A Curious Collection

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Okay, today I’m just winging it. I have no coherent plan, no petty rage to vent, no earth-shattering news, no malicious gossip (no, wait . . . I hate that stuff), and no gonzo wisdom to dispense. I’m reasonably calm, considering the mountainous pile of work which I fear will soon avalanche down upon me and out of which no St. Bernard will come bearing a little keg of Monk-crafted brandy will come to dig me.* I partook of my placebo this morning, consisting of a tiny nibble off of the edge of a 5mg Valium tablet. I know that it’s not enough to affect my body chemistry, it simply lets me feel as if I have some control. I feel like a mouse nibbling on a teeny-weeny chunk of cheese which must last him for a month. The things you do when the mind starts to go . . .

So, I’ll spare you the chatter and show you some images which have lifted me out of the muck a couple of times already this week. We’ll start with a sunrise for which I can credit only God. Sorry folks. Simple physical processes are not up to the task:

Thanks, God. I needed that one.

This is a picture I got a few weeks ago up at Guntabag with my old buddy Tag Tap. He took me to a tiny little house to see this wonderful old man who they say is eighty-three years old:

It is hard for me to keep tears from my eyes when I look at this image of a man who has lived almost literally from the stone age to the space age. How much the world has changed during his lifetime. He would have been born at a time when nearly the entire population of Papua New Guinea lived in areas which had never been mapped and were presumed to be uninhabited. I do not know his name, and If I did, I would not tell you. Names of venerated persons, especially those who are in the twilight zone are often not spoken aloud. A glance or pointing of the chin in his direction is sufficient to indicate the subject of the conversation. He was alert and could speak, offering to shake my hand. However, he was clearly confused concerning why a foriegner would want to come to meet him and take his photograph. I’m going to get a good framed print made of this one and send it up to him.

I can’t get enough of the Finisterre Mountains.  Despite being surrounded by mountains to the west, the Finisterres,  across Astrolabe Bay,  are the only ones which we can see clearly:

I’ll call that one Too Blue.

I’m calling this one Boards Over Water at Blueblood:

The sand from out feet on the deck and the ripples of sand under the water below the deck connected furiously in my medula oblongata. I stared curiously at my hands as they, of their own accord, set the controls on my trusty Canon G11 and framed the shot. I heard a subtle “click” inside my head when the shutter released. It was surreal.

Here is a happy, happy picture:

It is (Rozlings take note) Roz Savage, Genevieve Tremblay, me and Jo Noble in Faded Glory  on our way out to Planet Rock on Saturday. Thanks to pal Meri Armstrong for the snap. Meri was intensely concerned with getting the iconic Madang Coastwatchers Monument in the background. I enlarged my bicep only slightly – honest! And, by the way, I am not “making a donkey” out of Genevieve. I’m giving the Peace Sign.

Which reminds me. I haven’t shown the Faded Glory  Diving Crew t-shirt logo for a long time:

I’m putting it up here because I’m looking for a t-shirt company who can make some up for me. If anybody out there has any ideas, please leave me a comment or send me an email.

Just a couple of more and then you can get back to work before the boss comes around. I love spirals. When you are in the sea you are surrounded by them. Here is one of my favourite spiral shots:

What I like about them is that none of them are perfect. They are only suggestions of what spirals might be if they tried harder, if they cared more about being true to their good nature. They remind me of humans.

So, now that I’ve gone completely silly, I may as well carry on. I saw this bottle on the otherwise pristine reef at Planet Rock:

As you can see, the reef is desperately trying to incorporate it into itself. It is a hopeless task, because the bottle is of a different nature from the reef. The reef lives. The bottle is dead and always has been. The bottle does not belong to the reef and the reef does not want it there. So, the reef hides its shame and restores its beauty by absorbing the foreign bottle into itself.

I’m calling it Message in a Bottle.

* Please note the incredibly clumsy sentence which I crafted to avoid ending it with the prepostiion “out”.

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12 Responses to “A Curious Collection”

  1. albert Says:

    It looks like G11 magiks

  2. MadDog Says:

    So right, Albert. Rich Jones and Monty Armstrong now have G11s with UW housings. It’s getting to be the most popular gear in town.

  3. Steve Bennett Says:

    MadDog, I do like the new banner with the white plastic chair off to the right. Nice one.

    But scrolling up the page now, I see a Madang sunset? Boy am I confused….

  4. Steve Bennett Says:

    Ai ai ai, the banner photo keeps changing!

  5. Ahna Says:

    Wow Nice. I love the elder man. He so much reminds me of grandpa. His hands and his expression. How cool you and the crew with Roz. My favorite is “Too Blue”. Very nice.

  6. Unca Doug Says:

    Jan, that’s a spectacularly beautiful message in a bottle … who is sillier?

  7. Jamas Says:

    The Finisterres Mountains behind that rolled out carpet of ocean – A Perfect Testimonial for what is today “International Ocean Day” ‘wear blue’ we’re told, in fact “Too Blue”. All your pictures are welcome stories.

    Is it just me or is Roz Savage’s smile one that a man could live on for months at a time? Seeing Her on TED talks, she was inspired and inspiring. Lovely indeed in mind and spirit. I would conclude that a good rowing in Ocean air would suit everyone’s health and with the emergence of an even more brilliant mind. The World Applauds the likes of Roz Savag., and like you who fit into peoples lives at times needed.

    Your visit with the Matron of the isles, a speaking portrait. He appears to be someone a good weekly visit to ask questions an listen too would bring miles of knowledge, and in turn would enrich Him as well.

    My Favorite? “Message in a Bottle”, as today being a day when so many people worldwide , myself included will be going to their local beaches and picking up after the negligent masses. Your Message “Restoring to Beauty” well taken. Salute

  8. MadDog Says:

    UncaDoug, sillier than me? I can’t think of anybody at the moment. I’ve made a career of silly.

  9. MadDog Says:

    Thanks Jamas. You seem to me to be a person with a very peaceful mind. I like that. If we all could simply find peace within ourselves and with our fellow humans the world would be a very different place.

  10. amyinAustin Says:

    Love the shot , Too Blue. Thank you for sharing . It is a difficult idea to fathom, the old man and the camera.What is he thinking about I wonder? The picture to me reads leave me alone. Living in a world as he has with few outsiders,what an experience for you both.Did he ever smile at you?

  11. MadDog Says:

    Thanks, amyinAustin. I meant literally TOO blue, but several people remarked that they liked the image.

    The old man seemed fascinated and puzzled, not offended. As I was looking at him I could not help wondering what he thinks about all day in that little house. And, yes, he did smile at me. I think that it was an interesting experience for both of us.

  12. Guest Artist - Lindsay Smith - The Eyes of Oz | Madang - Ples Bilong Mi Says:

    […] To illustrate, I give you what I’m titling Guntabag Elder  based on a photo which appeared here in A Curious Collection: […]