If man builds a tower, a temple, a tenement, he looks upon it new and says, "Here stands my vision made flesh." And though the best designed, the sturdiest built and the most carefully preserved may last for ages upon ages to inspire younger generations to even greater heights, eventually the crush of eons will make grist of all. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
Wild places show no scars from the ages they have known; the glacier, the rockfall and the wind leave only birthmarks upon their substrate. Every day the coast and the ocean crash into one another and are born anew. The decay of the edifice is told by the bending of the line, the marring of the surface; rock and sand have no smooth surface, no straight line to bend or break, they are eternal. This agelessness is the backdrop upon which our own senescence is projected.
I headed south to the California coast just outside of Santa Cruz some weeks back to soak in some of the immortality of the wild and rugged Pacific and to get soaked in some of its chilly brine. In years of making landscape photographs, I've tried to learn to make successful photographs regardless of whether the light lines up with my expectations. It being Fogust, no sunset was to be had, but instead a thick marine layer and a deep blue twilight. It should be noted that whereas a clear sunrise and sunset may not often be had, blue hour rolls in on time come rain or shine. Deep fog and thick clouds only serve to deepen the blues further.
I passed a growing party of beach goers, huddled around a campfire, boombox and tiki torches, and stepped out onto the rock where sea meets shore. A chill was in the air and more than once did I have to hold my tripod and camera above my head to avoid catastrophe. The sea was wroth and in foam wrote its fury upon the long, wide rock lip of California. White-knuckled, the waves clawed deep groves into gray stone as twenty-foot swells battered the stacks and the thickest tufts of the marine layer moved onshore for the night. The last glow of daylight faded and cold air rushed in from the California current while I made one or two long exposures; the tide was coming in and the larger swells made thunderous reports as they pounded the seacliffs. Chilled, soaked from the waste down and out of twilight, I headed past the growing bacchanalia and up the hill, homeward bound.