to me.  I, most times, inadvertently, end up hurting somebody’s feelings.

It isn’t always pretty but neither is reality; that’s just the way I roll if I want to survive the storm.

And I do.  Want to survive, that is.

Words of wisdom … BodieIslandLight

Really?  Get a grip already. madmaggie