Ken Smith Photo Journal



fire storm

without comments


After living in my idyllic natural landscape for many years, making art in its presence, my home and studio and their surroundings were destroyed in the August wildfires. I barely escaped with a few belongings hastily thrown into my vehicle. Luckily, the first things saved were my film negatives and digital master files, so I may start once again.


One more curve in the constantly moving stream – this time made of fire. If one removes oneself from the moment, it can seem like a grand new adventure, and in most respects that is what it is. A time to look at oneself, belongings, priorities, from a cleansed perspective. I try to see it that way, for one cannot go back. Something good must come from this renaissance. All is not lost, but is simply transformed. Brutally, history evaporated…but now what happens? I feel less a participant, and more an observer.


Late one evening, standing quietly among the ashes, the trees of carbon, the gray…I suddenly heard a chattering and saw a red squirrel running headfirst down a charcoaled tree trunk. ‘You made it!’ I may have shouted. Then I heard a chipmunk chirping away behind me. A white breasted nuthatch, came to land, hanging sideways over the dish of water I had put out. There still was life in the dead zone. Hope. Maybe even art in time.


Written by Ken Smith

October 2nd, 2015 at 6:54 pm

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