the light is amazing

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i am obsessed with reflections in windows. i’m not sure why, but i have dozens of photos of buildings reflected in other buildings and street scenes reflected in storefronts. i can’t stop myself from pausing and snapping pictures.

i think i started in portland, oregon, a few years ago. portland’s a place where — though they claim there is no sun (um, ok) — the light is simply amazing. we’re more acquainted with bright sun in the northeast than in the northwest (sometimes too much so), but it doesn’t make the reflections seem any more ordinary. since i moved downtown i’ve been chasing them here as much as in portland — i see light reflecting in everything from puddles to beverages, from windshields to lovers’ eyes.

i’m fascinated. you know, it’s the whole shiny objects effect: the surprise of seeing something you’re not anticipating, the thrill of seeing something in an indirect way or at a strange angle, the irony of something that’s behind you appearing right in front of you.

it’s like jillypoet (who’s also going through a divorce) and i talk about: the last two or three years are without normal time. the events are collapsible. they bleed into one another. or they don’t exist at all — until you glimpse them out of the corner of your eye, the things you dreaded, the things you hadn’t planned on.

that’s very abstract, and there’s no way i’ll ever make poetry out of it. and so i’m tempted to dismiss its significance altogether. i said yesterday that i can’t process language at the level i used to. what’s missing, it seems to me, is the connective tissue. the stuff that says this thing is like that other thing.

and so these reflections are related to my perception of loss and love how? i’m not sure. but they’re showing me something even if it’s only this: girl, stop demanding that everything have meaning. some things are only what they are: the crow, the sky, the office building.

and everything else? exactly like those other things — except that they see the world within themselves even when (especially when) they don’t know what to make of it.


  1. visual is core. for us lucky to have eyesight, it comes before words. (i think? my developmental psych education is old & forgotten!) it makes perfect sense to me that you are immersing yourself in visual exploration. it’s a brand new world. you have to see it.

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