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Monday, November 5, 2012


Here was the moment of today that I want to remember: 

Steele and I are in the woodshop making a shelf for our bedroom wall. (This is a project we have talked about doing since we moved in.) He is on the big german saw. (The Altendorf.) The sun is strangely out. (It's fall, but in Portland fall means that the days are rainy and grey and every afternoon the sun comes out for golden hour and backlights the grass.) So the sun is slanting into the woodshop windows. The sun is coming, very precisely, through the classroom window and landing on the little clouds of wood dust being stirred around by the motion of the german saw. 

So I crouch down. (To see the poofs of dust better, of course.) And every time Steele pushed a piece of wood through the saw another poof of dust comes up and settles around in the air. (Steele asks, "What's wrong, what are you doing?" and I say, "I'm looking at the dust.") And so I make Steele stop for a second, so I can run down to my studio and grab my heavy pentax, so that I can save the dust poofs forever and always know that the sun was slanting perfectly onto them. 

Running down to my studio involves running through the trail of clover plants, and eliciting quirked-corner smiles, and standing still for a second to snap a photograph of the sky with a plane trail stretched across it. And then I'm clutching my sides, a little, back up through the orange leaves, and telling Steele to hurry up and cut more wood, and crouching down, and looking through the viewfinder, and realizing, that the sun isn't slanting that way anymore. And the dust poofs are lost to the glare. 

And maybe I'm always just taking pictures of things that happened the second before the shutter was opened. 

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