Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Sunset at Yavapai Point, Grand Canyon

I remember my first view of the Grand Canyon in 1979 - the lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. The magnificence and enormity of that landscape touched me deep where words failed.  That must have been what conversion felt like.   But I was a believer then so it was more an affirmation of the presence of God.   I remember going to the village book store and looking for a book of poetry that might adequately express what I couldn't.  I didn't think I found anything I wanted to buy.  But that experience remained through the decades, back and forth between conversions and faith-busting "de-conversions" - it was like a candle that someone had kept burning for me all these years in some dark chapel.  Something to be cherished because that first impression was difficult to recapture...

I brought with me on this third visit, a better camera and a better lens and I like to think I took better pictures although the former two things  may have no bearing whatsoever on the latter.  But I was unable to recapture that first impression.  On reflection, I think what I needed was more time for contemplation.  It requires a state of mind quite different from what I brought with me this time - the search for the perfect photo spot, the search for the right aperture, the search for the perfect light.  It clearly calls for a fourth visit, one where I just sit there and watch the sunset instead of trying to figure out which f stop to use.

Sunset at Yavapai Point

The light changed very quickly.  Sunset took less than a half hour.


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