Sunday, October 04, 2009

The view from the balcony


Everything changes
Laval, QC, September 2009


In a prominent spot on the wall of my parents' house, there's a framed picture of a scene I shot from a hotel window in Colorado just about three years ago (click here, I'll wait.) When my father saw the picture, he asked if I'd blow it up for him. It's my first commission, and every time I see it on the wall, it reminds me of him, and of a quiet moment in a faraway place that connected us.

During shiva, I often found myself staring at the image. I tried to understand what it was that he specifically liked about it. Initially, I thought it was the color and texture of the brightening sky. But the more I stared into it, the more I was drawn to the silhouetted community below. And I saw a fully formed, slowly awakening world there that had completely eluded me when I first composed the scene. Between the water tower, the houses, the businesses and surrounding landscape, I had captured the essence of a community: Which, at the end of it all, was what my father lived for.

I took this photo a few days after he passed away, from the same balcony where he used to tend his plants and watch the boats glide by below. My mother had noticed the trees beginning to change and said it was something he always appreciated. So I took my camera out, stood where he once stood, and snagged this image.

We'll be blowing it up and framing it for display right next to the Colorado sunrise one. Because the community and family life that was so important to him thrives on reflections like these.

11 comments:

kenju said...

I can certainly see why he liked the sunrise picture - it is beautiful - and the changing leaves are beautiful as well. I know that your photos will have even more special meaning to you every time you look at them now, since your dad loved them.

My birth mother died Sat. I am not in quite the frame of mind you are, but it saddens me, nontheless.

Thom said...

Absolutely stunning my friend. Kenju I'm sorry to hear about your birth mother. My thoughts are with you and your family.

Tabor said...

Odd connections we have in life. I just posted about the short video of Anne Frank looking out at the view from her window above the street and I also just returned from Colorado with sunset photos to post on my other blog....?

Gallow said...

Great writing. You have an extraordinary talent. Thank you for sharing.

I like the contrast between the dark branches, and the colors of the leaves in your photo.

Anonymous said...

Hello Carmi,
I have not visited your blog for a little while (life gets busy sometimes). Wow what have I missed.
I am so sorry to hear about your Dad. My thoughts and prayers are with you, Debbie and your children.
I am not quite sure if I know the right things to say but I will voice what my first thoughts were when I visisted your blog today...
I love how poignant and reflective this photo (and its title) is. To me it shows that you are (dare I say it) greiving in a healthy way.

Terri

kcinnova said...

To honor him by appreciating the symbolism and sights he loved is a wonderful way of remembering him today.

theMuddledMarketPlace said...

...and when your resolve falters, may that image start again your hope...

Nikki-ann said...

Both are beautiful photos and I can certainly see why your Dad loved the view and your photo.

Mojo said...

When my dad passed, I bought a recoding of Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto #2. Because that was his favorite. Even though my personal preference -- and by far a better known piece -- was the Piano Concerto #3. And I listened to it several times over trying to figure out why it was that he preferred this piece.

Finally it dawned on me. It didn't matter why he loved it, only that he did. Your dad loved the sunrise photo because he did. And that makes it special. (In addition to its considerable aesthetic quality.) he loved this view form his balcony, because he did. And now, you have that piece of his vision captured for time immemorial, preserving not just a memory of him, but one from him.

Maybe that doesn't make sense, but I don't know another way to put it. But ultimately, the memories we cherish are the ones that have meaning to us -- whether they mean anything to the rest of the world or not. And that's not something totally brought about by composition, color, lighting and contrast.

Otherwise, there would not be the proliferation of refrigerator art that there is in the homes of children the world over.

These photos are another way of keeping a strong connection to the man and his memory. And as such they really need no explanation.

Pamela said...

I had to go back a 2nd time to see the community below...

gel said...

Carmi,

This view encircles like hugs between your dad and you and I hope this new addition will add to those loving memories of him. I'm saddened to read of his passing. His validation of your photographic ability brings tears to my eyes especially because you just shot this new stunning view.

Also, at least for me, it's especially hard to lose a loved one around the High Holidays. I have no more words- just warmth to you and yours during this difficult time.