A dark place

Driven by images in my mind of lights and shapes and water, I set out again to experiment a little more down by the lake.

I say “down by the lake” and actually the place itself was going to be irrelevant. My focal point of the images was always going to be the object, the light, and the water, so in truth, the venue was only going to provide me with the right environment for my shots.

I needed near total darkness as ambient light around me was only going to compromise the look I was aiming for.

And so, once again I found myself just before six on the pier down at Lake Parker. The pier not just gives me the dark background but it also doesn’t have any light sources that can creep in from behind me and reflect on the glass objects.

In fact the sphere pics below are from yesterday and the cube from today. With the rapidly brightening skyline, I only had a window of a half hour each time, so I decided to spread it over two mornings.

I loved the effect of the water hitting the surface of the objects and how in some instances, it looked like the effect was inside the object rather than on the surface. Looks can be deceiving!

It was fun working with the different color rope lights that Morgan got me and some of the end images are really cool, I think. Not even a hint of photo-editing, btw. Hope you enjoy.

Anyway, it was this morning driving home that I was left thinking about how important having a dark place as the venue was. Taking myself away from any ambient light was critical to be able to work with glass and to produce these kind of images.

And I thought how often we take ourselves to a dark place and how that isn’t always a bad thing.

For example, migraine sufferers will tell you how life-saving a dark place can be when they get a really bad one.

Emotionally we can take ourselves to a dark place and generally, we are advised to pull ourselves out of it. We are told that dwelling on dark thoughts can lead to depression, anxiety, and pain and in some instances, I am sure they are right.

But dark places are also able to ground us and help us identify things that are wrong in our lives that need correction. They remind us that life is not all good times and happy moments. That there is pain all around us and sometimes it breaks through the surface of our lives.

Emotional pain in particular can be quietly damaging as it doesn’t cause bleeding and bruising and rarely leaves you bent over double in the corner writhing in agony.

But pain from a loss can tear away at us without leaving any visible marks until one day it consumes us. Whether it is a loss of a person or a loss of ourselves (a dream or hope), it hides out in the shadows of our mind and waits to jump out on our passing soul.

Some people are happy to sweep away the pain or put it in a box to be dealt with some other time. They don’t talk about it. They don’t confront it. They might not even understand it. And so it just waits in the dark until one day it decides for itself that it will make itself known.

But if we occasionally go to this dark place and look at the secret pains that lurk there, we can at least understand them and try to reconcile them within our heart. We may not be able to cure them. We may not be able to even fully deal with them at this moment in time, but an occasional visit and an acceptance that they are there is enough to remove the element of surprise and catastrophe when we finally do have to confront them.

Choosing your time of confrontation is always the best option. It means that to a certain degree, you are in control of how that particular battle goes.

Every now and then, I like to look at the pieces of my life that are painful, cause me worry, and carry a real risk of derailing my future happiness. Many of these stay where they are after my visit but there have been some that I have been able to bring out into the light and work my way past them.

Some of these cause me to change something about myself or to resign myself to a certain failing and that is ok. Because try as we might, we are not perfect. I gave up walking on water many years ago.

If you do decide to visit, watch out that you don’t stay there too long wallowing in the darkness. It can’t be a week long visit. This is not a vacation!

But to take an hour or two and catalog your pains and sorrows. It is time well spent and you might even find that something you had previously identified as a pain, no longer was. Sometimes, time itself is the balm.

Then close the door behind you as you step back out into the brightness of life and feel confident that there is nothing behind that door that can jump out and surprise you, next time you are passing.

The good and bad is all part of life. We have to deal with it all. As Forest reminds us “life is like a box of chocolates” and some of them are dark.

… just a thought!