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Start and finish with silence

aldertriptych

Alders, Lake Crescent, October 2011

Friday at the lake. This group of alders is a recurring subject. I’d like to say I haven’t gotten what I want here yet but the truth is I’m too numbly comfortable here to move on. It’s a relaxing place to be, and having a fussy-to-use camera justifies the lingering, if not the internal dialogues that sometimes bruise the silence, to the passing hikers and tourists on the trail above.

I was interrupted by a curious onlooker, undaunted by my frightful hair and incomprehensible murmurs. In typical fashion, I was startled at the level of exertion I needed simply to be polite. I’m not especially fond of people to begin with. Much less so when their curiosity about what I’m doing is clearly more important than what I’m actually doing, so I usually just say ‘Yes, yes’ whatever the question. ‘Is that a new electronic digital camera device/ does it only take black and white pictures/ how bout a snapshot of me with my family?’ ‘Yes, yes’ and go about what I’m doing while they pose and wait pointlessly and eventually wander off. I keep waiting for one of these encounters to erupt in violence, but other than some general harrumphing they never have the energy or interest to expand on the awkward silence. But the possibility of a brawl is somewhat stimulating after a quiet morning at the lake.