Wine is known to get better with age and as I stepped down into this cellar, I could smell age all around me. The air was musty and dry and smelled of smoke. Inside were oak barrels where the wine was being fused with dramatic flavors and subtle notes of each individual grape that combine over the years to make the perfect blend. I stood and imagined what each vintage must taste like. With wine, you are able to experience years of memories in one glass; the earthy tones from the ground, the bite of a bold grape maturing, or that smoky finish from the aged barrels. From each, the ageless flavor will last forever . . . not unlike a photograph.
A Sense of Balance
On this particular stretch of docks that weave their ways in and out of the tumultuous sea, you have to stop for a moment to truly realize what it must have taken for them to endure all that they have. These docks do not offer the pristine beauty of perfection, but to me they offered something better; a type of rugged beauty that sets them aside from the usual and I think that is what drew me to them in the first place. There was nothing special about them, and yet that is what made them special. It seemed to me that they had created a sense of balance between the “usual” and the unusual making them truly a sight to see and something that should be revered in days to come.
A dock such as this clearly shows character, a type of character that can sometimes be non-existent in humans. That character is endurance, the type that sets you aside from the others and makes you stand out and stand up against anything that threatens to capture you. This dock was once a sturdy path from land to sea, and as we see it now, that journey is no longer possible. We can, however, still see the path that was tread before, not physically, but symbolically. All that remains are the posts that stand erect on either side, the support that has stood up against all odds. They still stand, allowing your eyes to wander beyond this forever symbol of endurance.
As I stood there to take this image, I couldn’t help but feel that this scene was worthy of a poem . . .
A twisting staircase with what seems no end;
Your eyes kept keen at every bend.
Although the shadows can trick your gaze;
A light still shines in this spiraled maze.
You know that somehow there will appear;
An open passage that you will not fear.
So travel down this winding flight;
To finally discover the ambient light.
In the Shadows
Shadows can sometimes be associated with fear, because darkness is the absence of light or good. When I saw the shadows in this image however, fear wasn’t my emotion but more curiosity. The dark light paints its way across the door in a way that leads you towards the cool shade and the promise of a better view of the grounds below. The carved pillars above cast a jagged and almost artistic edge along the wall as if a painter had left his masterpiece un-finished. No matter the reason, the dark light does not push me away but it instead draws me into the shadows.
Life is But a Dream
Nazarre / Portugal
On a balmy summer afternoon in the old Portugese seaside town of Nazarre, a fishing boat sat lonely on the beach as a testament to the pursuit that has sustained this area for centuries. Larger than it seems, the boat measures more than six feet high at the bow, making it quite immense for a “row boat.”
The Algarve / Portugal
Seeing a photo of something as immense as these cliffs in the Algarve of Portugal is one thing, but as you gaze down and see the precipitous narrow steps you had to climb to reach your destination you get a sense of accomplishment which only makes the view even more gratifying. As your eyes wander up, the vibrant oranges and yellows of the rising sun illuminate the sky and paint the cliffs with a warm blush. It all makes you truly notice where you’re standing and all you can do is soak in the view and hope that it lasts forever.