Sunday, 29 September 2013

Liquid Gold

As summer's last breaths filter through the streets, they stir the first dry leaves. The scales have tipped in autumn's favour; sunshine now seen between bursts of rain. I like moments of transition. The air, although chilly, is laced with change. September is always unpredictable, occasionally the home of a heatwave but usually ushering in wind and damp pavements.

One of the best aspects of this changeability is the light. A single afternoon might see grumbling clouds, spells of sunshine and a sky that moves from grey to blue and back again. Layers must be put on and taken off. But it's worth it for the sight of a tree shedding raindrops after a shower, each one a pewter splash.

Good light is one of those things not always acknowledged. A scene might be considered beautiful, but we rarely unpick what makes it so. Often it's the intensity or tone or slant of light. That’s what makes October mists rising from a lake at 7am so captivating, or the blue cool of 10pm twilight in June.

We characterise light in all sorts of ways: dull, flat, grey, soft, hard, bright, golden, silver. It's like a fabric of endless variation, encompassing all from silk whispers to velvet thickness. Some of these shades suit photography, others a blustery walk. Some just make you want to draw the curtains and stay inside.  

A lack, or absence of light, often associated with childhood fears or gruesome goings-on, is likewise intriguing. It can be a time of transgression and adventure – moonlit strolls through eerie fields or staying up until the first seedlings of dawn. Living rurally, a clear sky means that stars will be canopied above our house. Many times I've run out in the garden with a cup of tea, several jumpers shrugged on, just to sit, be still and look up. It's the sense of my own insignificance I love the most. That recognition that I'm the smallest of specks in a vast universe. A speck who doesn't matter that much. A speck with a mug warming my hands and ideas fizzing in my head.

Interesting that so many poets have evoked the sun, moon, stars; using them to represent grandeur, intense feeling, contrast, flux or whatever else they wish to project onto these forms already heavy with others' interpretations. But now they tend to be seen as hackneyed images - soppy, stereotyped, unoriginal. If too many cooks spoil the broth, then too many poets spoil the symbol.

Such images are not merely the preserve of verse either. Light (and dark) are meshed into everyday description. Characters are shady, smiles are bright, dispositions sunny and moods black - all are cliches that trip eagerly. However, it's easy to refer to moods and emotions in the language of light; just as easy as wanting to race uphill and catch the last of the low sun spilling across a barley field before it's harvested.

A match between golden light, golden crops and golden fabric with this silk Chloe dress - previously featured here. It was a 16th birthday present from my 'fairy' godmother. The liquid drape of material makes it a treasured item. The trilby is vintage Christy's while the high heeled brogues are second hand Carvela. The blazer in the last shot was borrowed from my younger brother (having been bought from a jumble sale by my mum many years ago before being appropriated by him) . 


Sacramento Amate said...

A perfect description for a wonderful dress made of dreams.
You are magical, and so is everything you touch.
Love and sunshine within ALWAYS, my dear Rosalind.

Thrifted Shift said...

I read your second paragraph three times because I love the phrase "pewter splash." I think you're a poet at heart.

Vanessa, Take only Memories said...

Wow, Roz! Absolutely stunning! You are so right, the light in autumn is just stunning. It's actually my favorite season. Every year I just want to go to New England because the fall is just the most beautiful there. But it's quite lovely most places I've been to. xx


It's wonderful to see the difference in how you styled this golden piece--the then, and now!
I entirely agree and love your description and take on the season transition. I like the borrowed blazer from your brother in the last shot, all of these images are quite stunning and very (autumn) inspiring. xx/Madison

Immortality Passion said...

This is adorable.

Beckerman Girls said...

These pics are next level GORGEOUS!!! Love the way the light is coming in from the back!!! AMAZZZING! and your gold dress is beautiful! IT almost looks like liquid gold the way it's moving!
xoThe Beckerman Girls

Izzy DM said...

Hi Roz,

Just saw your thoughtful, sweet comments on my blog! I wanted to leave a short comment now and will be back later when I can think again/ feel better. I'm seeing the doctor tomorrow. Nothing serious, don't worry! Maybe a touch of anemia and exhausted mommyitis :).

I love this line though: If too many cooks spoil the broth, then too many poets spoil the symbol.

Funny AND brilliant! And this dress really is like a gorgeous flame lapping up the sunshine. Sorry if that's cheesy! Again excuse of exhaustion. A

Have you started school yet? I assume so. So excited to hear about that. Hope you're loving it. And yes, I would have loved to go to that exhibit. I have a lot of friends in NY, but for some reason none that share my artistic interests, although that's only half-true. New York is so big that while I do have some poet friends who live in the same city, they live two hours away, so we also communicate more online than in real life. It's too bad you're even farther away, but I'm glad we were able to "meet" in the blogosphere.

Terri said...

What beautiful photographs...and a poet's appreciation of light!

Jean at said...

I sit cramped at my tiny desk, my legs tucked up as I type. However, I soared with you as I read your post, remembering electrifying examples of golden light in my past and present, even as recently as this morning when I watered my houseplants, noticing the trajectory of the light coming in. How light shifts is one of my favorite things about the change of the seasons.

You are golden and glorious, and I appreciate the light you share by writing and being. XXOO

Emalina said...

Wowzers you look every inch the golden goddess of autumn in that shimmering silk dress! It's utterly beautiful on you, and shown to such perfection in the sunset.
I so appreciate your beautiful prose, dear Roz, these lyrical words about light will stay with me for days.
Living so rurally like you, it's one of my favourite things to sit out at night and watch the enormous canopy of stars, I find that feeling of my own insignificance strangely thrilling.

his little lady said...

So stunning! The use of lighting is just gorgeous!
xo TJ

Closet Fashionista said...

Hmm, thought I commented on this, guess not! Haha :D
I love the shape of that dress, it just flows so beautifully on you. And what I can see of that jacket is awesome.

I'm so excited that Fall is here, the smell of fall is so great. And you're so right, lighting really does have a huge effect on us. Usually when I come home from work (well, in the Summer) it is still light out but now as I'm driving home the sun is setting and the colors of the sky are so beautiful. Sadly in another month or so it will be dark as I'm driving :(

The Foolish Aesthete said...

Gorgeous and absolutely golden! Such a beautiful post. And there really isn't much more I can add without sounding even more trite! -- J xx