Following torrential rain this morning and sprinkles all afternoon, the stormy sky dissolved into clouds and warm, nay, hot sunshine beamed down from the heavens just about 90 minutes before I left work. At work, I sit in a first floor office in a Victorian building. The eight foot high bay windows in my office face eastward, towards the setting sun. And the future; if you think about it. Which I do.
So after an agreeable hour and a half, basking in the honeyed sunshine at the end of my workday, I was all warmed up and ready to stroll across town to my bus stop. In my long sleeved tee-shirt, jeans and Converse Star Flyers (in case I need to break into a sprint).
I cut through Rougemont Gardens to be precise. A city park with views onto Dartmoor, beautifully tended borders and islands of flowers, but allowed to be a bit wild if you know what I mean; and yet with perfectly manicured lawns, on which to picnic or canoodle.
There was a beautiful, balmy breeze, coming from the East; from across Cornwall, from the Atlantic Ocean! It had brushed over Cornwall and Dartmoor along the way and had licked up remnants of Celtic spirituality and picked up the magic of the Dartmoor pixies and faeries. My hair flew like a flag in the wind when I reached the toppermost point in the park.
It was so windy I didn’t even try to take any snaps of the flowers. When I’m out and about I usually shoot with that Lady Derringer of the camera world, my lovely Pentax Optio A40, which was perfect for what happened next.
BTW, my first camera I owned in my entire life was a Pentax Optio A30, which I blogged about in 2 thousand and frickin’ 7! But I got it wet (replacement #1), then it fell out of our fridge (don’t ask (replacement #2)) and I now have an A40. But I have spotted the latest model which is waterproof & shockproof AND takes panoramic and macro photos. The perfect tomboy camera!
So I had my camera tucked into my skinny jeans pocket, battery freshly charged and was Ready For Anything. Then I came to one of my favourite pieces of artwork. I never get tired of seeing her. I posted my first photo of her four years ago. I haven’t taken any since, I’m pretty sure.
I can’t recall if she is Peace or Victory.
This was the first one I took today. I know. I “shouldn’t” have been shooting into the sun (to you camera purists out there) but I wanted the silhouette and how the heck else are you gonna get it? Plus she was so breathtakingly beautiful that I just had to capture her there and then. She stands atop the World War Two Memorial which has four figures at the bottom. I think they represent some of the armed forces of the UK.
Then I walked past her to the other side, and down the allée of trees that lead up to the monument. When I turned back and looked, she was Victory. A triumphant winner and vanquisher. But at what cost in human life?
When I was adjusting the levels, whoops! my finger slipped and the path and edges came out very dark. In this one, she is Peace. A peace hard won by following a path through Darkness.
Why is it easier to wage war than to wage peace for so many?
Perhaps because the Path of War is brightly lit and well marked and the warmongers are feted as Heroes.
Whereas the path of Peace can be dark and lonely, the Pacifist seen as a Coward.
I’m currently inspired by Leanne Cole’s photography which you can see here. She does neat things with levels and filters. I’m usually a tight-assed purist and only crop slightly or darken the levels somewhat (Hey! My camera shoots too light! Gimme a break already.) But I like the mood changes that can happen with über level adjustment.