“Derive happiness in oneself from a good day’s work, from illuminating the fog that surrounds us.” – Henri Matisse
Today’s IQ is a photo taken on my father-in-law’s farm, during an extended morning fog on our visit last weekend.
At the bottom left of shot is an old, almost-dried-up dam. Just above it is the tiny two-room cottage where the original family raised six children (in a space not much bigger than your average single car garage). In the middle of shot is a shearing shed, where sheep were shorn and dipped, and off to the right is an old barn full of hay.
There are a few sheep that live on the farm – for eating, eventually – and a good number of wild rabbits, kangaroos, and foxes. There are a few skeletal remains dotted about the paddocks – both animal and machine.
Behind the big tree to the right of centre, in the background and out of sight, is the main, modern residence. The modern homestead has only been there for around 80 or 90 years. The dirt road runs through the shot, just in front of the tree line, and just through the woods is an old, meandering creek that occasionally floods and blocks the road.
Things move really slow out here. The silence is almost thick enough to drink.
This image, with its soft, fog-lit appearance and muted colours, seemed the perfect representation of how Reid’s Flat felt on this day.
It’s the kind of place that gives you satisfaction in your work, but only when you search for it, and work hard to earn it.
It was, and is a tough place to make a living. Living off this “marginal” land takes time and dedication, and lots of effort.
Interestingly, this image was taken on one of my “escapisms” during this visit to the country, as I wandered about with my DSLR and took some art pictures for myself. I was working to unravel the fog I felt inside.
When I look back at this image, and think of the wonders I have waiting for me on the memory cards of my other camera, I derive a great sense of happiness.
When all else fails, do as Mr Matisse said. Work; try to understand our own lives by illuminating them, and be happy.
Not a bad plan. Not bad at all.
PS Is it any coincidence that my photography business has the promise: “Illuminating Lives”? Hmm. I doubt it. ;)