Rectangles of Blue

In Film, Nature
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We pulled the car onto the ferry, turned off the engine, and pulled up the break. We waited for the cars around us to do the same, then scrambled for the seat belt buckles’ release and slid our bodies between the isles of parked vehicles. Up we went, one-two-three-four flights of stairs to the sun deck. Schools of fish congregated at the edge of the vessel, much like all the passengers at the railing- each taking turns leaning their body against the green metal barrier to get a look at Mount Rainier and the Port of Tacoma, to have their photo taken with swirling hair and goofy tourist smiles. With that same breeze in our faces, we moved to the bow of the ferry and let the smell of low tide brine and excitement in the ride take us away. I look around and say to my husband, “Sometimes, I still can’t believe this is where we call home.”
20160508-VashonIsland001-2-4He smiles and nods and we scramble back down to the truck, re-snap the seat belts, and hear from the back seat, “Are we there yet?”

“We are, and we aren’t,” I reply.

We are across to the island, but I actually  have no plan as to ‘there’ is. What I do know is that I instantly feel the city melt away. The road narrows down to two simple lanes, the trees thicken, and light danced between the big maple leaves, ivy, raspberry bushes, and all the other varieties of green.  There are old barns and farm houses, there are horses and sheep and chicken coops. There are eggs for sale on the side of the road and bicyclist around every turn. The brown signs with white text lead us further north until we find the parking lot for Point Robinson Lighthouse. The rocky beach gives way to pebbles to sand. My son cringes at the seaweed under his feet. It has draped the smooth rocks like a bad, slimy green toupe. There are people digging for geoduck out on the sand bar, families enjoying the sun and sandwiches up on the drift wood, and a gaggle of teenagers sparkling and sweating in their senior prom regalia having their photos taken next to the light house.FocusInPhotography (2 of 4)I hear a harbor seal across the water, but can’t see it. My best guess of it’s location was the giant orange buoy floating halfway between the slice of land we were on and the one to the east. We watch a tug float by and a sail boat glide past. My kids wade in ankle, then knee deep to the calm cool water as they hunt for the perfect rock or shell. My tummy rumbles, as I realize it’s after noon, and the sun kisses my bare legs and face. I was thankful that my daughter had lovingly lathered sunscreen on my neck and shoulders before we left eearlier that morning. I can see the faint outline of buildings across the water, their windows catching light like glitter, checking google maps, I realize we were just across the way from SEA-TAC airport, which would explain the air traffic and line up of planes above.

The kids come back up from the water to share what they found and to play the frustrating game of dusting off sandy feet and hands and not getting re-sandy in the process. Shoes and socks get yanked up over damp toes and ankles, and we trudge back up the hill to the parking lot. Our hungry, lunchtime bellies and the promise of the little town of Vashon is calling us. But not before I pull out my new favorite camera to take a few frames. “This is what weekends are all about”, I think to myself and lift the viewfinder to my eye.

Snap- tunnnnnnaaaarrr,

Snap- tunnnnnnaaaarrr,

Snap- tunnnnnnaaaarrr.

Little rectangles of blue, the weekend ejects from the side of the camera and I smile as I watch the colors appear.

“How do you know, when you think blue — when you say blue — that you are talking about the same blue as anyone else?
You cannot get a grip on blue.Blue is the sky, the sea, a god’s eye, a devil’s tail, a birth, a strangulation, a virgin’s cloak, a monkey’s ass. It’s a butterfly, a bird, a spicy joke, the saddest song, the brightest day.
Blue is sly, slick, it slides into the room sideways, a slippery trickster.
This is a story about the color blue, and like blue, there’s nothing true about it. Blue is beauty, not truth. ‘True blue’ is a ruse, a rhyme; it’s there, then it’s not. Blue is a deeply sneaky color.”
Christopher Moore, Sacré Bleu: A Comedy d’Art   

Keep chasing that blue, finding the light, and the medium that inspires your inner and outer world. Use film, use a full frame digital camera,  or use your mobile phone; but whatever you do, don’t stop creating little frames of your true blue.

xo, Vanessa


  1. Nice way to remember a beautiful, blue Mother’s Day.

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