Goodnow Mountain, Adirondacks, NY
While processing this, I was thinking about the irrational problem I always have going up one of these towers. I’ve often put myself at risk for shots, because I'm always looking for perspective. I’ve learned to overcome a fear of heights…but I still have trouble with certain situations. Ladders, after a certain point, rope bridges, and fire towers among them. I’ve been up most, but my imagination wreaks havoc on me going up. To the point that I often retreat down, talk some fortitude into my brain, and go back up. It may be the open levels of weathered, wooden stairs…wondering if one will give way on my next step. Or thinking about the bolts that hold the legs to bedrock; how taut the guy wires may be; is it the handrail that’s rattling unattached somewhere? It's the exposure, or the perception of it, that unnerves me. I don’t feel the same vulnerability on cliff ledges, or canyon trails, or scaling a steep mountain trail. Once I am through the hatch and into the cab it all disappears. I take control of exposure, in a different sense. For all my fear of climbing the last couple of levels, I am rewarded with the unveiling of compass points in very direction. It is for me to reveal the scene before me, to capture the relation of shadow and light onto the medium of film or digital card. I frame it as I want the story told. On this day, before spring can dodge and burn the land in a sea of green, the bare forests and wetlands roll away from me to a horizon of peaks cloaked in distance. With it’s vast forests and meadowlands cut by rivers and sprinkled with wetlands, it is a complicated nakedness, a confession presented to me each time I see it, not unlike my own.