Captured: Transcription

Image: Ice by Sean Parker

I’m glad I decided not to drive home tonight. Instead of spending the best part of three hours singing in the car, I’ve had the fun of catching up with small boys who are excited to share their news, shared a meal with them and their parents and made the time to lie under the stars for a while and just let my heart sing.

It’s not hard to commune with the stars. I think there’s a universal language at work. There are the idioms we can connect to the sky – see the light, over the moon. There’s the language of wonder – the oooooh and ahhhh when we see a shooting star. There’s the quiet, joyful, desperate, open, soulful language of wishing.

I dabbled in some star transcription while I lay on the picnic rug in the backyard. I tried to transcribe the stars, to capture them with the camera, to marry the work of the lens with the images my eyes said were there. Of course it didn’t go quite as I’d expected. Or maybe it did, given I’m not adept with the camera and I’m impatient with the instructions. My transcription was poor. There was a lack of alliteration, the stars were solo specks, no nearness to share or show sameness. The dialogues were not sharp enough to be heard in the shots. My portraits did not language the stories in the skies.

But I was captured. For a little while, by my attempts, which I couldn’t seem to stem until I’d at least captured multiple bodies into proximity on the screen. Mostly I was captured by how the sky had captured me.

The act of transcription became a challenge easily put aside in favour of full recognition of the insect chorus, the pervasive and earthy smell of a cool Canberra evening after rain, and of the deepening imagery on the sky cinema. Living the art of night became an act of great appreciation.

Sense, Captured

(Trish Jean)

What I see, it moves to be within
Imprinted on my constellation

What I feel, a surface skinned
Held for transcription

What I smell, wisdom and newness
A vestige of aloneness

What I taste, zephyr, easy persuasion
The sweetness and seriousness of you

What I hear, rising morning to evening’s sleep
The percussive heart


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