Monday, July 25, 2005

meditations on KAP

this past week we're batting 0.00 on our KAP venture, so I'm showing some more of the shots Daniel got when the rest of us were downstate.

We tried to take photos downstate: not enough wind. We tried to take some more photos at the school football field and they were watering the grass... and later that evening the wind died. Daniel took the kite and rig out to work one evening and forgot to bring the camera, which I had borrowed to take pictures of the kids. Last night we went out again, with kite AND camera AND rig AND new batteries AND wind.... but somehow when the camera got jarred on takeoff, it shut itself off. We took a hundred pictures, all with the camera off. And after we discovered it, the wind wasn't enough to get the kite back off the ground. Sigh.

Each of these losses feels like a real loss; we can still envision the pictures we might have taken. The sunset shot over the inner bay. Our local downtown on a bright Sunday afternoon, looking over the tops of the houses out into the water. The top view of 120 college students ambling out of the meeting house after a night of worship and singing and learning from the Bible. The over-the-trees picture of the cookout that's taking place in the next bay over. The slightly foggy view across 'our' bay. We might get another chance for some of these pictures, and we might not. Tonight we're going to try again; we're meeting Daniel at work at 5:01 PM with kite in hand.

I realized what I like about our kite aerial photography (KAP) has less to do with aesthetics than with seeing a place I love from a new point of view. It's like finding a candid picture of your parents when they were dating, before you were born. It's at once familiar and different. It's something you look at time and time again, not because it's a beautiful photo--it may or may not be beautiful--but because it's the same familiar thing, but seen through different eyes. Probably people who do not recognize the locations in our photos are not so drawn to them.

There are KAP photographers who do stunning artistic work, but we are not them (at least not yet!) But I can look at these photos for hours, saying "yes, this is where I wrecked the propeller on the old Floating Bear, when I had 20 junior high campers aboard. This is where the wild strawberries grow. This is the cabin that my sister and her friends stayed at, when we all did rubberstamping. I had no idea that this road curved to the left. Look, you can see where the water stays shallow for 50 yards out and then suddenly gets deep."

One of the best things about KAP is that it has reminded me what a beautiful place we live in. Over the past ten years we have had to cut a number of trees down - some at home and some where Daniel works - and many of them we have mourned. It has felt like our corner of nature is going from looking like a state forest, to looking like the KOA campgrounds of my youth, which we stayed at when there were no other camping options - an empty sunburned grassy field with wood posts holding up the electric boxes, ready to be filled with tents or (more likely) Winnebagos and fifth-wheel campers.

It's not. Seeing our world from a hundred feet up reminds me that spruce trees are a different color of green than cedar trees. I see how tall the very few pine trees are--remnants from the logging days 125 years ago. I see how many of the houses aren't even visible from a hundred feet up. I see how blue the water is, and how green the trees are (and how many still remain.) I see how much we still have to thank God for.

I also get very anxious to try again, to see more of my world from the sky. But meanwhile, laundry and dishes and children who need a mid-morning snack are reminding me that my life - this very life the kite photos has reminded me to be thankful for - is still very much here on earth.


Blogger Karin said...

I love this stuff, Kel, for the same reason. I probably wouldn't care a whole lot to peruse KAP sites in general but Cedar pics...yes. I could look at those for a long time. When you DO get things up and running (and I know you will), I'd love it if you'd send me some full sized ones on a CD...

love them!

7/25/2005 12:11 PM  

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