I huddled beneath the shelter as the night-tide rain continued its assault from the angry skies. Recent reports from a long past cell tower projected lessening, so I waited, pulling the insulated flannel shirt a bit closer and delving into secluded memories of past encounters. Throttled roars of the gorge gave voice to my perceptions. I waited…..
Slowly, almost imperceptibly, the rain gave way, condensing the aerosphere that engulfed surrounding hemlocks in somber diffusion. I gathered up my large pack, slung the tripod and began the journey. I quickly passed several sugar maples coursing their sweet liquid into catch basins. Mists and solitude flourished.
Abruptly the stone stairs descended into the famed gorge.
Every sense was keen, their individual presences’ co-mingled tantalizingly in my meditated conscious.
These are the moments of true life!
A low stone wall paralleled the ancient stairs, both sheltered below the extensive overhead ledge. Pausing here allowed me moments to gather in the unfolding panorama before and beneath my purview.
Mist gave way to showers again, yet I remain veiled from directly above.
I am in Old Man’s Cave State park descending under the “rock shelter cave” That “Old Man” Richard Roe, an early 19th century hermit, used as a home having migrated here from Tennessee. His unmarked grave remains undiscovered to this day.
This morning I am wandering the gorge with Richard as a companion.
Hours of near ceaseless rain has swollen the Old Man’s Creek now rushing through the gorge as I consider emotive and subjective messages unfolding and revealing themselves to me.
Arriving upon an old visual friend, visited many times over the year’s, I’m greeted to a shadowed vaporous display of crashing torrents chasing one another in natures elegance.
I settle into a mode of introspection and move about engaging the scene compositionally as well as emotionally, slowly developing the visual proclamations discerned of cerebral inference, yet all the while granting each distinct sense to reckon into this intimate mental equation.
Augmenting these considerations, subconscious factors consider the “eye” of the camera with its sensor vision. Intuitions resolve the significance of this equation as a viewed expression, a two dimensional illusion of reality, illumination and reflection values co-mingling. Precepts resolve technical values, these get dialed in.
A prime point of view established, I compositionally mature the boundaries of this vision.
I hesitate, waiting to capture just the proper moment in time that instills this particular fragment as unique to the universe. The shutter whispers, appointing this moment.
I pause and behold as satisfaction envelops me!
I begin to stir about, continuing my quest, now unsheltered, bringing my rain hood to bear and accommodating equipment for the dampness as well. I continue descending deliberately and mindfully contemplate the veils of perception unfolding.
Soon, again, I stop to deliberate a fairy vision and begin again this imprecise choreographed intuition.
Another decisive moment refreshes my soul.
I continue with halting progressions, numerous times, until I am humbled beneath the Lower Falls, rain-soaked and physically and mentally exhausted.
I gather myself up and turn to head upstream. The dampness begins to take its toll as much of my protective measures themselves become near worthless as they too are sodden, the efforts to assure pristine lens conditions slowly denigrate.
I pause to take stock of myself. I am near the completion of my intended journey but spirits begins to lag. I gather myself up, instilling one last burst of creativity. This salvo provides just the necessary resolve prescribed to finally rise up out of the gorge at the Upper Falls.
The rain has finally passed and I hike the final distance back to the truck and warmth. I have been photographing for close to 4 hours and never saw a soul the entire time.
Arriving at the truck, three foreign tourist couples have parked and now emerge from their car, smile and head towards the falls.
I pack my gear and remove my soaked layers of outer-wear, glad to have a warm fleece that silently waited my return.