Grief can drastically pare down places one’s “Happy Places.” It also can prompt one to venture out and find new ones.
This sometimes unwitting search almost always leads me outdoors, to sunrises and sunsets, up mountains and down to the sea.
It makes me pause to catch a creature’s movement at my periphery and the way the sun illuminates a leaf or petal–or even a piece of seaweed. I linger in deep greens and blues, in vivid bright colors, in an orange moon surrounded by black or a sparkling pure white snowy vista.
Sometimes these wonders coalesce, and I take out my camera to capture and carry that place and space.
We lawyers are fond of what is known in the business as the “bright line distinction.” We like the assurance of knowing what falls on each side, though the adversarial battle in a given case tends to focus on pinpoint holes in the line–which after all ultimately may be as porous as the rainbow’s edge.
I aspire to be a half-full glass type of person, but founder on that line. I still tend to focus on the downturn, the mask’s saddened side. Flags at half staff. Storm clouds arrayed in equal measure with gathering blue. Half finished. Done and undone. The half-life of love and of grief. The missing pieces.
Half-and-half is far easier to capture in pictorial form: half cloudy, semi-submerged, partially in focus. Divided into land or sky or sea; demi-sentient; half-revealed, as with a wink, a mid-cycle moon, or a tree’s split fallen fruits; a vista of one side of the color spectrum at dawn, by halves bitter and sweet. Somehow both part of and alone in this dazzling world.
I have the kind of commute that makes people regularly ask what’s wrong with me.
The same question could be posed about my sleep patterns. Even when daylight savings staves off dawn, I’m wide awake and wandering.
But I have my reasons.
A Flock Afloat
Birds lift off from fragments of silver, puzzle pieces floating on the river’s surface. Unbroken background blue reveals itself as water rather than sky only because of blurred wings’ reflection in the lower left-hand corner.