The Transfiguration

everything is sacred

Posts Tagged ‘imogen

Festivity of the Day #1631

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Festivity of the Day #1631

Rosie’s birthday party brought people together into a larger crew than I’ve seen in a while. We’re mellow people and it was a mellow affair, and we spent most of the time just eating snack foods and talking about things – music, education, notions of future dream jobs, cartwheels.

These are good people and it was nice to see them; it makes me wish we were as connected as we used to be.

no one else that knows me like you do

Written by Umbrella Man

March 11, 2013 at 2:35 am

Squeeze of the Day #1186

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It’s a serious feat to squeeze four people and a dog into the back seat of a car, but my friends are nimble people, and they can take even this tight situation with good humor. There’s no need for comfort or oxygen when you’re in such close quarters with people you like, after all.

I sat in the front seat, free to wiggle about and breathe without crushing someone else’s rib cage, and for subsequent rides Sophie (on the left) sat on my lap with me. I don’t have much experience with dogs, but it can be kind of cozy to sit with them, and as we drove I wished I could see what Sophie was watching outside the window. Some day, perhaps.

and yet it moves

Written by Umbrella Man

December 22, 2011 at 12:55 am

Posted in animals, friends, people

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Wade of the Day #1090

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We had an almost identical moment almost exactly a year ago – short by just five days – but here you get to see the Bridge of Natural Bridges. From this vantage point, though, it doesn’t seem much like a bridge at all – more like a slightly depressed cake, soggy from the ocean. The pelican on top is better than any cherry, to be sure.

While Emily and Imogen ventured far enough to be struck down by the waves, I stayed back and only let the water swarm my ankles while I took photos. I told myself that this time I would just keep taking pictures until I captured the water exactly as I wanted. When the waves drew close, tossing up little gelatinous pillars of sand and seawater, I brought my water-susceptible camera down to the surf, took a quick shot and yanked it back into the air before any damage could occur. I did this for quite some time, standing in one place until after my companions had retreated to their towels, so still that I actually began to attract flies.

But no success, really. I captured a few lumps, but none as I really saw it in my mind.

It was a decent exercise, and I liked the way the water tugged at my feet when it flowed back into the ocean, but perhaps I could have used my time more wisely. It would be better, sometimes, for me to leave the camera and go where it can’t.

Everyone else has been asleep for quite some time, and there will be things to do tomorrow. Good night.

walk with the animals?

Written by Umbrella Man

September 17, 2011 at 3:50 am

Posted in friends, people, places, water

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Lesson of the Day #1061

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Myles’s dad is a professor at UC Berkeley, with a PhD in quantum physics, and so one is inclined to think that he has a complete working knowledge of everything in the universe. It was amusing, then, to see Imogen giving him a few musical tips, showing how to drag out a pleasant sort of rhythm from what would otherwise be a harsh, sickly sound. She just graduated with a bachelor’s in fiddle music, and so she’s claimed her own small bit of mastery over the universe.

It’s a reassuring thing, in a way, to know that even people who are absolutely brilliant, experts in their field, can learn from people just starting to find their way in the world. Anyone can teach, and anyone can learn.

The two played for a while tonight while everyone else chattered and gossiped and composed a faux letter of adoration. I’m rather fond of people, and I wish I could probably get to know every one of them.

digging my potato

Written by Umbrella Man

August 19, 2011 at 2:47 am

Posted in friends, music, people

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Eternity of the Day #731

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I have occasionally stood by the water, watching the waves move in and out, and become absolutely transfixed with the cyclic, chaotic motions. Time bleeds away and my senses and thoughts all fill with static, and I feel very much like I’m staring into infinity. There is a dreadful, awe-invoking immortality to the sea; it makes it seem like the planet is alive, and will continue to live as long as these motions continue, regardless of whether anyone is there to see it.

If I were to actually imagine all the things living in the sea – far more there than on land – in that vast context, my mind might split in two.

I may have to take time to watch the sea alone sometime, because when I go with people my attention always goes to how they appreciate the water. That, too, is beautiful, but it’s okay to be lonely from time to time.

a language you can’t read just yet

Written by Umbrella Man

September 23, 2010 at 12:10 am

Posted in friends, people, places, water

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Photo of the Day #730

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Looking over today’s photos, I thought I could still smell the salt in the air and the cold, swirling sand around my feet.

Emily and I went back to Natural Bridges today, this time with Imogen and Anna, and the beach was almost completely deserted. Long stretches of seaweed had been ripped from the sea and splayed across the beach, from root to bubble sac, and their dark leaves cast a strange shadow at the very fingertips of the waves. With no people around, thousands of insects had come to devour the displaced forest, and seagulls were flocking to devour the insects.

Despite all the tangled growth, we were still able to enjoy the cold waters – though only up to our knees, of course. All of us but Imogen were too scared to fully embrace the waves, preferring to chase them back and forth or letting them sweep around our ankles.

From a distance, the velvet waters, with their red kelp bruises, hardly looked real at all. I could barely believe I wasn’t looking at a painting. The ocean is incredible, and we live so close by; left to my own devices, I might just sit and stare at the waves for hours, lost in the foam and reflections, muted by the endless roar.

When we returned, Pearce and Brittany came to visit, and Pearce jammed with Imogen and Emily while delicious things were baked and eaten in the kitchen. This should be a very good year.

…Speaking of years, today marks the last day of my second year of this project. I’ve recorded a little bit of every day for the last 730 days, and I’ll continue on as long as I can. Take a few moments to review the year:

My first year was at SF State, and my second on campus at UCSC. This year I’ll be living off campus in a house with friends, and with Emily, and it’s hard to imagine how different things will be. In a year I’ll look back and be amazed both at how quickly it went and how long ago today was.

I took more photos of people this year. I noticed in my first year’s video that the most distinctive photos, those which lingered in the mind after they flashed and vanished, were of people. The brain is instinctively attracted to human faces – it just wants to see and understand them – and for people who are seeing these photos for the first time, portraits draw the most attention. Does this year feel a little different to you? I’m not as afraid of photographing people as I was a year ago, which made a huge different in the course this project took – it’s often more about who I’m with and what I’m doing than little things I notice throughout the day. And while this social boom is undeniably a great improvement in my life, I don’t want to stop paying attention to the little things. I might have to remind myself of this several times before it takes root again – please be patient with me.

The music is Hard Cast, a piece by Pearce, and I’m very happy I was able to use it. I lived with very talented people this last year.

This next year will be magnificent, too. Just you wait and see.

And, if anyone is still reading this, I’d like to know what you think of this project, and if there’s anything in particular you would like to see, or that you think I should pay more attention to. My life is shaped by the people around me, so there’s no reason this project can’t be influenced as well.

deaf to music

Written by Umbrella Man

September 22, 2010 at 2:34 am

Visitor of the Day #729

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Emily lives close enough to home now that her friends are not all an impossible journey away, and so here is our first visitor: Imogen, also known as Emu, who took the train and bus to get her before leaving the country for another year of school. I don’t know her very well, but she and Emily are good friends, and she plays the fiddle and knows the secret to making a delicious lasagna.

Though she’s well-traveled and studying in the UK, she’s very much a Berkeley person at heart. Hearing her say that Berkeley’s the best made me go over the idea in my head again, and it really might be the best place for us, however well we might be doing elsewhere. I’d like to travel, but it’ll always be nice to come back home.

I’ve just learned that Pearce lives very nearby, so I’m hoping tomorrow will bring a fantastic jam session. We’ll see…


Written by Umbrella Man

September 21, 2010 at 1:48 am

Posted in friends, people

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