We never stop seeing the world slightly differently, finding a new focus of interest unexpectedly. A few days ago I went for a slowish walk through woodland that was new to me and found myself fascinated by tree bark. I came home with around fifty images of nothing but tree bark.
Maybe it was, in part, because I was reduced to walking slowly having fallen off a ladder a few days previously. Fortunately I fell flat on my back, so the consequence was spread over a wide area of my back. A fall in a different orientation might well have had more serious consequences. As it was, I was relieved to discover I could still move my legs. For the first time in about fifty years I was forced to present myself to the Accident Department where X-Rays confirmed there was no fracture. It has not been a comfortable few days but I am on the mend, although moving stiffer and slower than usual – I can no longer hurry (hopefully a temporary state of affairs).
When out with a camera we are prone to hurrying – searching for the familiar and in so doing being blind to the alternatives. Slowing down allows us to examine our surroundings in greater depth and sometimes we see things that previously our eyes just glossed over.
Silver Birches are known for their white bark, but more often than not their bark is fractured, distorted, damaged and diseased. And that is when the character shows through – signs that against the odds, despite the wounds that time has inflicted: the trees are still alive. Blink and you miss it. Another lesson learned on the visual journey through life.
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