The Transfiguration

everything is sacred

Archive for the ‘missed opportunities’ Category

Glow of the Day #2496

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Glow of the Day #2496

Work today was digging through code that certainly made sense to its composer, but is rather opaque to someone not intimately familiar with the rest of the code base. This is the ubiquitous tragedy of Legacy Code: developers will always move on to create other things, taking with them their vision for the machine they’ve built and leaving others to rediscover the original design philosophy. My task is to document the code and then make it better – an interesting puzzle in itself.

I was distracted when one of my teammates went to demonstrate the ludicrous luminance of his bike light comparing it to his pocket flashlight. Another coworker played with the converging shadows thrown by the two lights, trying to make the two ghosts of his hand reach out to each other. I took a photo because I was drawn to the color like some flittering moth, but I didn’t ask my coworkers to compose something for me. Looking from here, it was a little bit of a missed opportunity – it’s been a while since I had people fiddle with lights for a photo.

they say people never change

Written by Umbrella Man

July 23, 2015 at 11:25 pm

Patterns of the Day #2162

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Patterns of the Day #2162

Laurel’s nails wear a houndstooth pattern this week, and her phone has always worn the intricate shapes that Kendra wove.

While I write this, Laurel’s phone has been glowing a lullaby, so I shouldn’t dither here any longer. Morning will come, and too soon—

I summon you here

Written by Umbrella Man

August 24, 2014 at 12:32 am

Lapse of the Day #1865

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Lapse of the Day #1865

My newer camera has somehow forgotten all of the day’s photos, so this is all I have left of the day – an overhead thrift shop snapshot as Anton, Emily and I searched for pieces of our respective Halloween costumes. It was a good day, though, and I mustn’t let some camera mishap steal it away. And so:

Waking hazy and warm;
Riding through cold streets as the sky woke up;
Work as usual, inches from the end of the voxelated phase;
Costume hunting with Emily and Anton;
Chewy cookies in pumpkin ice cream;
Mitch’s Bill Cipher pumpkin and Leyla’s Mystery Shack signs (photos tragically lost?);
An awkward, bumbling attempt at whip-stitching;
A quick break to forage for fries, and the energy dilemma;
My partial transformation into the Summerween Trickster.

These are just notes, or thin threads tied to memories, and I hope they’re strong enough to keep the day suspended. I’ll need to keep an eye on my camera – human memories are so volatile, but digital ones aren’t meant to fade.

everyone hail to the pumpkin song

Written by Umbrella Man

October 31, 2013 at 2:15 am

Filling of the Day #1718

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Filling of the Day #1718

Just before nightfall, I stepped out with my camera and that certain restlessness that clings do you after a day indoors. With no destination and no inspiration in mind, I wandered the neighborhood in a small circuit, hoping to find something that might make the day.

As I walked down the street, a homeless man with a white beard smiled and quietly asked for a quarter. My mind fizzled over the notion of finding change and asking him for a photo, and I ended up moving on without either of us getting what we wanted.

In the center of a half-furnished art gallery, a man sat cross-legged on a table, hunched over, talking on the phone. The floor surrounding him was covered with framed black-and-white photos, and I considered tapping on the glass door and gesturing with my camera, asking for permission to photograph him in that state. I kept walking, but continued to think about going back until I reached the end of the block.

On a street cordner, a family had paused to admire their daughter, who had stopped to demonstrate a dance pose she’d learned. From the right angle it would have been a perfectly picturesque moment, but I worried that it would make them uneasy for a stranger to ask to photograph them with their children.

I headed home, disappointed with my photographic endeavors, and on a whim walked to the top floor of the building. The sky had been flat and overcast from my vantage point on the street, but here I could see a sweetened layer of golden light hidden at the horizon. The sun-yolk melted away in the few seconds it took to switch lenses, but left its glow behind – a slice of color I’d sorely needed. That warm light was such a marvel to see, resting under a blanket of grey, and I returned feeling a little better about the walk, and the day in general.

