When I was a kid I read a lot (at least, that’s how I remember it). I loved the Famous Five; later I devoured Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and many less known fantasy series. But on the journey of growing up I lost the drive to read. I don’t know why or how. Looking back, it was presumably the natural limitation of time that struck and other hobbies that took over. I also never missed it consciously.
But lately, Mädchen Klitzeklein is pushing me to read again. I have the great advantage that she recommends me only those books that she seems fit and, thus, I feel obliged to pick up one of those books and start to turn the first page. As with movies, I specifically appreciate to not know anything about the content besides what the cover tells me. And then, I start to read; it takes a while to get used to a physical book after so many years; but it has its unique charm: no distractions, no home button to press, just the next page to turn. For some books I was hooked from the first page, in other books it took a while until I oriented myself and felt home in their unique world. And what I found should not surprise myself, as I already knew it as a kid: it can be an absolute joy to read – so why did I stop reading in the first place?
In my late teens, computer games replaced the story telling of books for me; and some games do it really, really well. Just to mention at least two, because they are very dear to my heart: There is for example Celeste, the heart-breaking story of Madeline, a girl plagued by depression and panic attacks who has the near-impossible goal of climbing a mountain. The game design is perfect as the player suffers and struggles together with the main character in this hard-core platformer. Very rarely have I been more engaged in reaching the end of a game. And then there is Ori, a visual master piece with a straight-forward but wonderfully told story about an orphaned child who saves the forest. These games have provoked strong emotions within me that felt real and unique as I find it rarely in stories. But with games, as with movies, your own imagination is never as provoked as when reading books. The words cannot stimulate your eyes and ears, and hence, what they create within your head is up to you and can become even stronger.
And here I sit and read, turn the page, and the next, and the next. First, it’s a small dip into another story, another century, another life. But with every page, I immerse myself more and more, get lost in the pages, dive deep into the narrative until the surroundings vanish and I participate, experience it myself to the fullest extent. I witness pleasure and delight, I undergo heartbreak and sadness, I live in another universe at another time, even if it’s only for 30 minutes.
What do novels mean? I have absolutely no idea, I just liked the title. But for me, they gave me a long forgotten glimpse into other worlds, into my own imagination, a reason to slow down, another perspective on life. Thank you for motivating me to take this journey, Mädchen Klitzeklein.
The last two books I read were Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy and Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. I don’t think they are for everyone, but I can still wholeheartedly recommend them both.
The sun sets with golden rays.
Thoughts creep in, are here to graze
the mind. With rising haze,
expands, obscures, distorts, delays.
What was, what is, appraise the days
to come: never ceases to amaze
in a multitude of ways.
And I ponder here and phrase
lose myself, the world ablaze,
deep within my inner maze.
Remember March and Love is in the Air? I wanted to photograph our local storks in front of the moon back then – it took way longer than ‘the next full moon’, but I finally visited them again this week. This time, I initially planned to shoot the sunrise but didn’t know where to go, so I payed the storks another visit. And fortunately I did not only get the sunrise, but also the moon behind their nest.
Getting usable pictures turned out difficult: At first, the moon was too high and at that angle it was impossible to have the storks in front. With the setting moon the angle got better, but the rising sun caused the moon to fade in turn. There was only a brief time window where it actually kind of worked.
Besides the anyways marvelous morning, it was also lovely to observe the three youngsters and their parents. Storks have a wingspan of 2 meters, weigh 3.5 kilogram, and can reach the age of 35 years. They always come back to the same nesting place during their lifetime. They also migrate over 10,000 kilometers (twice) every year. Because they exploit thermal winds, they avoid the Mediterranean Sea and either migrate on the East through Turkey, or the West through Spain. While they were quite endangered around the end of the last millennium with only 3000 breeding pairs, they slowly recover and the current estimate is around 7000 breeding pairs. The stork was also selected as bird of the year in my birth year.
When we are not away on weekends I mainly do two things: Writing blog posts or printing photos (however, this weekend we also prepared our van for the upcoming holiday!). By now, I have stashed quite a few prints and I need to figure out what to do with them; I think we still have plenty of free space on our walls (my significant other does not agree…), but it also takes time and money to properly frame the prints. So far, I have created mainly A6 postcards on matte paper, A5 prints on semi-gloss paper, A4 matte prints with white margins, and occasionally a large A3+, all on fine art Hahnemühle-paper. I also tried some lower quality paper, but have to agree with their slogan: ‘Paper makes the difference’, visually as well as haptically it’s outstanding. While in the beginning I needed several tries for the right settings, now I can get (most) prints as I want them from the get-go. Additionally, I slowly figured out which pictures do work as print in the first place, and which pictures just do not translate to paper. And as mentioned earlier: The printing also changed my progress of photographing itself, regarding the settings, lighting, composition, and subjects. The first charge of cartridges is empty and already replaced for the next prints to come.