Two if by Sea

Two if by Sea

Ever looked out to sea at night, caught a moment of glittering lights and started to wonder if what you saw was real or if by chance it was your imagination. When I photographed this enchanted nightscape of the lake, the evening was quite still, the fog was slowly drifting in and the color was so intensely ultramarine, I somehow knew then I had to suspend it for a later canvas.  Little did I know that the secrets of the night would only then be revealed through the eyes of the camera, behold two small lights glittering like stars in line with each other, like some far away constellation suddenly appeared out of nowhere. Click, captured, contented. Continued…

“Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.

He said to his friend, “If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal light, —
One if by land, and two if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country folk to be up and to arm.”

Excerpts from Paul Revere’s Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I’ve taken the liberty to draw a reference to this poem for it wasn’t short after this photo was taken the words “Two if by sea” continued to haunt me as if a voice from within, describing its visual purpose. I have these tendencies to name the photos or drawings I like and yet at times they seem to grow upon me. As do my words, become the emotional palette for my canvases, for I am challenged to write how I feel.


2 thoughts on “Candles

  1. It’s possible that you may never read this because you posted this photograph in 2010 and I don’t think you’ve posted on this site since 2011 … but I hope this will be all right with you: I have grabbed (I think that’s the term …) a copy of your photograph TWO IF BY SEA to illustrate a talk I’m giving very soon (April, 2012) about my great-grandmother who survived the sinking of the Titanic. Your photograph – properly credited – will illustrate the point when, from the lifeboats, they saw the light of the Carpathia on the horizon.

    I know it’s the wrong century and the lights in your photograph are not ship’s lights but the effect of your photograph is deeply moving … I hope you won’t mind. (Particularly because I’m English and Paul Revere was busy warning against my kind!)

    Best wishes, Angela

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