The Glow Of Forgotten Grandeur


They were two impressive leather chairs, languishing in shadows where the stairway twisted between floors in an elderly Montana hotel. Adjacent to them, sharing royal red and gold carpet, an upright piano waited for a song.

Their town is small, set amid historic and geographic hot spots; you have to want to be there, and there were few guests the night I stayed. No one ran their hands over the smooth, time-worn arms, no modern bottoms felt the deep satisfaction of sinking into the cushions. The piano remained silent.

But, for a few precise moments, as evening peered through a tall window and I paused in the hallway, the glow of forgotten grandeur reappeared, and history sang softly in my ear.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Illumination

No Animal Appreciates Warmth More Than A Cat
No Animal Appreciates Warmth More Than A Cat

This week’s challenge theme is timely at my house—the Arctic air affecting much of the country this weekend has seeped into our area, and though not as severe as elsewhere 21°F will net you several cats around a stove. When I got up this morning at 5:15 Poco already had a choice place on the hearth, but there was so little light I doubted I could get a worthwhile photo.

I ducked into my office for the Sony 5n, then sat on a footstool and waited. Cats can’t be posed, nor hurried. When she sat up and appeared to be worshiping the glowing warmth I snapped three shots before she lay down. I’d set the ISO at 12800, shutter speed at 1/125, the Sigma 30 2.8 wide open, and there still weren’t going to be details in the shadows—no black-cat-in-a-coal-bin moment. But there was enough. I ran the image through Topaz Simplify 4, as the picture already tended to be painterly, and aren’t we after the essence of a thing, after all?

It is a good day to be warm.

_DSC0477 copy