The Transfiguration

everything is sacred

Archive for the ‘motion’ Category

Crackle of the Day #2443

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Sunlight drip-filtered through the trees becomes highly volatile, so it evaporates on contact even with a cool substrate like the concrete of our garage. Bubbles of light flicker away, only to be replaced again moments later, and so this tiny silent fireworks show is formed.

A few steps away the traffic is racing by with its impatient whispers – a sound you can never quite escape around here, but which sometimes place nicely with the birds and the breeze.

it’s a nervous tic motion
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Written by Umbrella Man

June 1, 2015 at 12:37 am

Posted in light, motion

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Flicker of the Day #2279

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Flicker of the Day #2279

I made several attempts to photograph the candles tonight, trying to coax my phone into finding the proper focus and exposure – a little difficult when I can’t do much more than point it in the right direction. I tapped the candle, and it made its clumsy autofocus maneuvers, eventually settling on an invisible something in the distance, beyond the wall; I tapped the flame and it sputtered again. Google took the liberty of collecting all of my attempts into a single sequence, which I think ultimately captures the moment better than anything could have made in a single shot. Candle flames need to flicker, and there’s at least a suggestion of that here.

It’s night three, and Laurel sang the old words as she lit the candles. When I did this with Mom and my sister, we didn’t know there was a melody to go with the tradition; it’s a much happier thing with music.

The Dactyls sing on these nights, too. I hope they’re doing well.

steam, trains, planes, the road, time

Written by Umbrella Man

December 18, 2014 at 11:11 pm

Posted in light, motion

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Moment of the Day #2109

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Laurel’s returned home! I’ve been waiting to see her smile again. That one tiny moment, just as her smile starts to grow, is so important.

While looking over this little video I happened to play it in reverse, and it’s a little startling how disheartening it feels to watch that smile disappear – you rarely see smiles wiped away as quickly as they come into existence.

But I’ll do my best to keep her smiling.

reach for the dead

Written by Umbrella Man

July 1, 2014 at 11:13 pm

Posted in friends, motion, people

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Rush of the Day #1711

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Rush of the Day #1711

And to capture that dreamlike gait where you never quite meet the ground, where your legs move too slowly for your pace, find your balance and ride along a quiet street with your hands free. Let the pavement melt and flow like a creek beneath your ankles, and let yourself sway just enough to feel the alien centripetal tug that looms before a fall. Sift through the wind with your fingers, and perhaps pretend to fly.

Riding today my legs were electric, eager to grow weary, eager to be, and I came home tired but lucid. The lingering static charge in my limbs powered the rest of the evening.

It felt like a good day without any special reason, which is one of the best kinds of days.

little boy

Written by Umbrella Man

May 30, 2013 at 3:03 am

Posted in motion, transit

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Flicker of the Day #1702

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Flicker of the Day #1702

These ghosts have haunted the ceiling of the bedroom here since I was little, and I’ve wanted to capture them for a long time. Both are signs of strangers outside, but they come in two species: at night the gaze of passing headlights slips between the curtain and the window, and in daylight the reflected sun casts a fleeting image of our window frame. Accompanied by the whisper of tires on pavement, they felt somber and ominous to five-year-old me.

They’re very much like ghosts drifting through the neighborhood, passing each window in turn, peeking in to make sure that everyone is sleeping safely. That sensation seems deserving of a name, if not the lights themselves – small, incidental elements of the environment you grew up in that were just alien enough to seem sacred when you were young.

what keeps the planet spinning

Written by Umbrella Man

May 21, 2013 at 1:27 am

Posted in light, motion

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Liftoff of the Day #1639

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Liftoff of the Day #1639

I stopped for about five minutes to watch this little ladybug, following her beneath luminescent leaves and wondering what thoughts filled her tiny mind. After a time I had a feeling that she’d soon be lifting off, and made sure to capture the spreading of her wings.

I wonder what made her decide to leave at that moment, and how she decided where to go next. The life of a ladybug is something simple and quiet and free – how do you lead your life if you can fly anywhere?

if today is all we see

Written by Umbrella Man

March 19, 2013 at 2:21 am

Flail of the Day #1630

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I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned it here, but one of my small superpowers is the ability to clap with one hand. The sound is small compared with snapping or two-handed claps, but it still confounds people a little – which is really the best part. The first time I do this one-handed clap (on each hand, to double the effect) in front of someone, they usually make an effort at it as well, and invariably come out looking goofy.

Once in high school, back when public speaking was even more painful than it is now, I gave a few nervous claps as I waited to give a little presentation in Spanish class. One of the students was amazed, tried to make the sound herself, and moments later the entire classroom was flailing their hands, staring at their fingers in confusion. All my tension over the speech dissipated, and I found my voice strong enough to speak to the class.

After Jacob’s comedy show we spent some time in the bar upstairs, and when I started snapping along to the music Jacob brought up my one-handed clap. He’ll get it someday, maybe – the trick is just to not think about it.

I am my own affliction

Written by Umbrella Man

March 10, 2013 at 4:21 am

Posted in friends, motion, people

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