Bulletproof?

The school year is almost over, and tempers are as short as the remaining days. I do not wish to conflate education and gun violence, that is not the point of this image. Rather, this photograph of an armored bank car window is a metaphor for my psyche this time of year. Teaching is unlike any other profession I’ve experienced, and I worked in that big old “real world” for many years before choosing to stand in front of 120+ teenagers each day. Minute-by-minute, over-produced dramas, disappointments, and never-ending demands take their toll. But, with some rest, those filimented cracks heal, and the lager gouges slowly fill back in…mostly…

bullet proof

©Brad Skiff

 

Crack!

Yeah, it’s a nerdy thing to do.

Last weekend was the Renaissance Faire at the Chelan County Fair Grounds. I take my son every year, and it’s always the same. Quaint tents full of homemade wares, oddly mixed with dollar-store quality items, line each side of the avenue; axe throwing and various Nordic activities abound; and, of course, there’s the world-famous gauntlet of badly spoken Shakespearean English to navigate.

Oh, and there’s jousting. Each year I bring my camera in hopes of catching a memorable shot. Here’s one of my favorite photos from a couple of years ago.

Tilting

© Brad Skiff

 

Ghosts on a page

Ivy

This is a strand of ivy climbing a power junction box outside my school. It has been cut back many times before, leaving echoes of it’s former efforts. In my mind, this is a perfect visual for the writing process.

Currently I am on the third rewrite of an 80 page short story. My initial draft seemed so vibrant as it flowed through my fingers, but so deficient upon first read. Now my writing folder echoes with many aborted efforts, ghosts of inspired lines and neon characters faded into melancholic gray.

I’m tempted to give up. Entirely new inspirations clamor in my ear for their time on the page, but I cannot ignore one important dictum about writing, a nettlesome little thought, really, which denies me the solace of new beginnings. Much like this strand of lone ivy sliding upward in defiance of outside forces, I write. And writers don’t quit because they lose inspiration. They quit, my friends, because they lose belief.

 

I’m working here!

The Worker

I’ve been swamped the last two weeks. Teaching is like that, especially when you’re the art/photography teacher. On top of my prodigious teaching responsibilities, I take photos at every sporting event, then adjust each image (I’d love to have my students do this, but I teach at a small school, and virtually every one of them is involved in a sport). At least it’s an enjoyable work load. Anyway, I found this guy at work in my back yard a couple of years ago. Thought I’d post it since I can relate (and so can many of you).

Framed

This particular barn was located off of a side road near the little town of Farmer, Washington. I came across it a few years ago and made this image. I loved the perfect location of the windmill. Recently, I tried to find this particular barn, but the field that I thought it was in is now all grain.

Framed

Crown of Pearl Hill

Basalt flows once covered most of Eastern Washington State (the Columbia River Basalt Group). Most exposed Basalt outcroppings are heavily weathered. This magnificent group sits atop Pearl Hill, just pass the Chief Joseph Dam.

The Crown of Pearl Hill 2

© Brad Skiff

Another View

I’ve already posted a couple of views of this small pioneer home on Pearl Hill, but here’s one more. I liked the cinematic framing for this shot. The image was taken with an infrared filter on a green, spring day.

two thirty five to one

© Brad Skiff

Blurry reasonings

Three times my laptop has gone to sleep as I ponder this image.

What should I write? A scenario leading to a pointed observation? Ah, loneliness…but are we ever really alone, so long as we have a soothing tide and a faithful pooch?

Or maybe something more ominous: Imagine, if you will, a woman out for a walk along a tumultuous shore, her faithful canine by her side. But this particular stroll isn’t as peaceful as it seems, because this stretch of beach begins on the shores of the mundane, but ends in the Twilight Zone.”

Or, how about something poetic?

You are faithless as an ember evening,
crashing like catechisms on the shore, instructing me
in the virtues of a disillusioned life.

Oh crap, who am I kidding? I lost an hour of sleep just like the rest of you. Here’s a kind-of-cool picture I took on Whidbey Island a couple of summers back. Hope you like it…

A Walk at Sunset

Shaded Testament

Once I wasn’t,
then I was.
Now I’m wasn’t once again.
Ah, simple physics!
My atoms will rise
with the bursting of this world
to sip starlight.
No paroxysmal dogma wrapped in vespers
could be clearer.
Once I wasn’t,
then I was,
now I’m wasn’t once again–
my shaded testament to all.

Shaded Plot

© Brad Skiff
Photo taken with a Hoya 720 nm infrared filter at Sunnyside Cemetery, Whidbey Island, Washington.