Bandon Beach, Oregon
It has rained most of the day, a storm blowing in off the Pacific, cold enough to warrant layers. As I navigate the bluff above the beach, just north of Coquille Point, I come upon a patch of fleur-de-lis, a more intense blue than the vault above and ocean below. I hunch down, dialing in an aperture that will focus the near and the far. We see through a lens, controlled by an iris, whether by eye or by camera. When the light is low, as it had been all this day, muscles in the iris (curved blades in a lens) open the pupil, to take in more light, and see better. And yet I feel like the darker everything is, the more narrow my vision, the more compact my universe. The darkness, rain and gloom had weighed on me all day, as it often does, spilling over into my thoughts and musings. My eyes can't shed light on melancholy. The soul defies the body. Remains of the weather move eastward above me. The sun finds the gap below the trailing edge, and it fills with a flood of light. I squint against the sudden brightness, pupils retreating as horizons dilate. Perhaps the iris had a plan.