By the light of the moon.

Darren Almond Full Moon PhotographyPhotographer Darren Almond uses the full moon to light his landscapes, and the results are otherworldly, frothy and strange, with muted colors and streaks of brightness as stars move across the sky. “With long exposures, you can never see what you are shooting,” said in an interview with The Guardian. “But you are giving the landscape longer to express itself.”Fullmoon-Quatrain700

Moonlight has always felt rather magical; I think it helps reveal things that are normally concealed. It shows the landscape at its softest, most vulnerable. Like people, who undress at night and slip under the covers, turning toward each other in quiet intimacy, the earth slowly disrobes as the moon rises, shedding layers of shadow and light until only the thing itself is left. You have to strain your eyes and open your apertures to see it. You have to wait. Steady, still.  Continue reading

A little reminder of what’s important.

stuart little

“How many of you know what’s important?”

Up went all the hands.

“Very good,” said Stuart, cocking one leg across the other and shoving his hands in the pockets of his jacket. “Henry Rackmeyer, you tell us what is important.”

“A shaft of sunlight at the end of a dark afternoon, a note in music, and the way the back of a baby’s neck smells if its mother keeps it tidy,” answered Henry.

“Correct,” said Stuart. “Those are the important things. You forgot one thing, though. Mary Bendix, what did Henry Rackmeyer forget?”

“He forgot ice cream with chocolate sauce on it,” said Mary quickly.

“Exactly,” said Stuart. “Ice cream is important.”

— Stuart Little, E.B. White

Calling something a “kid’s book” or “children’s literature” should be the highest compliment. After all, I don’t know anything that taught me so much about bravery and kindness as spending time with Lewis Carroll and E.B. White and Tamora Pierce and J.K. Rowling and Roald Dahl. Kid’s books are brilliant. And sometimes, kids are brilliant, like little Mary and Henry, who answered Stuart’s question just right.

Plus, it’s worth nothing that E.B. White had an awesome sense of humor in his everyday interactions, too. Just look at how he turned down a rather impressive offer from an earlier POTUS: Continue reading