Sunday, February 14, 2010

a macro of a leaf after rain + random thoughts as of late featuring black dogs

Going through old pictures again since I'm having trouble finding anything to shoot right now.

How about a worthless trivial sidebar that has absolutely nothing to do with this photo?

Been fascinated with black dog legends lately… Black Shuck, Cu Sìth, and Garm, the Cŵn Annwn, Barghest, Gytrash and the like…both the stories themselves and how the folkloric origins of the legends later became corrupted once Christianity took hold particularly in the British Isles and Scandinavia. It's this turn that makes me especially engrossed by the few variations of these stories post-Christianity that allow for the benevolent nature of these spectral beasts- the protective dogs that accompany lone women travelers and the visions of these dogs that appear as warnings rather than indicators of inevitable danger. Not all the stories attribute them to hellhounds, animalistic grim reapers, cannibalistic shapeshifters or demonic portents of certain death.

My first pet was a mongrel black dog, Sam, a stray dog of approximately 6 months old who adopted *me* when I was two and a half years old. He showed up one day at my father's station and we became instantly inseparable. I have no idea how much this fact plays into my interest in this myth, but maybe it does. He most definitely was an awesome dog who loved me as much as I loved him. He tried to follow me to Kindergarten when I started school and would wait by the gate for me after school when I started riding my bike in first grade. As a child born on Friday the 13th, and a little weird anyway, I was always absorbed by supernatural folklore so from a pretty young age I was aware of the concept of witches having familiars- but never being a cat person, I thought it was just as appropriate to have a black dog as it was to have a black cat.

So, back to the point. I've been kicking some story variations around in my head based on the black dog- but I know myself well enough to know that I can start a story but it doesn't mean I'll ever finish it. Instead, and even better, I want to find a black dog to photograph. I think maybe this is why I've turned to photography in part in the first place- I may be a wordy person with a lot of ideas, but I tend start writing a lot of things that I never finish. With photography- snap! you've got it; you're done...

This being said: wanting to photograph something and actually finding that *thing* to photograph- the difference between wish and reality- therein lies the wide chasm of dull disappointment. Hmmm.

Oh well. *shrugs* The good news is that after a couple of weeks, I finally have an idea. Now I just need to find a big, black dog. An English mastiff would be perfect. *sigh* I wish I knew where to find one.


  1. Awesome picture!

    I know the feeling. I start waaaaaaaaaaay more stories than I ever finish. In fact, I only finished one... A black dog story could be very interesting though. Maybe try a short story and then expand it?

  2. Hehehe. That's all I'm capable of writing- short stories- that's if I ever finish. I much better at character development. I like developing characters and leaving them out to hang. Poor people! (LOL) I once decided I was going to write a story that I would like to see as a movie. So I set out writing a complete outline- start to finish- who these characters were, what would happen to them- and what the ending would be. Felt completely inorganic, but I did it. When I set out about to start writing the story, I wrote two pages and then got bored. *figures* This was a period of time that I was fascinated by the amount of the population in early America that intermarried with Native Americans and how few of them remembered that fact a few generations on...including slave populations. I wanted a story about a slave woman mistreated whose ancestors both on the African side and the Native American side created a curse from the Other World to enact revenge on the slave owner. I think I got too bogged down in details on how I would finish it that it didn't become a fun story to tell.

    Ah...anyway. Rambling. Hehehehe.

  3. Isn't that frustrating? I hate when I get a great idea but can't get it out... in my case there's something about that blank page. I think instead of getting bored with it, I get overwhelmed, the task is too daunting. The only way I finished my vampire novel was by writing obsessively... it's all I did for three months. And then I think I still half-assed it.

    Your second story sounds fascinating too! You've got some really great ideas.

  4. So you mean that Harry Potter lied when they said seeing a Black Dog meant you were going to die? Damn. Never heard of black dog stories in Britain, but there have been sightings of huge black cats with no explanation.

    Love that pic btw. I swear b&w expresses so much more than color ever could.