Saturday, October 11, 2003

  I have been meaning to share a sampling of Joel Meyerowitz's "Cape Light" and "A Summer's Day" photographs here since the debut of "pretty serendipities" in August. The series is brilliant. I never tire of it, seeking out the images in hope of quenching the frequent onsets of thirst for the Cape. Cradling the absolutely undiluted essence of the place, they do just the opposite and stir up dormant cravings for Cape Cod with a gentle fury.

The "Cape Light" volume is often readily available even in small neighborhood bookstores. "A Summer's Day" is out of print and is tougher to find. Inquire at a library and indulge.

"The Hammock, 1982", Joel Meyerowitz. (Print by Bob Korn)

"...This was the very day one would have chosen to sit upon a hill overlooking sea and land, and muse there. The mackerel fleet was rapidly taking its departure, one schooner after another, and standing round the Cape, like fowls leaving their roosts in the morning to disperse themselves in distant fields. The turtle-like sheds of the salt-works were crowded into every nook in the hills, immediately behind the town, and their now idle windmills lined the shore..." (from "Cape Cod" by Henry David Thoreau)

"Provincetown, 1977", Joel Meyerowitz Photograph by Joel Meyerowitz

"Hartwig House, Truro, 1976", Joel Meyerowitz "Doorway to the Sea, 1983", Joel Meyerowitz

"...One of the ministers of Truro, when I asked what the fishermen did in the winter, answered that they did nothing but go a-visiting, sit about and tell stories,—though they worked hard in summer. Yet it is not a long vacation they get. I am sorry that I have not been there in the winter to hear their yarns..." (*)

"Porch, Provincetown, 1977", Joel Meyerowitz "Bay/Sky, Provincetown, 1977", Joel Meyerowitz

"...Far below us was the beach, from half a dozen to a dozen rods in width, with a long line of breakers rushing to the strand. The sea was exceedingly dark and stormy, the sky completely overcast, the clouds still dropping rain, and the wind seemed to blow not so much as the exciting cause, as from sympathy with the already agitated ocean. The waves broke on the bars at some distance from the shore, and curving green or yellow as if over so many unseen dams, ten or twelve feet high, like a thousand waterfalls, rolled in foam to the sand. There was nothing but that savage ocean between us and Europe..." (*)

"The Blue Chair, 1977", Joel Meyerowitz

"...There I had got the Cape under me, as much as if I were riding it bare-backed. It was not as on the map, or seen from the stage-coach; but there I found it all out of doors, huge and real, Cape Cod! as it cannot be represented on a map, color it as you will; the thing itself, than which there is nothing more like it, no truer picture or account; which you cannot go farther and see..." (*)

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