I do not get out as often as I’d like due to severe mobility & health issues. Seeing the world from up on high, complete with aerial views of early autumn hills and human habitats, is a rare thing for anyone, especially those with special access needs. Last weekend I went on a cable car that was adapted for wheelchairs. There were incredibly steep hills to even get to the ticket office and more sharp, uneven, curving inclines and sheer drops at the top. Even with my husband’s intrepid and determined pushing of my wheelchair, there were many places and viewpoints I could not reach. What we managed verged on an extreme sport. Even being in a small swinging metal and glass box on an (albeit very strong) wire suspended above hills and gorges when you’re on wheels takes on a whole new level of trepidation, especially when the door doesn’t immediately shut.
It was worth it though, I was in nature with three generations of our family. The leaves were turning but still remembered summer. In terms of art, the conditions were not perfect for photography though the views were inspiring. The topography of the land navigated on wheels means limits to the angles of shots possible. Having to wait for help maneuvering means you can’t chase capture as I once did, running alongside horses galloping up a beach for that perfect moment immortalised where energy and colour converge. This weekend the light was not always the quality that screams to be viewed through a lens. Though we were fortunate in the weather that day was misted with rain which became stronger on our way down and any panoramic vision was obscured by precipitation, the cars in front of ours and the position of my wheelchair, which had to face squarely in one direction.
But art or creativity has a way of working with limitations and navigating ways around them. The images above embrace the blurring quality of rain and the heightened emotions of seeing nature from a bird’s eye view when normally you see the four walls and ceiling of your bedroom. The intense colours reflect not only strong emotions but the complex sensory sensitivity common to many non-typical neurologies. I love exploring colour, scent, taste, texture, and sound but they can also overwhelm me, triggering physical, visceral responses. For me, there is a parallel between this hyper-sensory experience of reality and human life carving its way into and through the natural world. Amid the energy, dynamism and alure of humanity’s discovery and cultural expansion are our effects on our environment. These are fuelled by our drive for the conquest of nature, who in her turn fights back, blurring the edges of our assumed domination.
For those with limited vision, please click on the pictures for alternative text descriptions.
I’m linking this to V’J’s Weekly Challenge with the theme ‘kindle’ because being in nature kindles creativity.