On, In, and Around Mondays: The Power of Presence in Photos & Writing
"It has presence," I said.
I was trying to explain why the photograph worked.
A few days later, I was reading Edward Hirsch, and found this: "Poems are presences."
The two events have been on my mind all morning.
What gives a sense of presence?
I look at the photograph of the purple wildflowers, taken at the side of the horse trail. I had to bend all the way down, get impossibly close to their tiny selves to get that shot. I believe *proximity* is one element that gives the photo a sense of presence.
The green flowers on the counter (below). My daughter brought them in from a walk. She'd noticed their intricacies and thought I would find them beautiful. I did. The light on the counter was lovely, so I placed the flowers there and went to get my camera. Of all the shots I took, I realize this one is best because of the angle: it implies a sense of approach, a coming upon. Yes, then, a presence.
The trees are so much further away. Can presence be found at a distance? I think it can. The angles of the trees, the shadows, the subtle standing-over (I was on a hill, and took the shot downwards), these all imply encounter, aliveness, presence-to-presence.
I want to make my poems be presences, like Hirsch claims they are. I want to make all my writing have presence. I am thinking this morning about the photographs. What do they have to teach me?
Proximity, point-of-view, angle, framing, contrast. Harder, for me, in words. I must create and recreate images, as if I am that woman on the horse trail, showing you—for the first time—the purple wildflowers whispering near her toes.
On, In and Around Mondays (which partly means you can post any day and still add a link) is an invitation to write from where you are. Tell us what is on, in, around (over, under, near, by...) you. Feel free to write any which way... compose a tight poem or just ramble for a few paragraphs. But we should feel a sense of place. Would you like to try? Write something 'in place' and add your link below.
If you could kindly link back here when you post, it will create a central meeting place. :)
This post is also shared with Laura Boggess, for...