The News from Stu Jenks (http://www.stujenks.com) & Fezziwig Press (http://www.fezziwigpressonline.com).
Nocturnal, Daylight, Toy, Infrared, Portrait, Sport & Nature Photography; News Of The Road & Of The Land; Stories Of Family, Spirit & The-World-At-Large.
(Contact Stu Jenks via email at stujenks at gmail dot com to purchase prints, books, CDs, & image, story and music rights.)
"Tehachapi Loop Hoop Dances, California" (c) 2012, 2013 Stu Jenks
Working with my sister quilting hoop, with new lights attached to it. I'm not completely satisfied with these images, but sometimes it is the performance and not the recording that matters most, as we say in music.
Happy New Year everyone. 'Be brave' seems to be the two words that come to mind regarding 2013. Be brave. I'll try. You try too.
"The Blessing Hoops, Coalmine Canyon, Navajo/Hopi Joint Use Area, Arizona" (c) 2012 Stu Jenks
3G has hit the Rez. I was actually texting and talking on the phone, at times, while shooting on Wednesday night. You might think that might be distracting but it was nice and then became deeply meaningful.
At one point, one of the friends I was texting, asked if I would ask the Spirit of Coalmine Canyon to bless her children. How touching. Of course, I texted back. (I won't say who she was, but it's not who my closest friends might think. Another mother.)
So I prayed to the Canyon, asking for Blessings and Love for her and for her children. And then I prayed for other children, and for other friends, and for people I don't call friend, and for people who are stangers to me. Blessings. Love. Blessings. Love. I cried. It was very nice.
After prayers, I danced with my Christmas hoop lights along a tall fin of white mud rock. This is the image that came from that dance and from those prayers.
"Hoop Dancing With Ghosts, Coalmine Canyon, Navajo/Hopi Joint Use Area, Arizona" (c) 2012 Stu Jenks
Here's what you are supposed to do, though nothing bad will happen to you if you don't. Thousands now haven't done this one thing and I'm assuming they are still alive. It's perhaps just a superstition. Or maybe not.
A good friend was studying with a Navajo medicine man years ago. His teacher told my friend that before you enter Coalmine Canyon you should always ask permission of the Spirits. My friend then told me. Over the last 25 years of coming here, I have asked. Sometime it says no. Most times it say yes. Night before last, I forgot to ask all together until after I had entered.
"Oh," I said to the Canyon, in the fading twilight, "Sorry. I forgot. Can I come in?
"Sure," said the Canyon, "but do not spend the night. Leave before 10 p.m."
"No kidding," I said. "Leave before 10?"
And the Canyon said nothing else.
I shot for four hours and was back on pavement by 10 p.m.
On full moon nights, Navajo and Hopi holy men alike say that ghosts dance on the walls of the Canyon. I believe they did Wednesday night.
(Geek note: I've had this happen before, shooting at night with black and white film, but never with a color digital negative.The above image is a perfect exposure, at least for my tastes. The length of time, the saturation of the color, the whites and blacks, lights and darks and midtones, and other colors are just, well, perfect. I fiddled with the image for about 15 minutes in CS5, but always came back to the original digital negative. So what you see here is precisely what is on the neg. All I did was cropped the neg a hair, rotate the image 2 degrees to the right and put a black line around the whole thing. Now, don't get me wrong. I did this hoop dance about 7 times to get the Christmas light circles right, but that was for the structure of the five hoops. I just educated-guessed on the density, on the exposure time, and lo and behold, I got it just right on the best dance of the night. It's never happened before with a digital negative. I consider that a very good sign, from a very good night of hoop dancing with ghosts at Coalmine Canyon.)
After a long wait, The Shifting Light: A selection of sixteen stories taken from The Transpersonal Papers: 1861-2010; Flame Spirals; Bozo In Love; Hoop Dancing; and Dementia Blues is now available on Apple's iBooks. It's also available on Barnes & Nobles Nook and on Amazon's Kindle.
And best of all, it's only $2.99. I'm very happy with this sampler and it includes an introduction written by mythic fiction author Charles de Lint. Thank you, Charles.
P.S. Apologies to those who don't have digital access. The Shifting LIght isn't yet available as an analog book book, but hopefully someday.