Breaking Open





Maybe it’s because I spent the majority of my childhood growing up beside a river, but the river runs through me the way it runs through the city. Like a lifeblood. It pulls me to it. I almost feel like apologizing but I can’t. So here we are again…

It is breaking open. There are places where the rapids keep the water open all winter. But I am drawn to the wide open spaces. The distances. The possibilities.
Especially when it is grey. Or snowing. Or raining.

I could show you that the snow has gone. That rapid changes have been taking place on land. But the river responds slowly and, at the moment, I am on river time.

All images Β© Karen McRae

64 thoughts on “Breaking Open

  1. Take your time, Karen. Don’t break the spell so soon. You captured very well the wideness. Once more, I love the minimalism in your pictures.

  2. Wonderful photos that accompany such poetically awesome writing. I wish i had grown up on a river. πŸ™‚ I always look forward to your posts and this post is one of the reasons why. You delve so much deeper than the average photographer. You are a true artist! Thank you again for sharing your wonderful work πŸ™‚

  3. Lovely, Karen, the photographs and the accompanying narrative. Having grown up beside a river myself, I thoroughly understand the concept of river time. I relish this opportunity to spend a few moments in river time here on your page, gazing at these beautiful images. Thank you.

  4. Karen, I love that first one. I can relate, having grown up beside another big river. How long is the ice going to last?

    1. Graham, thank you, the first one is my favourite too.
      It’s hard to say how long the ice will last. We are heading into a heatwave; it could change quickly. (you must be having similar weather? It seems like we’re a month ahead.)
      I will keep you posted.

  5. I love the emotion you are able to convey in your photographs. I agree with Snapshooter… the second image is pretty special.

  6. I would love to attend a Karen McRae masterclass in the hope that something of what you have would rub off! Your work is so gentle and poetic; slightly understated but crisp. I admire your photos enormously.

  7. Your images and text combine into a cohesive and harmonious whole – it’s always a pleasure to view your posts. Inspiring! (Hope this isn’t too gushing – but credit where credit is due!)

  8. These are lovely photos. I often think it’s not worth bothering to take my camera out when it’s grey but these have made me think otherwise πŸ™‚

  9. No wonder you get such amazing pictures of the river, if it runs through you. I can feel it in your pictures. Amazing. The use of negative space brings out the low spoken wisdom of the river. Love the almost monochromatic tones.

  10. “A river runs through it” – Karen, keep with the river shots. They are still in time, for now. I could be on a deserted island in the first. Imagine that – the ice looks like foamy waves, and the rocks – a jutting peninsula. Beautiful!

  11. I did not grow-up around a river, but think my constituent cells must have been near one in a previous body, for I do love them and feel a pull to be near. Beautiful photos, Karen. Thank you.

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