The road most taken in my photographic ouvre is more of a zig-zag over land and sand towards water.
I sink in soggy soil and crunch through panes of glassy frozen water. I watch plovers pause for sunrise and Kingfishers surveying sunset. Gulls gather for the sun’s debut before skimming atop rolling saltwater as they ascend to glide above the retreating waves.
I look up and down by degrees. I rotate, snapping photos in a panoramic arch. I ignore a riot of color on the horizon when I am smitten by an unusual rock or glistening algae underfoot.
I shoot into blinding sunlight and muted mammatus skies. I collect green and every other color. New England snow and molten dunes. Working lobster boats surrounded by vacuum-sealed pleasure craft hoisted from harbors and set aside for the season.
But the subject is always the same: my absent better half.
The departed, poet Robinson Jeffers wrote in “Inscription for a Gravestone,” “have a hand in the sunrises/ And the glow of this grass.“
My lenses and I always chase signs of you, imprinted on both what I and others can see and what only I can see, as you “wander in the air. . . and flow in the ocean” that touches shores I have walked to from home and far more distant places. Where green is ringed round by green. The Dublin beach from which a seashell of your ashes swirled into surf and feathered gray became liquid blue.
Sometimes, instead of receiving and recording visible or audible signs from denizens of worlds we–technically–do not share, metaphorical flight proceeds in the other direction. Pablo Neruda both received and dispatched messages over the exceedingly thin space between here and not-here. Alive and alone on shore, in his poem, “If You Forget Me” :
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists,
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.