New Year's walk

life

I've always thought that New Year is an odd time. On the one hand, it can be a exciting time of new beginnings, but on the other it can — as Lyle points out — be a very disappointing time, and something of an anti-climax. I normally quite like New Year (though I'm not one for a big celebration), but this year I look on the coming year with a certain amount of trepidation. For the first time in a long while, I don't have a full-time job (and nor does Mr. Bsag), and there doesn't seem to be any great prospect of one. Of course, something could turn up at any moment (or so my inner optimist tells me), but it's slightly scary nonetheless.

The weather doesn't help much; yesterday it was cold, damp and very grey, with a flat pall hanging over everything. I decided that a short walk might cheer me up a bit, and I took my camera along to give some sort of purpose to my ramble. At first it wasn't promising — the light was so flat and deadening. But as the photographer Brooks Jensen says, "There is no such thing as 'good' or 'bad' photographic light. There is just light." Gradually, I noticed that the light was making my eyes hungry for colour. They sought out every scrap of green or yellow or red, and intensified the saturation before devouring it as if I was starving. Greens seemed emerald, yellow leaves were gold, and red and blue seared my retinas. The more I looked, the more colour I saw. The wet beech leaves were the colour and texture of polished leather, and even the mud seemed rich.

I also started to notice other things, seemingly disregarded or forgotten by other people. There was half a dumbbell, rusting gently by the side of the road; a silver hubcap with a covering of leaves, as if it was being solemnly buried; bright firework casings and a pencil with cartoon rabbits on it. I decided that my photographic theme for the day would be disregarded things1 — you can see the results of the best images here.

You may not find anything beautiful or interesting in the images — if so, I haven't managed to get the moment across adequately, but perhaps you had to be there. Every time I saw something small and new I felt as if I was keeping a secret.

1 I realise that this makes me sound a bit like a Womble, but that's not such a bad thing. "Making good use of the things that we find/Things that the everyday folks leave behind"

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