Video

Filming at Windgrove

April 20, 2015

A couple of months ago a swarm of media people descended upon Windgrove to film a short video of “what-the-hell-is-happening-here!” for Tourism Tasmania.

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It’s always flattering to be noticed, but what really excited me about this nine hour long process that included up to ten people, was the professional expertise of each individual person working together as a whole — seamlessly.

I don’t normally get involved with artistic “collaborations”, so it was a beautiful reminder of the creative power of “the group”.

A longer version is being made, but in the meantime, here is a little peek into how 5 hours of film footage is distilled into one minute of video.

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Mad Man digging

July 30, 2013

“….. to get strength
for the things we have to do that frighten me
I go and dig my hands into the ground.”

Marge Piercy, from “The queen of pentacles”,

Along with the gravity of our precarious place on this earth, I also believe that a bit of levity can buoy the heaviness of our daily lives. Last week on FaceBook I, therefore, posted a bit of humour that was accompanied with a photo of my neighbour and I digging in the tennis court.

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My neighbour Stan and I were digging in the tennis court yesterday when I turned to Stan and said: “Stan, I’m really feeling my age today. I just hurt all over, how are you feeling?”

Stan replied: “I feel just like a new born babe.”

I put my shovel down and looked at him startled: “A new born babe! Really?”

“Yep, I have no hair, no teeth, and I think I just wet my pants.”

I was surprised when a friend left the comment: “Are you mad?” I know she meant to be kindly towards my aging body by questioning the wisdom of doing something so physically demanding.

But besides wanting to ask whether or not she found it funny, I also want to ask: “Are you not mad? If not, why not?”

Whether in our personal lives or around us locally/globally, there is every reason to be mad. Instead, we spend most of our time trying to be nice and don’t allow a flush of anger to be voiced when our boundaries are trampled upon.

At an Anger Expression workshop I attended over the weekend (not anger management workshop), these two quotes made a lot of sense:

“We can’t set a boundary and take care of someone else at the same time. It’s impossible.”

“Anger is a connection to our spirituality and creativity.”

A good anger acted upon
is beautiful as lightning
and swift with power.
A good anger swallowed,
a good anger swallowed
clots the blood
to slime.

Marge Piercy, from “A just anger”

Digging is an act of faith for me. Only when my body, soul and spirit are being soiled do I best understand the feral song of cock and cunt that is my/our animal birthright. A birthright I will defend with every tired sinew of my body. I refuse the comfort of a deadening “sensible” job and a life in a sterile world. Whenever the Machine attempts to seduce, silence and strangle the world and myself, I will dig in to maintain an anger necessary to do what, at times, does frighten me.

Paraphrasing the Finnish epic the Kalevala:
“Of what use are we artists…
If no fire spurts from our mouths…
… and no smoke from our words.”

Below is a short, funny video of one and a half hours digging reduced to 25 seconds. Enjoy.

Digging from Peter Adams on Vimeo.

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Morning sun

July 23, 2013

For the past two days a cold rain out of the Antarctic has lashed the windowpanes. Inside, though warm, the light coming in through the many windows is coloured cool, clean and speaks of rational thought. Outside, the shivering silvered branches, though elegant, seem to beg to want to come into the shelter of the house.

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Normally, assuming there are no clouds, for a few weeks on either side of the winter solstice the first rays of the morning sun tunnel into the house. This is because I cut a hole through the trees and opened up a passage to allow the winter sun to first peek into the house around 8AM instead of 9:30AM.

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This extra early hit of direct morning light only lasts around fifteen minutes before dimming into the darkening branches. But what a lovely, if brief, sensation on my awakening mood as I meditate to the sun’s low yellow grace notes tuning up the walls. All this while I’m nestled in a soft, cushioned red seat dipping into the morning’s reading of prose or poetry.

To create this sun tunnel (aka “sunnel”), I did have to chainsaw down four magnificent trees. My conscience, however, only tweaked a wee bit as the firewood gathered from these trees is what is keeping me cozy warm these cold winter mornings. Along with this, I have planted 8,800 other trees on the property sequestering more carbon than I will ever use in my lifetime.

Why I Wake Early

Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who made the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips
and the morning glories,
and into the windows of, even, the
miserable and the crotchety —
best preacher that ever was,
dear star, that just happens
to be where you are in the universe
to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of light —
good morning, good morning, good morning.
Watch, now, how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness.

Mary Oliver

Here is a one minute video showing what it is like when the clouds part and allow the morning sun to flow into the house. With a voice over of Mary Oliver’s poem “Why I Wake Early”.

morning sun from Peter Adams on Vimeo.

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Winter storm coming

July 7, 2013

This past week a winter storm blew in from the antarctic across the waters of Storm Bay bringing first wind, then freezing rain. I thrive during these days and want to be no where else. Certainly not in a city as I strongly feel there is a lesson to be learned in being blasted by the elements.

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As the storm approached, I went to the top of the Wombat Circle and did a short video; my second attempt at this new artistic discipline.

I am including two videos to get some sort of reader feedback. The first is with only the wind. The second video has a voice over of a poem by Rilke. I’d be interested in people’s responses.

I had to omit sections of the poem to fit it into the video, but what-the-hell, I’m on a steep learning curve.

The Man Watching

I can tell by the way the trees beat, after
so many dull days, on my worried windowpanes
that a storm is coming,
and I hear the far-off fields say things
I can’t bear without a friend,
I can’t love without a sister.

The storm, the shifter of shapes, drives on
across the woods and across time,
and the world looks as if it had no age:
the landscape, like a line in the psalm book,
is seriousness and weight and eternity.

What we choose to fight is so tiny!
What fights with us is so great!
If only we would let ourselves be dominated
as things do by some immense storm,
we would become strong too, and not need names.

When we win it’s with small things,
and the triumph itself makes us small.
What is extraordinary and eternal
does not want to be bent by us.
I mean the Angel who appeared
to the wrestlers of the Old Testament:
when the wrestlers’ sinews
grew long like metal strings,
the Angel felt them under his fingers
like chords of deep music.

Whoever is beaten by this Angel,
(who often simply declines to fight)
goes away proud and strengthened
and great from that harsh hand,
that kneads us as if to change our shape.
Winning does not tempt us.
This is how we grow: by being defeated, decisively,
by constantly greater beings.

Rainer Maria Rilke (translated by Robert Bly; adapted Peter Adams)

trees and wombat circle 1 from Peter Adams on Vimeo.

Here’s the second video with poem

trees and wombat circle 2 from Peter Adams on Vimeo.

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Windgrove solstice dawn

June 24, 2013

Solstice dawn at the Peace Garden and I’m standing on frosty ground about to begin my first time-lapse video. Nothing like a new challenge.

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Over an hour and a half I press the shutter button every 15 or so seconds only to find out later this could have been done automatically. I also inadvertently leave the auto bracket switch on and during editing have to delete 2/3’s of the photos (hence, the bumpy video posted below).

As I said, “Nothing like a new challenge”.

Luckily, my web master has tremendous patience and over the next few days works with my techno inabilities and a slow upload satellite internet speed so that this blog “Life on the Edge” can begin a new era of posting the occasional video.

Besides the crisp beauty of the early morning landscape so easily evident on this most propitious of days, what really caught my eye was the sunlight coming through the polished Split Rock and the resultant “split” shadow cast across the pond water.

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This double shadow only happens around the winter solstice when the slit in the rock is perfectly lined up with the rising sun. Sort of Stonehenge magic as it points to and grabs hold of the reflection of the Peace Pole spiraling down into the water.

So, dear reader, take 51 seconds of your time and view the Windgrove Winter Solstice dawn.

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