Under A Molten Sky
My favorite part about having photos from these day trips of mine is that they preserve the trajectory of the day. Each image belongs to a different setting. Each reverts that setting to a state in which it existed for that moment alone. The outfit is the same, but the picture may change any infinite number of times. Availability of daylight, clarity of sky, the angle of the camera, which selects the background and seals the color story...all of these variables decidedly transform the image. Pass a beautiful cathedral without pause, walk for just twenty minutes longer, grab a coffee between takes, and the picture may as well have been taken in a different place from the rest, in a different time entirely. This is so fascinating to me.
Each set of like photos represents a different phase of the visit, but also commemorates the gaps in between, which are responsible for the distinctions. I thought I had found the most beautiful backdrop in the gothic cathedral, which supplied my black ensemble with the muted steel, ivory, and white necessary to form the grayscale aesthetic I always search for. That concluded the photo taking...Until much later, after having traversed all the main paths in this tiny town, we turned a corner and stumbled on a street illuminated by holiday lights. It appeared dizzy with the glow from the shopfronts, and an odd blue light that settled over the white buildings. The colors of dusk. We took more pictures.
And photographic documentation truly stopped there. So it is funny to me that the moment which stands out most in my mind when I think back on this day wasn't even captured. Funny and strange, considering how the memory is so glaringly visual, and so visually opposite to the photos here. It feels like sorcery, or some trick of the mind, to recognize that all vignettes transpired on the same day.
These photos depict Lambertville, a picturesque little town along the east bank of the Delaware river. After we took that final cluster of moody blue photos, we decided to warm our insides with Starbucks, so we crossed the bridge over to New Hope, which lies on the west bank (which you may recall from the last post). There's an Interpol lyric that always plays in my mind when the occasion warrants: Under a molten sky, beyond the road, we lie in wait. This undocumented lapse was such an occasion. The sky split to reveal configurations of clouds that closer resembled lava. Magenta, pink, orange, and gold reflected in the river, and mesmerized, we watched the sky in the water from our windows the whole way across the bridge. The situation in the sky only escalated during the walk to Starbucks. It was one of those sunsets with the power to literally send you reeling into an existential crisis, because how is the world real and simultaneously magic.