2009/09/25

Into the Woods

DaGoddess @ 04:00

A playful edit and I suddenly got lost in the woods — where the wild things are.

It was a lovely stand of trees, but all I could think to do while I was there was to rush into the trees and lose myself in nature. When I was little, that’s what I would do. We had the woods behind the house, with a creek, and a bridge. I spent hours daydreaming about what might be hidden amongst the trees. While there are parts of my early life that are clear, when it comes to the woods behind the house, much of it becomes of blur, a victim of tunnel vision, I suppose. Or maybe victim of quick, tiny feet. I wish I could, as well, share the smell of the woods of my youth with you. Deeply green, a little musty, somewhat mossy, occasionally smoky as the leaves of autumn crunched into a fine dust beneath our feet while other leaves in the yard burned. Death to the family playing out everywhere, it seemed. I was a morbid cuss, wasn’t I?

Run run run into the woods!

The thing about the woods is that it served many purposes. It was a boundary between homes. It was a home in and of itself. It was a wonderland, where fairies and sprites and other magical creatures lived. On days when I was quiet, which didn’t happen often, I could track said inhabitants, only to have my hunt ruined by a deer or rabbit. Or sometimes it was the neighbor who looked like Dr. Bombay. (My dad has repeatedly told me this man’s name and I, for the life of me, cannot remember it.) He and my dad maintained the bridge over the creek between our homes. The bridge…it led to the woods. It led to adventure! It even led to thorns in my buttocks and thighs on one unfortunate occasion. But it also led to home and hearth…more than one home and more than one hearth. My friend Donna lived back there. Her house was a second home for our family. Our older sisters played together. Where card games were played while alcohol was sipped by our parents. Where we listened in on conversations through the floor vent in the one bathroom. It’s where I fell down and broke my arm at age two (fighting over Ring around the Rosie or Hide-n-Seek, I suppose). To get to that other home, I had to traipse through the enchanted copse and whisper my hellos to the napping owls, the suspicious crows, the leery deer, and the bashful bunnies. Before I left the woods, I’d have to carefully remove the fairies I just knew had hitchhiked a ride on my clothes, tenderly grasping at what I hoped were their wings and setting them down on springy boughs, alongside the ladybugs who’d also joined us. Fireflies never did. At least not for long. It was a class issue, if I remember correctly.

I remember these things. These parts of my early life because of the woods. The trees and the dark mysteries within them draw me back time and time again for little glimpses into my past. The bridge. Dr. Bombay. Turtle. Turtle soup. Crying over turtle soup. Hoping I’d discover proof of fairies and sprites and friendly beasts like Max had found where the wild things were. Where my dreams were, and apparently still are.

So back I go, into the woods. If I hold out a hand, will you take it and join me?

It wasn’t just the photo that brought these memories to the fore. About a week ago, I read a post over on Mannequin’s site that triggered something within me. More often than not, she gets me to thinking because she’s posted a photo of a vintage item. This time, it was a single word…woods. This got me thinking even more and before you know it, she and I came up with the idea of a special meme, which will basically be writing/art prompts based on memories. We’ll have more info available on Monday.

6 Comments

  1. That’s a little headache-y to look at, but cool nonetheless. I love the woods, and I have different sets of memories for different types of woods. Well not really memories per se, but different emotional connections. (Not sure that’s the right way to describe it, but it’ll have to do.)

    Comment by Jan — 2009/09/25 @ 08:49

  2. Dr. Bombay…. how well I remember him now. I would have never thought of him had it not been for the mention.

    And then Dr. Bombay made me think of Bewitched, which led me to think of my TVland existence which in turn made me realize why I don’t care for TV today. It was like a freakin epiphany I had Joanie!

    Geez. You really were a morbid cuss; “Death to the family playing out everywhere…”. Oh my.
    shriek….. This will be a very fun venture!

    Comment by mannequin — 2009/09/25 @ 11:30

  3. Mannequin – Death to the leaves on the forest floor. Death to the leaves burning in the yard. Death death death! I really was a strange kid. I wasn’t afraid of death or talking about it. I knew it was a natural part of the life continuum (a couple dead grandparents and a dying aunt inform a kid). But it just seems weird to talk about how comfortable I was with it. People looked at me funny. Looked at my parents funny for having a kid who asked questions about death and dying. Oh well, my folks understood.

    And yep. Dr. Bombay. The guy looked like Dr. Bombay for sure.

    Jan – you have memories like I do. Don’t you love it? Especially when it comes to forests.

    Comment by DaGoddess — 2009/09/25 @ 23:44

  4. This is the first 2-D picture I’ve ever seen that looks 3-D. It’s kind of freaking me out a little. Very cool though. How did you do that?

    Comment by Erin — 2009/09/27 @ 09:15

  5. The original is unblurred, of course. Then I put it in my photo editor and went to Adjust –> Blur –> Radial Blur –> Zoom, with blur strength 14%, elliptical, Center: protect 42%, vertical offset 1, horizontal offset -1. You can also achieve this effect (see photo of little boy here ) by having a slightly slower shutter speed (anything from 1/40 to 1/30 or slower) and zooming your lens as you press the shutter release button. Or you can simply rotate your camera as you’re taking the photo. It takes practice though. Fun practice, I think, because you get a lot of interesting results.

    There really is no limit to what you can do with a camera. However, if you miss the chance to do something while you’re shooting, you can try it in post processing.

    Comment by DaGoddess — 2009/09/27 @ 10:56

  6. [...] wrote a bit about it in my Into the Woods post and now, here are more details for those interested in participating (from the email): You [...]

    Pingback by DaGoddess.com » Remember When — 2009/09/27 @ 11:55

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