Tuesday, February 12, 2008

While Driving to work...

My friend Dr. Leffall likes to talk about 'grace notes.' It's a concept he learned from his friend and classmate Cannonball Adderley, who defined a grace note as those extra notes or flourishes that take a piece of music from the significant to the sublime.
To me, a grace note is what I experience when I go walking out the door, lost in thought or pre-occupied with the tasks that await me. And then I look up and suddenly become aware of how extraoridinarily beautiful the morning is: perhaps the sun streaming through the trees or the sound of a bird's song or the colors of the foliage or the quietness of the falling snow. The things that take me away from the mundane, the quotidian, and remind me how wonderful life is and how beautiful our world can be, these are grace notes to me on a profound level.
To me one of the most rare and ephemeral grace notes has to be the rainbow. It was right after sunrise when this rare morning rainbow materialized. I drove quickly to a roadside park where I could stop my car and snap a few shots before the rainbow dissapated. The blues and greens had already begun to disappear but I managed to snap a few shots, including this one.

Leonard Cohen wrote a song called "Bird on a Wire." I shot these birds on a wire while stuck in traffic at a light by pointing my camera up through my moon roof, finding a little bit of beauty in an otherwise cloudy, dreary day.

Driving to work on a rainy day it is often dark enough for some lights to still be on on street lights and businesses along the way. I always tell my students not to be 'fair-weather photographers' advice I take to heart. Besides, I find a car makes an ideal platform from which to shoot landscapes and cityscapes in inclement weather. I was mesmerized by the cloud formations on this particular day. Still waiting for to get the elusive shot of lightning or of a tornado.

All photos (c) 2008 by the Incorrigible Curmudgeon using Canon PowerShot A570IS


deeceevoice said...

"Grace notes." I like that. :)

I had my own, similar moment not long ago, walking down Connecticut Avenue one rainy afternoon, rushing God knows where. The post office, I think. Then on a whim, I decided to stop at the liquor store nearby to purchase a Power Ball ticket. As I pushed open the door, and stepped back onto the sidewalk, I noticed a misty arc of light and color that pulled me up short. I couldn't remember the last time I'd seen one. I stopped and let its beauty sink in; I wanted to remember that quiet moment of sublime, shining beauty on an otherwise drab and ordinary day. No one else around me seemed to notice it. I had an impulse to shout, to call their attention to that fleeting symbol of hope and good fortune before it dissipated. But I didn't want to shatter the serenity of that moment. So, I selfishly kept quiet.

When I moved on, the thought entered my mind that perhaps the rainbow was a portent of good fortune. Was a Power Ball win in my future?

I'm writing this from my computer, taking a break from crunching another miserable deadline on a Saturday night, so what do you think?

No matter. I'd already hit the jackpot. ;)

deeceevoice said...

Was walking about a month ago out somewhere in East Hell, around New Hampshire Ave. and University Boulevard. It was cold as the dickens, and I looked up to notice a similar phenomenon -- long rows of birds perched almost wing to wing on strings of utility wires suspended above a major intersection.

I thought to myself, "I should have my camera!"

I'm glad you did.

Tell me. Why do they do it? Is it to stay warm? Do the power lines conduct heat? Are they sunning?

And why do they always all face in the same direction?

Could it be they're vainly waiting for that perfect photo op and want to show their best side? ;)

Dr. F. said...

That's phenomenal. I took the photo of the birds on the wire at the exact same intersection, New Hampshire and University Blvd.! I was on New Hampshire southbound right beside the Taco Bell. The McDonald's is right across the street.

deeceevoice said...

Hey, stop following me! ;p

Wonder if we were looking at the same rainbow, too....

Dr. F. said...

Thanks DeeCeeVoice. Always nice to receive such insightful comments from a senior member of the blogosphere. :)