All Aglow

Few things will ever capture my heart the way a sunset does.

It doesn’t matter if it’s spectacular, with rays spilling out and lighting up the clouds, or overcast, slowly dimming til the darkness takes over and starts its program for the night. All that needs happen is the tempered sinking of sun under horizon, the glow of day diminishing by degrees til the stars peek out of the once-blue sky.

I’ve thought often about why this simple, daily action so absorbs me, and I honestly can’t quite put my finger on it. It could be anything from the shifting hues, turning blue to gold to pink and purple, to the slow descent to calm. Maybe it’s the way the clouds change with every passing second, lending an aura of intangibility even in their appearance.

The sunset, to me, is the best part of what God put together when he sang it all into being. Because no matter where it happens, it amplifies all around, turning the place into a new plane. One where the shadows are filled with blue, the sky with warmth and joy, and as the darkness claims the sky, the star’s arrival once again. It’s a momentary perfection, unchangeable and ever changing, that grabs my mind in a gentle hand and says “hey, slow down for a sec and check this out”.

I want to be like the sunset. Ever changing, ever turning and progressing. Not into something worse or darker, but beautiful in a new way. Sunsets are often used as a metaphor for an ending, but I’ve never seen it that way. So many things appear at night that otherwise would go unnoticed. Great nebulas and galaxies, families of stars and celestial bodies. Nocturnal creatures and moon-bathed plains. Sunset is merely another beginning for the earth. I want to live on that edge of beginning. Always at the start, looking forward to the next start more so than the completion or end of something.

After all, if you work toward a single goal, you’ll find yourself tired and uninspired somewhere along the way, with no way forward. If you always work toward a new starting point, you’ll always have something to return to. Another project, another goal, another attempt or try.

In the spirit of that, and because I’m beginning to feel the weight of stagnation, I’m issuing myself a challenge.

For the next 2 months, or until I run out of film, I will only take photos with my film cameras. Whether I’m out for a coffee with a friend or going out into the mountains, it’s all analog for me. Partly because I realized I’m having to reach back to college days for photos on this blog, and partly because of a channel called Grainydays on YouTube. Good channel, highly recommend if you’re in the film game.

In any case, I’ll keep shooting film. You work toward your next beginning. We’ll meet again, I’m sure.

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