Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry

Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry
order now for delivery by Sept. 2015

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Light and Water


HENRY DAVID THOREAU: "The whole bank, which is from twenty to forty feet high, is sometimes overlaid with a mass of this kind of foliage, or sandy rupture, for a quarter of a mile on one or both sides, the produce of one spring day. What makes this sand foliage remarkable is its springing into existence thus suddenly. When I see on the one side the inert bank,for the sun acts on one side first,and on the other this luxuriant foliage, the creation of an hour, I am affected as if in a peculiar sense I stood in the laboratory of the Artist who made the world and me, had come to where he was still at work, sporting on this bank, and with excess of energy strewing his fresh designs about. I feel as if I were nearer to the vitals of the globe, for this sandy overflow is something such a foliaceous mass as the vitals of the animal body. You find thus in the very sands an anticipation of the vegetable leaf. No wonder that the earth expresses itself outwardly in leaves, it labors with the idea inwardly. The atoms have already learned this law, and are pregnant by it. The overhanging leaf sees here its prototype. Internally, whether in the globe or animal body, it is a moist thick lobe, a word especially applicable to the liver and lungs and the leaves of fat (leibo, labor, lapsus, to flow or slip downward, a lapsing; lobos, globus, lobe, globe; also lap, flap, and many other words)...."

PHOTOGRAPHER'S DIARY: One who wants to photograph the land follows the seasons. This is the season of water and its cycles and its endless capacity for transformation and metaphor. I've been following its currents since the big rains came in March that rutted my road and finished the work of the thaw: I went to Great Falls on the Housatonic to shoot the water's torrent, and to Collinsville where the Farmington River was, long ago, divided into narrow channels so its energy could be engaged in the building of a nation, and finally, after days of warm sun, the water led me here, and it feels like a beginning. To say more is to say too much.