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Contents Page: Jan 1, 2012, vol 7 no 4

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Claire Everett


turning to face me
in the mirror of time
this younger self
how the camera captured
my daughter, my breath

We have driven through sunlight and rain, from valley to valley, at the mercy of Lakeland's spectacularly changing moods. From Borrowdale to Buttermere, this land has walled our journey. Our daughter, here for the first time, gazed in wonder at turret and steeple forged by lava that spewed from the volcanic mouths above the Skiddaw Slates 400 million years ago. Now she stands as breathless as the waterfall that spills from a distant crag to chime in the lush green foothills on its path to the pebbled tarn. How small and insignificant we are amidst these moraines sculpted and polished by ice floes in the workshop of time.

My husband speaks in terms of composition and exposure, depth of field and saturation. There are photographs I treasure, but the older I get, the less I want to see life through a view-finder, passing me by.

it has come to this –
from mountains hewed by glaciers
a valley of sound
in the lull of clear water
runes of slate in my palm

"I've taken so many photo's, it's saying the memory is full. I'll have to delete some to make space for this!"

Her exclamation slices through my daydream. Good memory permitting, there is no limit to the number of snapshots I can take. My thoughts wade deeper into the stream. I inhale pure air, close my eyes and enter the dark room.

this long exposure…
we cross the bridge in darkness
painting with light1
and afterwards, it seems
we were never here at all

1. Light painting is a photographic technique in which exposures are made usually at night, or in a darkened room, by moving a hand-held light source or by moving the camera. In most cases the light source itself does not appear in the image

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