“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come.”
This week’s challenge, Threshold, offers a number of interpretations – two of which I’ve included in my response. First, I’ve chosen to feature Charleston, SC. When my husband and I retired from our work in the frenetic technology industry we decided to move to an area with a warmer climate and a slower pace than our home in the northeast. Charleston became the threshold, or point of entry (as defined in the dictionary), to our new lives in the south.
“The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.”
The second interpretation comes from a day I spent this week with amazing professional photographer Tony Sweet and his partner Susan. Our local photography club sponsored a day with Tony that renewed my spirit of adventure with photography. (Tony’s blog post about his day with us can be seen at http://tonysweet.com/blog/ ). He describes a photograph as “raw material” for an end product that will eventually be created by the artist, and a brave new digital world where the only limitation for a photographer is his or her own imagination. While I recognize that there are many purists who disagree, I am not among them. I will certainly continue to enjoy traditional photography, but am excited about the possibilities offered by these alternative approaches as well.
“Lack of comfort means we are on the threshold of new insights.”
Lawrence M. Krauss
So today’s post illustrates my personal commitment on the threshold of a new phase of exploration. Tools like textures, multiple exposures, image overlays, selective saturation and many others are elements of the art of photography which are among those I want to learn and explore. Today’s efforts feel a bit like being back in first grade to me, but I am committed to improving my skills and sharing my results. So, as I post about the wonderful city we chose as the threshold to our new beginning, I’ll use some very elementary textures on various photographs I’ve taken since our relocation. I promise to work on improving my techniques as time goes on if you will promise to tolerate my rudimentary attempts :-).
“I say be bold, come out of your threshold and ride the wind wherever it goes.”
Tonny K. Brown
As for Charleston, my husband and I lived in the center of town for two years before moving to our island home. We loved the energy of the city, which exists within the gentility of southern hospitality. People smile and greet one another on the street, shopkeepers and restaurant owners seem genuinely glad to see you. The only remaining descendents of the Gullah people weave their traditional sweetgrass baskets in the street markets as tourists stroll by. Perhaps these are some of the reasons Charleston has been voted the #1 City in the US and Canada by Travel and Leisure, #1 Travel Destination in the World by Conde Nast, and a Top Location for Retirement in Retirement and Good Living.
“Reading is at the threshold of the spiritual life.”
Charleston is known as the “Holy City”, boasting over 100 churches to serve its downtown population of just over 125,000 residents. It was a haven for religious freedom in colonial times and houses the oldest Orthodox Jewish synagogue in the south as well as one of the original houses of worship for French Huguenots fleeing persecution in Europe. St. Philips, pictured above, sits in the middle of the street and local lore says it was purposely built that way to force residents to think of God as they went about their daily lives.
“Maybe we will meet at the threshold of a dream, and we will not sleep.”
Charleston is a wonderful city for foodies (blessed by personal favorites such as Mike Lata’s newest hotspot, The Ordinary, Kevin Johnson’s The Grocery, and Sean Brock’s Husk-voted 2011’s Best New Restaurant in America by Bon Appetit). It’s also a treasure for nature lovers and photographers (with nearby notables like Magnolia Swamp and Boneyard Beach in addition to the city’s own charming Rainbow Row and Riverfront Park). Its historic homes and antebellum mansions offer a unique view of history as well as beautiful gardens and textures that delight the eye and draw the lens.
“For some, the universe ends at the borders of their villages; even for others, at the threshold of their home doors.”
Mehmet Murat Ildan
A beautiful city situated on the Atlantic Ocean, Charleston is an active harbor from which history bluffs can take a short boat ride to Fort Sumter, known as the site of the first shot of the Civil War. On any given day one might see dozens of sailboats competing in a local race, kayakers cruising peacefully along its Ashley or Cooper Rivers, or a massive yacht carrying its owners to other ports along the widely-traveled Intracoastal Waterway.
Whether you are drawn to weather, food, natural beauty, history, waterways, romance or southern gentility, Charleston is a city that does not disappoint. Put it on your bucket list and then as they say at Nike, Just Do It !
To see how some other bloggers represented their own thresholds, click here.