Outside


Today I drove through the Pig Root to Naseby and back home again through Middlemarch and Outram. Skies were grey and there was crusting of light snow over most of the Maniatoto. On the high ridge between Middlemarch and Outram I ran into a blizzard; snow traveling horizontally, blown by winds strongly enough that it was not settling on the windscreen but packing up tightly on the windward side of trees, sheep huddling and putting their backs to it all. The storm had not been going long enough to have built up much depth of snow on the road, so driving was safe enough. Sitting inside a heated steel cocoon, it all raged around me, except when I simply had to stop and dash outside to photograph some snow encrusted tree or other.

Out into the swirling cold, like Peter leaving the small wooden safety of his boat, I suppose, to venture out into the stuff that could quite conceivably kill you if you were in it long enough. And in the frothing white, where all the action is, far from the safety of boat or car, is where Jesus is to be found strolling unconcerned. I was reading Dietrich Bonhoeffer later in the afternoon, and he said that although our faith is formed and nurtured in community, it is out there that we actually belong. Out there where it is thrilling in its power but deadly in its intensity.

Comments

daniel said…
Wow. That is quite some photograph.

Have you altered it at all? The colours are decidedly eerie, it feels altogether surreal. And unsettlingly beautiful. Nice work.
Kelvin said…
No. Thats how it came out of the camera. Well, perhaps just a very minor tweaking of levels to get the snow white after the camera (as they are wont to do) had turned it grey. I thought of desaturating it, to make it all black and white, but I like the smudge of brown mud which is the only bit that desaturating would have changed much
Tillerman said…
Great photo! it looks as though the top of the tree has been ripped off by the fury of the wind. How far from the trunk was the main body of the tree?
VenDr said…
There is a mile or two of road which is lined on one side with pines. They are not a solid belt but grow singly or in small ranks of two or three or four. All the trunks are bent from the wind's pushing, pushing, pushing. The long gaps between groups of trees are where the weaklings, bred for gentler places than this have failed to make the adjustment. This tree was snapped off long ago but it still doggedly tries to make the best of things with its one pathetic old bough.
VenDr said…
There are another couple of pictures from this afternoon's jaunt here
daniel said…
Ah, I thought perhaps you had desaturated the background area to the left, impressive to see you didn't need to. It wouldn't be anywhere near as good in my opinion without the hints of colour. Thank you by the way.
Anonymous said…
Interesting that this blog entry is untitled. A stunning photo- it feels like no-mans land.
Of the other of these 'testing life' photos I especially love the one of the two pine trees...They almost look like people the way they have grown together, and the light around them is like a halo.Wonderful.