I recently found these two pictures on my computer, both from the Oregon coast. They had been saved in a folder entitled “pictures for iPad”. I don’t have the iPad anymore, but I remember creating the folder specifically for pictures I wanted to have with me all the time.
There were several other pictures in the folder, but I mostly gravitated to these two. Such quiet, simple pictures. The cormorant’s sillouhette blending in with the rock. The flock of sandpipers flowing with its own current tangent to the ocean’s. My stomach settles and the voices in the mind are speechless.
I’ve always loved birds and the ocean, and photographing birds at these beaches was surreal to me. But that’s not what I love about the pictures now. I love them simply for their quiet beauty. Mostly shape and color. They aren’t splattered with the noise of too much detail.
I look at them and feel good. For once, since I can’t remember, I can say that I carry with me something beautiful and good. That these things still exist. When I doubt again (because I will), I can look at these pictures, in some quiet coffee shop in the near future, and remember this moment today. Maybe also those moments years ago when I had the presence of mind to look and recognize and take the pictures that would preserve the faith I had in the world. A faith I never expected to lose.