~When the Wind Holds Back its Breath~




RorschachRocks2smallIn the stillness there are things to be seen that disappear when breathing resumes.

If you lie down on this quiet lake ~ put your ear to the cool surface ~ and look to the shore, this is what you would find. These ancient totems perpetually drawn and re-drawn by rock, wind and wave.

These creatures that are both there and not there. Embodied by both solid and liquid.

They are like the spirits of the land, I think. Reminding me of the people who first paddled these lakes, first walked this land, and lived in balance with the earth.

[All these images are (rotated) reflections on water, made during a canoe trip to
Killarney Provincial Park in Ontario.]

© Karen McRae, 2013

86 thoughts on “~When the Wind Holds Back its Breath~

    1. Thank you, Kat. The reflections were quite interesting. I could see all kinds of creatures when I was making the photographs and the lake was so, so still – I found it very moving being there.

  1. Bonsoir Karen ,

    C’est Magique ton géant ,
    Deux faces forment un parfait accord ,
    Surnaturel & Envoûtant 🙂
    Merci pour ton regard en Hors.

    1. you are probably right, Judy. The spirits of the north. Some of them don’t look too happy, though. Thanks for your comment, I’m glad you find them compelling.

  2. Fascinating and unique images, Karen. They are indeed like spirits of the land evoking thoughts of the people and their culture who once lived here.

  3. Spectacular Karen! Oh so many things to be seen here..masks and faces, exoskeletons..faces and clenched hands..voices from another time for certain..splitting apart but holding on too..don’t you love how the camera helps you to see? I’d love to see these on a large scale, to be able to really explore them..

    1. Did you ever read the (haunting) childrens book Hildilid’s Night? Somehow these remind me of those illustrations..

      1. I don’t know that book, Cath, but now you’ve got me interested! Perhaps I’ll look at the library. Your descriptions are mesmerizing, thank you!

        It would be interesting if they were made large, hmmm.

  4. Wow! That simple rotation is so powerful – they are no longer just lakes, they are also torsos, heads, masks, embodiments of frustration and bad intent. And of course beautiful.

  5. Karen these are astonishingly beautiful and compelling – what an eye you have for the extraordinary – and what powerful motifs you have conjured forth.

      1. more than merely an observer – yes the beauty, wonder and monumentality of the landscape is there for all to see but it takes a special eye to translate that vision – so that others can really see. thank-you 🙂

  6. Those images are mesmerizing, even haunting.
    Visually striking but as you found, they must have very deep
    appeal to our subconsciousness. Incredible captures Karen !

  7. It is in these quiet still moments that we often see, really see what isn’t but could be. These images are all at once intense, powerful and brooding. The rotations make much more of the original thought and make us think of what may have gone before and been captured in these silent rocks. Thank you for a very powerful post.

  8. These are extraordinary images, powerful, ancient, monumental. They really are totems, just hiding in the reflections. I can see all sorts of creatures, insects particularly. The textures just make me want to touch them.

    1. Grant! How are you? Besides missing Killarney.

      I admit it is the first trip I’ve made there and I am completely enchanted with it. We plan to go on a another canoe trip there next summer. I loved every second of my time there.
      Of course you get the ocean – that’s a pretty great consolation prize!
      Best wishes to you,

  9. These are a fantastic example of thinking outside the box, and creating a whole other world with images that started out amazing to begin with. ‘Standing’ them on end, very nice!!

  10. I taught my children when we were out on wet and windy walks to place their hands on the trunk of a tree palms flat not only can you feel it ‘breathe’ but you can feel every fibre strain as it battles against the wind

  11. There is so much to be discovered in the stillness. Love your words, full of kindness and compassion. Absolutely fantastic, Karen!

  12. Fantastic Karen. You have shown us the faces that normally are only subtly felt in places like this. What a great idea for coaxing them out of hiding.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s