Graham Opie on a rock at The Grandstand
taken on the same trip as this story is set.
I remember camping at The Grandstand, so named
because of the views it affords of Albina Lake, Lady Northcote's Canyon
and Mount Townsend. After a day of featureless sky we were rewarded with
some outstanding storm clouds, followed soon after by very low cloud that
partially engulfed our position.
of the cloud was actually at eye level as it writhed in the canyon adjacent
to our camp site. By this time we were in semi-darkness. However, hundreds
of feet above, the top of the cloud was still lit by the sun and, by some
strange quirk of nature, a small vertical sliver of cloud was illuminated
by orange light from the setting sun.
The sliver turned and twisted while maintaining its
orange glow amid the cold blue of the evening. It was so waif-like, so
transitory, so ephemeral, that I felt it should have a name, and that
name should be "Ephemeris".
For several minutes I stood and watched Ephemeris as
it danced; so beautiful, so captivating and yet so un-photographable.
I was tempted to rush for my camera but my hand was stayed by experience.
I knew that if I tried to photograph Ephemeris I would fail. I would create
an inadequate two-dimensional facsimile that would in no way depict what
I was seeing and experiencing.
I rejected the camera and as a result I have the image
and the experience permanently imprinted in my mind.
Some things are just too beautiful to photograph. They
cannot be captured and bottled by a camera or any other device. They should
simply be experienced and savoured at a spiritual level.