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26 January, 2012


The photo above is of ice on an apple branch. First, the branch caught snow and ice that stacked up on top, and froze there. And here, the next day, some of that ice has slipped and slung itself don below the branch. 

But ice is hard. When I whack it, or some giant branch comes crashing down, ice breaks like the glass it mimics. Crystal brittle fragility. Or, if it gets thick enough, hard and unyielding, unchanging if nobody turns up the heat.

Or speeds up the clock. Unimaginative reckoning of time traps our perception, makes us think things are solid when they are fluid, immutable when they are changing before our eyes. I've always had a weakness for the revelatory power of time-laps photography: a seed spreads her dicot to reveal a luscious tendril that becomes a plant. But with a little patience, the same can be seen without the fancy equipment. Glaciers flow, the hard little ice on an apple twig sags like a rope.

Or, the thousands of frozen shards cracked from a falling branch cascade like water, like in this shot (yeah, I know, it doesn't really show up). Hard pointillist frags conspire to produce a fuzzy flow. Then the virtual shutter of my camera freezes it into a cloud that will never move on. Of course, not even that is true: the file will degrade, pixels will disappear and move every time it is copied or re-saved. And by the way, your screen shifts everything a little to the right.

Stolidity becomes fluidity. Slow is not unchanging. Pieces become wholes and break up again. This post may be edited.


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