Entangled   5 comments

Trees and vines intertwine with a rusty tobacco harvester in eastern North Carolina


I hate to tell you this, but I’m very, very happy.
I know that’s not what you’d expect from me at all. — Don Henley “Everything is Different Now”

Where does the vine begin, and the metal end?

I looked for a while when I was there and couldn’t really tell. The trees and vines twisted around the rusted frame of an old piece of farm equipment. A seat is recognizable here; a chain and pulley reveal themselves out of the form; a shovel hangs off the frame. In some places, the wood and metal have coexisted for so long that the trees enveloped the steel, looking like some futuristic hybrid machine-tree. Taking a few steps back, though, it seems less like an invasion of vines over metal, or metal over wood, but more of an artistic balance between the two. Although Clyde Jr., the owner, has plans to remove the wreck, I have to wonder: Since the two are so closely incorporated, can one survive without the other? If we pull the metal out of the wood, the trees will likely die. And without the trees, the equipment will just be something to recycle, and will lose the beauty of the pairing. There will be two new things, perhaps, but the delicate balance between nature and machine will be lost.

Everywhere in nature opposites coexist harmoniously. Wherever there is light, there will be dark. Where there is up, there must be down. Where there is winter, summer will eventually come. It’s my observation that a balance of opposites creates the best situation for harmony and calm.

I’ll admit that I had to muster up some fortitude to publish yesterday’s post, Feeling a Bit Rustless. While it was cathartic to air my thoughts, clearly I run the risk of alienating some people who might prefer something other, or those who check in to see pretty pictures without commentary. If you’re still here — or perhaps visiting for the first time — thank you. I appreciate the support and the words of encouragement, both public and private.

You can expect to see lots of different stuff here, with some things seemingly contradicting others (I love paradox), but hopefully over time a harmonious balance will reveal itself.

For me, balance does not occur by avoiding ‘bad’ things and gathering ‘good’ things toward me, although that’s a natural inclination. Doing this causes me to navigate only within a very narrow spectrum of feelings, limiting the potential both for unmitigated joy, and crushing despair. If I’m not prepared to fully engage both polarities, life becomes a bland mush of minutes passing by, dreading the next ‘bad’ thing to avoid, or clinging desperately to the ‘good’ things that come my way. With this approach, too, life is “something that happens to you,” but if I’m willing to jump up and down on the wire more vigorously, embracing the polarities that are inherent in all things, I might find that that moving within these currents is actually quite a bit of fun.

That’s why, despite what some might think, I’m really very, very happy.

Nikon D7000, Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 at 16mm, f/6.3, seven exposures +/-1EV, center at 1/15s. Merged with HDR Express, processed with Nik Silver Efex Pro, Nik Color Efex Pro in Photoshop CS5

5 responses to “Entangled

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  1. Excellent image, Rob. Excellent commentary, too. Different people blog for different reasons. Different people read blogs for different reasons. Stay true! 🙂

  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention Engtangled « Rob Hanson Photography Blog -- Topsy.com

  3. Talk about a maze! 😀 Great shot, Rob! It must be B&W day!

  4. Pingback: Clyde’s Rides « Rob Hanson Photography Blog

  5. Pingback: Spring Has Sprung « Rob Hanson Photography Blog

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