I've written here before about Edward Steichen's shadblow tree, a small tree outside the window of his home in West Redding, Connecticut. Steichen, tired of the rigors of fashion photography and museum administration (he was the director of the Department of Photography at MOMA), found inspiration in this small tree and photographed it exclusively for six years. Steichen found great meaning in the seemingly insignificant tree. To him it represented the changing and cyclical nature of life.
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There is this recurrent dream to travel the world. Lots of people have it. In America, it's in our DNA to move, to wander, to migrate, and to travel. Often, in our wanderlust, we forget about our need to connect with specific places and to know them with intimacy. Seeing a million places is not always better than knowing several really well.
Sometimes one stares at a blank sheet of paper or a glowing white computer screen, ready to write or draw, or paint or do anything creative, and there is...nothing. Usually, that nothing means that something is brewing but isn't quite ready to show its face yet. This is of small comfort to those of us who must create for a living. Today, I woke up with good intentions to post my blog. I stared and stared at my computer screen. The "nothing" was overwhelming. I sat down to find an image that resonated with me. Finally, I found this image of a tiny tree reflecting in the flood-control canal near our home. The tree reminded me of Edward Steichen's shadblow tree that he photographed again and again in the last years of his life.