Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Love Letters to my life #13: Reflecting on honeymoons and reflections

Morning in Reno
by Joyce Wycoff
(We know the day we were born, but most of us do not know the day we will die. This love letter to my life is written on the day I've designated as my death day, the 17th of every month, and reminds me to be grateful for my incredible life.)
Everyone loves a honeymoon. Everything’s all bright and shiny and you don’t have to do dishes. 

That’s where I am with Reno … being a casino-town that bills itself as “quirky by choice,” everything about Reno is neon bright and gaudy shiny, and in a tiny house with a tiny kitchen, cooking is minimal and dishes are what you do while the tea water is boiling. The wonder of honeymoons is the childlike delight in discovering each new facet of the beloved.

For instance, on the second morning of the Reno Mural Festival, I had trouble walking the few blocks to my destination. The early morning sun threw reflections across the cityscape that kept blinding me to the task at hand. Like a raven, I kept turning this way and that, not knowing which shiny object to approach first. Finally, I gave in and just started shooting with little thought in mind, until … the whole idea of reflections stopped me.

Reflections aren’t just mirrored images on shiny surfaces. Or, as Wikipedia defines it, "Reflection is the change in direction of a wavefront at an interface between two different media so that the wavefront returns into the medium from which it originated.” Talk about a buzz kill! My preferred definition:

Reflection is two surfaces dancing to the music of light. 
Reflections on Lake Chapala
I have long loved photographing reflections without thinking much about the magic of two or more surfaces collaborating in an instant of light. There is a “nowness” about reflections. In that moment, something is created that will never exist again in exactly the same way. There is a creative confusion about reflections: confusion about what is “real” and what is merely the play of light on a reflective surface, creative as, in this particular moment, something ephemeral is created.

There is a random and generous abundance about reflections, requiring only that I open my eyes to see them. 

Flags after the Rain in Ajijic
Maybe that’s why I move. Being in a new environment forces me to open my eyes. There is a honeymoon period to each new place. However, honeymoons end and a deeper, more nuanced relationship begins to form. As I go through these early, bright and shiny days, when even the tiles in bathrooms call to me, I think there is enough here to build a lasting foundation.  
Bathroom tiles
Is this forever? In these early days, it’s too soon to say, but I love the wonder of having my eyes wide open. 

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