Two Against Nature

I blame Steely Dan.

Ever since they issued their ‘comeback’ album in 2000 Sarah and I have been pausing at particular points on sunny walks and saying ‘Look, two against nature!’

Steely Dan, 2000.

Steely Dan, 2000.

And increasingly over the years we’ve been taking ‘arty’ photographs of this moment. Us two, silhouetted against all kinds of nature.Two Against Nature02 Two Against Nature03 Two Against Nature04 Two Against Nature05 Two Against Nature06Sometimes we might be sat peacefully on a beach.

Like here on Ynys Llanddwyn, Anglesey.

Like here on Ynys Llanddwyn, Anglesey.

Then, next minute when the sun comes out…

This happens.

This happens.

Autumn walks are particularly good for long shadows in mid-afternoon.Two Against Nature09 Two Against Nature10

Note witch's hat.

Note witch’s hat.

Two Against Nature22Two Against Nature12 Two Against Nature13 Two Against Nature14And last autumn, of course, after a year of steady rain, the boulder clay cliffs at Thurstaston were being washed away.

Much to Sarah's amusement.

Much to Sarah’s amusement.

Cue spreading the cliff mud on me. A rare violent 'Two Against Nature'

Cue spreading the cliff mud on me. A rare violent ‘Two Against Nature’

Another one. An apparent punch to the head on New Year's Day at Greenbank House. Surely not?

Another one. An apparent punch to the head on New Year’s Day at Greenbank House. Surely not?

Still dancing in May.

Still dancing in May.

Two Against Nature26

Still friends. And Sarah’s got another hat.

Over the years there have been variants. One against nature?Two Against Nature27

Not quite right. Where's the other one?

Not quite right. Where’s the other one?

Reflections?

This is Boxing Day 2002. It never developed into a viable series.

This is Boxing Day 2002. It never developed into a viable series.

One that did is ‘Sarah’s feet in nature.’Two Against Nature30 Two Against Nature31 Two Against Nature32Developing into ‘Both of our feet.’

On Iona in 2009.

On Iona in 2009.

And, too much of this for a few years there.

Feet in a hospital.

Feet in a hospital.

And this one looks at first glance like a ‘Two Against Nature.’

But is in fact an artily over- exposed photo of Sarah and an Anthony Gormley figure, on Crosby Beach in 2007.

But is in fact an artily over- exposed photo of Sarah and an Anthony Gormley figure, on Crosby Beach in 2007.

Meanwhile, back on Iona.

This one of us from the back was taken by a complete stranger.

This one of us from the back was taken by a passing American, a complete stranger.

He didn’t tell us he’d taken it. But later that day he recognised us, in the same hostel as he was staying. And said he’d taken the photograph as he’d never seen two people ‘So content with each other and so absorbed in each other and the place and the moment.’

That’s how we are. Life is a sequence of present moments. Some with long shadows.

3 thoughts on “Two Against Nature

  1. Jan Hasak

    This is so poignant and beautiful, Ronnie. Glad that American noticed you two have a special bond. You really do! You should celebrate a “shadow boxing day,” a show of reality cloaked in mystery and love. Here’s to the both of you!! And to nature, always a reliable backdrop.

    Reply

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