The Edge of Heaven
By Robert I Holmes
A dream come true. That's how it felt when I first saw the photo and how it worked out. But I'm getting ahead of myself, because before that... I was driving through the landscape of an unfamiliar place that felt like home. In the dream I was having, that is,… eight years ago.
I was in a beautiful black car and behind me was a big Mercedes Benz, with flags waving from the bonnet like an ambassador might use. Someone special was coming over for coffee. We pulled in through a pair of sweeping sandstone walls that marked the entrance to a driveway, my driveway. On the left hand wall was a sandstone plaque with the word "Shamayim" engraved on it. Maybe you already know what that is - sounds Hebrew right? I had to go look it up. It turns up in Genesis. Jacob lies down, puts his head on a rock, has a dream about a ladder leaned up against the sky, there are angels and stuff. He calls the place Bethel - because God is there. The ladder leaned up against the edge of heaven - Shamayim - the rim, the touch point where angels jump off.
A year later we bought land on that road I drove through in my dream. A year after that we started construction of our present home. A year after that we moved in. We built those walls of sandstone... one either side of the driveway and they now look like this:
Friends from a church called the Home of Glory come down every year and help out around the place: planting trees, moving rocks, building walls and taking photos... Geoff (the pastor) is a great photographer. He took a long exposure star trail from our road (click to enlarge):
I got inspired, and decided to have a crack at doing night photography myself. I read up about it, looked up other artists who had done well and went out night after night to photograph the stars myself. Dreams and reality sometimes don't match up. Cars drove past at the wrong moment. Clouds blew over. I had the wrong focal length. The stars were blurry and out of focus... there wasn't enough light.