It would be good, though, for me to learn to ask strangers for photos; so many moments are lost when I worry.

every part for you

Written by Umbrella Man

June 6, 2013 at 2:11 am

Jitter of the Day #1703

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Jitter of the Day #1703

I’m sorry to have only another mundane shot here, shaken by my bike trembling over root-torn pavement, but I’m still so hesitant to photograph people before I’ve grown to know them well.

Despite that, today was a rather good day, and for no particular reason I’m going to sleep feeling like things will go well presently.

like a mother’s morning dress

Written by Umbrella Man

May 22, 2013 at 2:33 am

Ghost of the Day #1334

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I still have all these moments from today crystallized into neat little voxels of neurons, but I didn’t capture a single one. I’ve poured the whole day through my mind – hearing Anna wake in the other room when my snooze alarm went off; running to the bus stop and seeing others run ahead and behind me; the old lady with the sharp tongue; the bicycle tire that burst in the heat; the tuft of fluff that drifted through the air, that I wanted to leap at and catch; the red eyes of my lab partner, hidden behind her hair; the absence of the snail shell that had given me postmortem shivers; the ladybug in the shade; the stranger with the pierced eyebrow and red cap who wanted a dollar for a donut; feeling guilty for not giving him a dollar; floating at the edge of sleep listening to hole in the ocean floor, and feeling that I needed music like blood; straining against a vacuum force to pull a glass out of the sink drain; the gently softening vegetables I’d neglected to cook sooner; Anna disappointed by her 69% exam grade, even though she’s most certainly brilliant enough to recover; the weight of classes pressing in; the weight of age looming; Lauren quizzing Pearce on how many bottles of nail polish she has; the spider in the sink I didn’t notice until I’d practically spit on it; high-pitched singing coming through the walls…

So, with no photo of these things, this ghost will have to suffice.

What does it feel like when you remember?

hear all god’s creatures roaring again

Written by Umbrella Man

May 18, 2012 at 12:20 am

Moonscape of the Day #739

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I went out tonight to mail the rent (which is still a new experience for me) and brought my tripod along, hoping to find some charming bit of architecture that glimmered perfectly by the glow of the streetlights. I was not blessed by a muse, though, and though I searched our neighborhood earnestly, admiring an old van and the angry-looking peace sign mounted over someone’s driveway, reverently watching the closed flower waver in the dark air, I couldn’t find anything that I felt would make that ideal photograph.

It may be a mental block, or it may be because I was tired, or it may be because I was kind of rushing to get home and use the bathroom, but I couldn’t really work with the camera. I shouldn’t be doubting myself so much.

I arrived back home and made one last attempt at a long-exposure photo – a glimpse of our house through the thorns of our rose bushes – and though on my camera it did seem to have that ethereal glow, and the clouds were blazing with the fire of a distant morning, I had to dismiss it when I loaded the photo onto my computer.

As I was looking over the photos outside, I heard a rustle across the yard, and there I saw a dark animal, low to the ground, all in black except for the white stripe running along its back. I thought immediately that it was a skunk, and absolutely had to photograph it.

But skunks are one of the few animals that, when I shoot them, can shoot back. A flash might scare it into firing its biochemical weapons, and there was no way to capture it otherwise. I slinked around the front yard a bit, trying to find the animal again without running straight into it.

I never saw the animal again, but I did hear a noise from under a nearby car, so I took a quick picture, with flash (meanwhile using the car as a shield), hoping to get another glimpse, but unless that eerie orange spot is the skunk’s eye, I don’t think I caught anything but this tiny moonscape.

I tend to ramble when I’m tired, I think, and especially when I want to make up for poor photography. It’s a wonder anyone puts up with this.

oh, Scythian empires

Written by Umbrella Man

October 1, 2010 at 1:40 am

Posted in missed opportunities

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