Archive for the ‘sea’ tag
I took this photo last night just after 10:00pm. I watched as the growing moon grow larger in the western sky as it made its descent toward the sea. As it got closer, the usual white began to change to a light golden yellow and then as captured in this photo, a burnished red gold as though a crescent as one would expect to find at the end of a staff of some deity out of our Greek or Egyptian past. At that moment I wished I had a better camera so as to be able to capture the light on the gentle waves of the sea. It wasn’t much longer and the moon had disappeared into the depths of the sea without making a ripple to mark her disappearance.
I have begun to put together an e-book called SWAMPLANDS: DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL using MS Word which I will save as a PDF and then possibly publish it through an e-book service called ISSUU. The book is based on photographs taken in the salt marsh swamplands just minutes away from my villa. Besides the normal commentary that I typically place with photos, I am including St. John of the Cross’ poem, Dark Night of the Soul, both in its original Spanish and translated English. This book is a test run for a second book I will be creating before June 30th as part of SoFoBoMo. SoFoBoMo is short for Solo Photo Book Month.
I took this photo only a few days after I arrived in the Yucatan. After leaving the wind, ice, snow and cold of my home on the Canadian prairies, the first few days was spent in adjusting to the heat. Birds and water and sand and sun – these were the images and sensations that fueled the process of adaption to a different place. And of course, this is all alchemical, perculating and distilling as base materials become transformed. And, this is what has happened and continues to happen to me during this time of rest and relaxation in Mexico.
The pelican is one of the symbols of the alchemical process, one that is ascribed to life-giving, life-sustaining. I have spent many hours observing these birds here from the deck of my villa and during long beach walks. The pelican has an intimate relationship to the sea. And thinking about this symbolically, I see the ego aspect flying above the sea, free and graceful. With only a few beats of their long wings, they are able to glide only inches above the water defying the pull of gravity, denying the power or influence of the sea. And as I watch, the pelican rises and poises before diving into the sea for a fish, for food.
The sea is vital for the well-being of the pelican, yet at the same time, the sea is a dangerous place, not always providing the nourishment sought. The dive into the sea leaves the pelican stunned and silent. And over the years, it causes blindness, a death sentence. The brown pelican who lives this way has less than half the lifespan of a white pelican. And for some reason, it is the brown pelican that I feel best represents the alchemical process of my own life.
The morning horizon on a cloudy day. Why even bother with such a photo when there are so many colourful aspects of Mexico to capture with a camera?
As you can see, the separation between sky and sea is barely there. It reminded me of when I was struggling with my “self”. At times it was messy as I drifted from inner to outer worlds, not sure where I was. The unconscious spilled into my outer world bouncing off relationships at home and at work, disturbing the pond of my world.
With no effort at all, carefully constructed masks cracked and fell away. But rather than revealing a purer aspect of self, it only revealed the repressed shadows. And in doing so, those I loved were buffetted and tested.
It would be easy to get lost in the spaces where inner and outer meet but can’t be differentiated.