collaborating with luck

In Film, Inspiration, Nature

I struggled with what to share in today’s post as I haven’t been shooting much at all lately. Not for lack of desire, or even motivation. Like many of you, I would guess, I’m a mother and a daughter and I’ve been experiencing a sandwichy season upon unrelenting season of family responsibilities – some happy, some not so much – but all physically and emotionally demanding and all leaving me little to no time and even less energy to potter about with a camera. Life’s like that sometimes.

But then I happened across this quote I had marked in my commonplace book and found my thread:


“ . . . luck is one of the cardinal forces in the universe, one which a photographer has unique equipment for collaboration with.”
James Agee, A Way of Seeing

and I was reminded that I had saved something for just this time of year, for February.

It’s a sorry fact of human nature that we rarely value what we have when we have it in plentitude. Only when something is a bit out of reach do we truly understand  how foolish we were not to savor it.

I do my best to revel in my butterflies all summer long, even when they are a dime a dozen. But there are some moments I have with them that feel – something else. They are part magic, part interspecies communication, sprinkled with a solid dash of that cardinal force, luck, to which Agee refers.

If I am able to make images of these moments, I often hold them close for months. Seeing them out of season heightens their impact on me, as I hope it will on those who view them when I eventually do share them publicly.

If these photos feel evanescent and hopeful to me in August, in February, that shortest, longest of months, they seem to be  touched by the miraculous. I find myself reassured that before too long spring will come and summer will follow. Maybe, if I am lucky, some butterflies will, again, invite me to their dance and I’ll be prepared to collaborate with them. 

Whatever enchants you, friends, I wish you luck and a most fruitful collaboration.

Debbie

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