Sometimes she forgets
Ok, that’s not true, I don’t forget, per se, sometimes I’m just too far away from that which I love and sometimes distance gives you amnesia. Which is a terrible aspect of the human condition.
I *know* the state in which I was raised is beautiful, stunningly so. This past week seeing some photos, familiar photos, but seeing them again brought it all back to me. The wonder, the joy, the melancholy, the homesick.
At Bellagio in Las Vegas, they are having a show of Ansel Adams work.
I run hot and cold on Adams. Some of his stuff just kills me, some puts me off, but I find him to be incredibly talented and master of striking a mood. Plus, as an aspiring amateur photographer, I am utterly stunned by his style and eye.
This particular exhibit had a side room with many of Adams’ personal effects. Family photographs and personal letters were a highlight for me. Learning (and then viewing) his wonder for the natural beauty of New Mexico drew me in all over again. I’ve been a half click off kilter since. Missing my home state this much will do that to me. I have a foot in both my lives. That of a New Mexican and that of this new life (I still call it “new” after almost ten years).
I learned more about Ansel Adams in the two hours I spent at the exhibition. One of the best things I learned is that he was quite a writer. Personal letters to friends and family had me captivated.
A fave quote I took away from that day was from a letter from Adams to Nancy Newhall dated July 15, 1944. In it, Adams is pondering himself and his talents. He creates a whole list of things he’s not. It’s both wry and thought provoking.
He ends the letter this way:
“I am really like those very old headstones in New England – demon angels with X for eyes and perky wings. I ain’t so soft, but I am amusing.”
I keep thinking I should steal that for the tagline of my own life: “I ain’t so soft, but I am amusing”
I like it.
Here’s some of my faves of the New Mexico shots. The ones that drilled right into my bone marrow and made me melancholy until I see New Mexico for myself again.
For those living there today, don’t forget to look out your window at the beauty that’s readily available and give thanks you get to live there. I often neglected to do that. It’s easy to take for granted when it’s there every day.
(These are reproductions found on the web and do nothing to enhance the glory of the actual photographs….)
“Ghost Ranch Hills, Chama Valley, 1937
“Aspens, New Mexico”
Perhaps the most famous, “Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, 1941 (the audio feature at the exhibit told a great story of how he got this shot. It’s captivating.)
Ok, best to stop staring at photographs and get my maudlin self back to work……