Spring has Sprungeth
Greetings subscribers. This month I went up to the forest on the Mountain and got some beautiful shots of early spring.
I love forests- they are peaceful and quiet, and their untamed-ness represents a chaos that I think unnerves us at certain level. There’s a unconscious fear of forests in our culture. Why else would Fairy Tales and horror movies use forests as spooky settings.
On a personal level, every forest is the forest I grew up near. Now, in my neighbourhood there was the park and there was the forest. We had carte blanche to go to the park anytime, our parents would allow it. But if you wanted to go to the forest, you had to wait until your dad got home, or you had an adult to go with you.
The adults saw the park as safe, and the forest as dangerous. The irony was, I got in way more skiffs and skaffs with other kids at the park. We hardly ever saw any one in the forest!
I think , as a queer kid, that’s what attracted me to the forest. At the park, I had to be guarded, had to protect myself, and that often meant hiding myself. While in the forest, I could be myself- could let my guard down. Trees don’t care how you walk, how you talk. In the forest I could let my imagination and curiosity run wild and explore all the plants and trees and rocks.
I’ve wanted to do a new work based on forests and trees for a while now. It’s inspired by my feelings of growing up as the youngest in my family, family trees, ancestry, time, power and family relationships. I’m calling it Forest of the Night, inspired by William Blake’s poem The Tyger.
Tyger Tyger, burning bright, In the forests of the night; What immortal hand or eye, Could frame thy fearful symmetry? In what distant deeps or skies. Burnt the fire of thine eyes? On what wings dare he aspire? What the hand, dare seize the fire? And what shoulder, & what art, Could twist the sinews of thy heart? And when thy heart began to beat, What dread hand? & what dread feet? What the hammer? what the chain, In what furnace was thy brain? What the anvil? what dread grasp, Dare its deadly terrors clasp! When the stars threw down their spears And water'd heaven with their tears: Did he smile his work to see? Did he who made the Lamb make thee? Tyger Tyger burning bright, In the forests of the night: What immortal hand or eye, Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?
Thematically, the poem and my photo work aren’t really related. But the romantic themes of Blake’s work are something I connect with.
Here are some more photos from the forest below. I particularly like the bud with the ant crawling on it. I shot with my 55mm set lens, and I really love how the combination of bokeh and the unfocused lines of the trees/twigs create a visual trembling.