Pt. Defiance Zoo Lights: an abstract

“Welcome to December,” announces the darkening sky above the frigid inland Pacific Ocean empire of the Puget Sound. It is cold enough for the words to take form as icicles, fall to the green Earth, and shatter like glass ornaments, or crystal wine glasses full of icy water.  Even these words, if spoken aloud, would drip down from my mouth like stalactites (hanging from a cavernous ceiling) and build up pyramids of unique snowflake phrases at my feet all in a white flurry.

Ice roads, wine glass, orchestral hits
Ice roads, wine glass, orchestral hits

Now, moments after an appallingly early sunset (4:45 pm) the sun’s light evades our latitude and longitude for a full rotation. A full rotation of it, of us, our axis, its axis, gravity, precession, astronomical terms from a college quarter years back that I’ve forgotten the specifics of… needless to say, the onset of our cold and lingering dark days is an inevitable domino-chain reaction to the forces of gravity and the wonderfully perfect proximity of the earth in our little galactic system of magnetic drifting archipelago. The ground beneath our feet formed at the exact right place in space, so says physics, and therefore we are not destroyed by any temperatures too hot or too cold to imagine. Neat, huh.

dear & the headlights

The early sunset and black ice roads remind me that we are a part of a chaotically perfect system and we are internally governed by the same physical laws, or so we currently understand, as the rest of the galaxy… So I twist open a seasonal beer, take off my wool socks, pause to look at the dancing lights of the family Christmas tree, listen to a lightly crackling fire and classical orchestra music (‘like a bath of ice cocaine and rainbows’). The music washes over me like waves splash on a rocky beach for millennia until the beach is transformed into pure tiny soft grains of sand… I am humbled by the genius of these musicians as well as the setting. The beer tastes good.


I’ve prefaced with a pseudo-scientific meandering and we’ve journeyed together to the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium for a photography exploration. Sunday night my significant female friend and I went to Zoo Lights to witness the winter festivities of colorful led lighting along railings and through the branches of trees. She hadn’t been; I had. It was very windy and the rain flew around directionless like confused, drunk birds. I popped the caps off two tall boys on a fence post and we sat in the car to discuss the philosophical implications of Cloud Atlas as well as possible plot holes.  The wind often interrupted thought. When we walked down to the park the rain stopped. A layer of water over the park added to the soft reflective glow of the lights and shined bright, illuminating dancing molecules in the air with rainbow mists. Luckily, young adulthood has not caused us to abandon our childhood sense of wonder. These artistic renderings of Pacific Northwestern scenes and animals were magic. We basked in the cold lights and the idea of eternal rebirth.

Mt. Tahoma

To avoid over thinking the purpose of this post, I’ll exit commentary to display a few more images. Happy Holidays.




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