Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The meaning of minimal...

This could be a painting, sort of a "minimal" Mark Tobey. Minimal—where less is sometimes more. A minimal day; where there aren’t ten things to multi-task at once. Minimal actually means "least, smallest, the smallest amount." So, I’m stretching it a little.

Some older retirees lead minimal lives—call them on the phone and you’ll get the TV blaring in the background.

"Could you please turn your TV down?" you ask.
"WHAT?" they yell back.

So minimal has to be quality.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

When I was 17, a magnificent ice storm hit the Midwest. Ice coated everything. Trees bent, misshapen, branches encased in ice tubes. Limbs and whole trees splintered from the weight. Crashed down on streets, roads, and houses. Electric lines down.

That afternoon, I walked outside with my camera, an old Argus my father had given me. All was oddly silent, stilled by the ice; all white and silver under a pearl gray sky. I roamed around the farm yard, my boots crunching through the encrusted snow.

Suddenly sun rays burst from behind the clouds and everything shimmered, now sparked with tiny bits of color. A thousand rainbows set free. Scenes everywhere: pine needles flickering, icicles dancing from the pump handle and roof line, branch tips quivering, fence wire vibrating.
I shot photos quickly, but got only a few before the sun disappeared again, leaving me in silver-white silence.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Dawn itself is the most neglected masterpiece of the modern world
– R. Murray Schafer

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