|Morning shadows on Martha's Vineyard|
This has been a year in which I feel like I have skated. Round and round, trying not to get up too much speed, trying not to break through thin ice, trying to enjoy the act of skating...yet all the while, trying not to fall. It has been, at times, both tedious, and, at other times, demanding. I have read books to further inform my mind about psychology, health and relationships. I practiced conjugating french verbs and finally, I worked on playing a passable version of such classics as Country Gardens and The Blue Danube from an advanced beginners piano book. As the year unfolded, my grace on ice was tried by two hip replacements, pneumonia and various other medical challenges for which I didn’t sign up. Still, I kept skating.
I can’t remember the last time I actually had skates on my feet, but I do remember what it feels like to skate. Breathe, stroke left, glide, breathe, stroke right, glide. I particularly loved skating on the reservoir in Amherst. I could go long distances without thinking about anything but my breath, my skating and the ice. For reasons of National Security, I imagine the reservoir is off-limits these days. This year prompted me to spend a good deal of time invested in the study of light; I have done so more closely than at any time in my life. I am entranced with the way light and darkness dance. I brought my camera with me as I skated through each day of this year; I hoped to capture and make sense of the shadows around me. At times, the shadows have undulated threateningly. What exactly lurks in that darkness? I remember too well the monster that lived in the dark closet from my childhood. However, I have learned that sometimes, it is best to simply turn off the light and sit in darkness. The shadows will disappear. And light always returns.