Just going about business. Serene. Opaque black matte eyes seeming oblivious to the steamy post-storm riot of summer color.
Out of the frame, underneath those magnificent wings, is the spectacle of yours truly getting the close-up, whispering (Please stay right there, just a few more seconds), wriggling backwards on the pollen-ridden ground with two cameras in hand. I’m wearing one of the daughter-hand-me-downs known among my friends as “Steph’s cute little dresses.” Lady-like? Not so much.
And I could swear this dazzling creature is looking askance at me. The intricacy of detail I can get with the swoosh of a camera button gives me a false sense of connection. Of course he is uninterested in me. But I am wildly interested in everything in the shot: the stained-glass underside of his wings, his perfectly symmetrical grasp of the flowers, the softly swooping cilia trailing down the leaf’s stem.
Sometimes we are drawn to the close-up and sometimes we do everything we can to keep our distance.
Grief, close up, occupies its own ceaselessly swirling vortex, and can make people keep their distance. But the intimate inside view yields its own insights and power, and even strange beauty at times.