Dipper Falls, afternoon sparkles, Eagle Cap Wilderness . . .
On the road in the Northwest of America.


What the rhythmic back and forth of sound and silence is
to music and poetry, so the movement of bright light and
deep shadow—white and black—is to the visual image.
Both are primary complementarities. In other words, if the
right balance between the poles of sound and silence, and
the poles of light and darkness is not found at this fundamental
level, the less basic planes of the composition will necessarily
rest, like a house with its walls out of plumb, on shaky ground.

In music and poetry, it seems to me that the back and forth
of sound and silence is directly related to the breath and
hence by implication to things spiritual; In the visual arts, the
contrast of white and black is more directly related to the realms
of being and non-being, or the explicitly manifest world of things,
people and other physical objects, and the more subtle realm
of the about-to-become of non-being.

As a general rule, I would say that the more silence, or the
more darkness, a composition can hold and yet still maintain
a kind of tension in balance between its complementary pole
of light or brightness, the more the composition tends to fill
the space with an air of mystery. This, however, is difficult to
achieve, and most likely not to be realized in any self-conscious
way. One can however simply be aware of its great latent
importance, and when lucky and when an opportunity presents
itself, get out of the way in time and simply let it happen.

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South/North Sister—
first light
Black Butte
Ponderosa Pines— after burn Manzanita

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Photograph by Cliff Crego © 2008 picture-poems.com
(created: VII.27.2008)