In 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~”
Wow. So strange when rotated like that – very original. Such lovely writing too….
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.
Amazing and beautiful, lovely
Thank you, Mike.
Bonsoir Karen ,
C’est Magique ton géant ,
Deux faces forment un parfait accord ,
Surnaturel & Envoûtant 🙂
Merci pour ton regard en Hors.
Merci NéO, c’est très agréable de trouver les esprits de la nature.
Very compelling to look at and could be nothing but totems of northern spirits.
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.
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.
I’m glad you sense that too, Simon. Thank you.
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..
Did you ever read the (haunting) childrens book Hildilid’s Night? Somehow these remind me of those illustrations..
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.
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.
Oh yes, I think there are some restless spirits in these rocks. : )
But some gentle ones, too. Thanks for your words, Richard.
magnificence of nature, captured by your soul … magic!
Karen these are astonishingly beautiful and compelling – what an eye you have for the extraordinary – and what powerful motifs you have conjured forth.
Veronica, I was merely the observer (and up-ender, I guess) so thank you. It thrills me that other people see the ‘stories’ in these rocks too.
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 🙂
I admire your ability to tell stories as much through your pictures as through words.
Well, I struggle with words much of the time so I thank you for that, Marcelo.
Oh !! Absolutely , simply, marvellously, awesome images.. You have absolutely excelled yourself again dear Karen !
Ah, Helen, you are very kind. I’m glad these are interesting to you. : )
Thanks ever so much, Helen.
I always speak as I find Karen 😉
Those images are mesmerizing, even haunting.
Visually striking but as you found, they must have very deep
appeal to our subconsciousness. Incredible captures Karen !
I wasn’t sure if others would find them as interesting as I do. I’m happy that they have appeal. Much thanks, Yoshizen.
These are absolutely amazing and original!
Hi Christian, thanks for your comment. I’m glad you find them original. : )
Beautiful mystic photos and a wonderful title ! Hold my breath for more!
Much thanks, Vassilis!
Stories from the ancient rocks…
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.
Thanks sincerely for your thoughtful comment, much appreciated.
Oh, I love that description. Thank you.
‘… so still… I found it very moving…’ I like that.
Nature is beautiful when observed from different perspectives.
Ha, yes, i hadn’t thought about that.
Yes, what a perfect place. thank you. : )
those are awesome! i love it when nature is transformed into something completely different.
Thank you, Kerri!
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.
I love your descriptions, Anna. It makes me happy you respond to them in this way. Sincere thanks for your comment.
Killarney is one of my most favoured places to canoe. It is magical any way you look at it. I miss it terribly not that I have move to the east coast.
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,
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!!
Thanks, Steve. Yes, I think standing them on end changes the meaning significantly. I couldn’t resist! I’m glad they appeal to you, thank you.
What wonderful images and so creative Karen. Fascinating.
Thanks, Adrian! : )
Thank you, for revealing the spirits of the land, Karen. So moving…
I’m glad you think these are moving, Marina, that’s very nice feedback, thank you.
Wow….stunning images Karen. Eerie yet beautiful.
They are rather eerie, I think so too. But I see both gentle and fierce spirits here…
Wow! Still water 🙂
Yes, stillness is underrated isn’t it? : )
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
I like how you describe feeling every fibre of the tree. Such a lovely moment to share with you children. Thanks for your comment, Paula.
so observant and these are beautiful
Thank you, Lesley Ann.
Wow! Those are amazing Karen!
Thank you, Phil.
There is so much to be discovered in the stillness. Love your words, full of kindness and compassion. Absolutely fantastic, Karen!
Yes, I like the way you phrase that. Stillness can be very revealing. Thank you, Anette.
Karen, you manage to scratch the surface of beauty and mine ever richer depths. Creatively magnificent.
Such a great comment, Elena. Thanks ever so much! : )
Very cool. An excellent perspective – I can imagine my cheek against the ground, looking at this view. Symmetry and reflection make for amazing abstracts!
They are pretty abstract, aren’t they? The rocks were just so interesting, thanks Marina!
Spiritual senses are very powerful. A life beyond and past ours.
Yes, that’s a lovely description, thank you.
Wonderful, Karen! can’t Just wonderful! I am in awe 🙂
Hi Gigi, I’m glad you like them. : )
I’m struck by how unnatural symmetry looks. Also, how its unexpectedness makes me look longer. These are compelling, Karen.
They are strange turned on end, aren’t they? I’m glad you find them interesting, Anna. Thank you.
I love this kind of work! Sometime ago I used to make things like this with my digital and call them “enantiomorphs”.
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.
I appreciate your writing as much as your images.
Which I appreciate greatly.
As simple as they are enticing. Your vision is enchanting, Karen. Big, big like.
Beautiful but also very powerful.