EMBRACING THE ENEMY
A number of years ago, I participated in a week-long poetry writing workshop where we alternated lessons and scribbling in our journals with floating down the Westwater section of the Colorado River. Though I've lost contact with most of the people on the trip, the instructor, Alison Deming, of the University of Arizona in Tucson, led the group in a memporable discussion about encountering and incorporating "the enemy" in our poetry. I've since mislaid the journal and any poems written on the trip, but the idea of embracing the enemy still informs my writing and has come to infiltrate my photography.
I took some time the other day to saunter along the new bike path that meanders along the Colorado River near Moab, Utah. I love the reflected light that bounces off the canyon walls onto the surface of the water in winter. As I fiddled with the framing, the weeds and willows continually photo-bombed my compositions. No matter where I walked, slid, or climbed, the defoliated stalks and stems of Dyer's Woad, Leafy Spurge, and Star Thistle, mangaged a side-long wave. After a time, I remembered the lesson about encounters with the enemy and started to incorporate their swaying silhouettes in the frame.
As I processed the images from that day, I discovered again how seeing the light is not just about stunning sunsets or finding the spectacular in faraway places. For me, seeing the light is about projecting the dance of contrast, tension, and conflict within myself.
I have seen the enemy and they are us! - Pogo