“The mark of a successful man is one that has spent an entire day on the
bank of a river without feeling guilty about it.” – unknown
As a small boy I remember how excited I was when I finally figured out why something you were searching for was always found “in the last place you think to look”. As I was out shooting today I had no idea how I wanted to end this year of the river. It only took 179 shots to find it but as soon as I took this picture I knew it was the one. I shot the same image in various combinations of zoom and aperture and shutter speed but as I thought the first shot was the shot. Looking up river from Manhattan past the bridge to whatever may be found beyond.
“We grow up hearing so often that a straight line is the shortest distance between two points that we end up thinking it is also the best way to get there. A river knows better–it has to do with how it dissipates the energy of its flow most efficiently; and how, in its bends, the sediment deposited soon turns into marshes and swampy islands, harboring all manner of interesting life, imparting charm and character to the whole waterway. I would defy you to find a river on this planet that prefers to run straight, unless it has been taught so by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.”
Tom Horton, Bay Country, 1987
I have not finished this project. I still need to explore the eastern bank of the Hudson above Troy and I will get to Mount Marcy and Lake Tear In the Clouds in the spring, and I will continue to shoot everyday but I doubt that it will always be the river. I will see it everyday, I will walk it frequently and shoot it often, but my year of the Hudson is over. The blog remains and the title will stay the same, it is a part of me now.
“Sometimes, if you stand on the bottom rail of a bridge and lean over to watch the river slipping slowly away beneath you, you will suddenly know everything there is to be known.” – A.A. Milne
Thanks to everyone who took all or part or any of this journey with me. I have made some good friends here in blog world and been deeply impressed by the quality of thought, photography and writing I have discovered this year.
May 2012 be better than 2011 and I will see you tomorrow.
I had a feeling that I could go on forever, if there were only river enough and time. But there weren’t.
John Graves, Goodbye to a River, ch. 18