River talk

Transitory nature

Posted 10/27/21

For more than a decade, I’ve been writing “River Talk” and sharing images of the bountiful natural wonders throughout the Upper Delaware River region. Most of the photos have been …

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River talk

Transitory nature


For more than a decade, I’ve been writing “River Talk” and sharing images of the bountiful natural wonders throughout the Upper Delaware River region. Most of the photos have been focused on the awe-inspiring aspects of the natural world, in support of the opportunity to engage readers and awaken a sense of connection with this truly special place.

The journey has also expanded my awareness of the transitory nature of life and the cycle that frames our experience from beginning to end. In the spirit of honoring both aspects, as well as the span of time that arcs between, I will share a body of work, “Impermanence: The Transitory Nature of Experience,” from October 30 through November 30, in the Union Digital Gallery at 7 Erie Ave., in Narrowsburg, NY.

The event will feature my photography and poetry in a multi-sensory digital experience interwoven with trance music by composer and recording artist Willow Wynd (Marlaina Donato, AutumnEmbersMusic.com) and presented on a 16-foot HD media wall (narrowsburgunion.com/union-digital-gallery).

There is an unsettling and yet compelling quality to expressions of impermanence. We are born into physical bodies through which existence is experienced. Form eventually fades, whether tree or human, building or bridge, feather or fur. In the inevitable decline and ultimate relinquishing lie both desolation and beauty.

As the poet Mary Oliver writes in “Long Life,” “The beauty and strangeness of the world may fill the eyes with its cordial refreshment. Equally it may offer the heart a dish of terror. On one side is radiance; on another is the abyss.”

In the spirit of the unflinching documentary photographer and photojournalist Dorothea Lange, “Impermanence” will offer images that align with her declaration, ‘This is the way it is. Look at it.’” Viewers may be startled or disturbed, but will ideally engage with the provocative questions raised.

The Union Digital Gallery is an innovative space utilizing the latest technology, including micro-projectors, iPads and HD-monitors. Sculptural objects are also on display in the cave-like space illuminated by the glow emanating from the screens and objects.

The opening event will run from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 30, with an outdoor reception fanned by fire on the patio of the Narrowsburg Union and embellished with Donato’s mystical mélange of music, ranging from semi-classical piano to visionary moodscapes. In the event of inclement weather, the reception will move indoors. Light refreshments will be available.

Timed admittance to the Union Digital Gallery will occur in half-hour increments to allow for social distancing. Masking is encouraged and masks will be available. The exhibit will be accessible through the month of November; see the Sandy Long Photos link below for hours. All aspects are free and open to the public.

Please consider this a personal invitation to readers of this column—to join me for the opening event, or to experience it during the month of November. Registration for the opening event is requested at https://bit.ly/3B4e0yj. Visit https://www.sandylongphotos.com/ or the Narrowsburg Union site for information.

River Talk, Impermanence, Union Digital Gallery, Sandy Long, Willow Wynd


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