My dog was mistaken this afternoon when I put on my running shoes. He thought we were going for a walk and started to twirl in circles and whine as his ears lifted and his eyes widened with excitement. However, I was going for a run.. but I didn’t tell him this until I got to the door. I turned and said, “Isabelle has to go, but she’ll be back. You have to stay.” which is a routine whenever I leave the house. Nigel has a wide vocabulary and when I say that phrase, his tail stops wagging and he stands frozen in the kitchen. Today, I couldn’t handle his sad demeanor and so I turned around and added, “Isabelle will come back and we’ll go..” I didn’t dare finish the sentence with, “for a walk” because I knew I’d get his hopes up only for me to leave the house without him.
Later when I came back and regained energy, I looked down at Nigel and said, “Wanna go for a walk?” and he did his whole ritual of excitement that included high speed tail wagging, whimpering, and twirling around in circles. This lasted until we got to the end of my driveway and I hooked on his leash and we were off.
On the way, we passed by a neighbor’s Lilac tree that I picked a single flower off of. We always stop by the cemetery on our walks to leave my grandparents little bits of nature. In my grandmother’s garden 17 years ago, I said to my father, “Look at all of Grandma’s natures….” as I reach out my arm and waved it slowly from left to right, scanning the magnificent garden. My grandparents’ love for Mother Nature always compels me to leave something as I pass by on our walks.
Once we got to the cemetery, I let Nigel free from his leash. Coincidentally, one of the coverts he hunts with my father in is directly behind the cemetery.. so whenever we make a visit, Nigel thinks that I’m taking him hunting. So he works the field in front of the gravestones, moving swiftly from left to right, smelling the ground in search of a scent of birds. Then he stops, looks back at me and waits for me to catch up.. a habit he has learned from hunting with my inevitably aging father. Off in the distance, I saw three robins sitting in the field. I knew Nige would flush them. And of course, he began taking off towards the birds. I had never seen Nigel flush birds before. Despite the fact that my dog is nearing the last portion of his life, seeing him running with his limbs completely outstretched like a gazelle could have fooled anyone into thinking that he was no where near 9 years old. He ran at the robins and stopped once they lifted into the air. His tail pointing straight out and his front paw off the ground, pointing too. We were hunting in the cemetery.. and it was surreal.
As I put down the lilac and put a rock over its stem to ensure it was there to stay, I looked up and saw my dog hunched over, taking a shit a few feet away…… and I could only laugh.
And I knew that my grandparents were somewhere in the forest, hidden by a veil of afterlife, looking on at this entire scene my dog has made, laughing too.
today my dad called me into our bathroom. he had me look at the wall behind our toilet and had me watch the dancing shadows of leaves on the wall. then he had me look out the window, pointing at each corner of our yard where trees were swaying in the wind and light passed through the openings of branches and leaves. he said, “look Isabelle, the world is alive.”
every night since I’ve been home, I’ve looked out my window and have seen moths drawn to the light of my room. seeing these moths flutter their wings outside of my window somehow stuck with me, and I’ve been thinking about this sight on and off.
today I decided I wanted to draw them. I took pictures of them so I’d draw them exactly how they appear. before I started drawing tonight, I knew that there was something behind these moths… something that drew me to them.
Three qualities I’ve been known to have, and have run in my family. My father and I have foreshadowing dreams and feel our guts turn when a single detail hints an unfortunate outcome. And my aunt… she was once asked to enter a bar with three good looking young men. She declined and said, “No, that bar is going to explode.” The men went in and seconds later a bomb went off. She was investigated later and after hours of interrogation it was found that she had no prior knowledge of the bomb, besides her intuition.
I knew it. I knew that there was something about these moths… and that knowledge itself is my intuition at work.
Photos that speak: Fuck your fountain. Fuck your tree. Fuck voter suppression. Fuck your labels. Fuck your stereotypes. Fuck your hatred. Fuck your restaurants. Fuck that dude. Fuck police brutality.Fuck white supremacy.
From Michael Marten’s series, Sea Change, which explores rising sea levels from regular tides and also climate change. His statement:
‘Sea Change’ is a study of the tides round the coast of Britain. The views in each diptych are taken from identical positions at low tide and high tide, usually 6 or 18 hours apart.
I am interested in showing how landscape changes over time through natural processes and cycles. The camera that observes low and high tide side by side enables us to observe simultaneously two moments in time, two states of nature.
Recent landscape photography often focuses on human shaping (and reshaping) of the environment - urbanisation, globalisation, pollution. Even when critical and committed, this approach can emphasise, even glamorise, humankind’s power over nature. I’m interested in rediscovering nature’s own powers: the elemental forces and processes that underlie and shape the planet.
The tides are one of these great natural cycles. I hope these photographs will stimulate people’s awareness of natural change, of landscape as dynamic process rather than static image. Attending to earth’s rhythms can help us to reconnect with the fundamentals of our planet, which we ignore at our peril.
‘Sea Change’ also comments on climate change. The tide floods in and quickly recedes again, but rising sea levels will flood our shores and not recede for thousands or millions of years. Many of the views in these pictures may have disappeared in 100 years’ time.