Dreams Between Dusk and Dawn

Bagan Myanmar Golden Hour - Blue Hour-1

 “There is a road…between the dawn and the dark of night and if you go,
no one may follow, as that path is for your steps alone.”  ~ Jerry Garcia

The wisdom of Jerry Garcia resonates with me as the wrathful fingers of winter turn into the chilly, wet hands of spring.  I search for my path.  A place to watch and dream from afar; to quietly witness the darkness of winter transform into the dawn of spring.

Standing against an ancient wall, spread across the plains of Bagan is my first Myanmar sunrise.  With the break of dawn, my slate is washed clean and ready to be filled up again with dreams that come my way.

Bagan Myanmar Golden Hour - Blue Hour-77

There is a saying, “Dreams die at dawn…” which I never cared for, as I believe dreams begin at dawn.  Then I saw a quote by Oscar Wilde, “A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world”

Perfect. Dawn, a dialectical point in time where dreams may wither and die yet at the same time be realized; the dreamer is there to witness both the inspiration and sadness.  For me, this is the definition of dawn.

Bagan Myanmar Golden Hour - Blue Hour-78

As a kid, I never gave much thought about the beauty of early morning.  I stayed in bed as long as possible…even though many of my dreams originated in books and folklore that romanticized this part of the day.

Mornings were written beautifully, where cowboys, explorers, Native American heroes and adventurers always touched upon the magic of dawn and daybreak.

Bagan Myanmar Golden Hour - Blue Hour-4

Daybreak would be accompanied by the glow of an early morning fire, whether to bring warmth to the beginning of the day or to brew a cup of coffee.

While reading, I would dream of sitting alongside the men and women as they drank their coffee…quietly pondering the day of uncertainty that lay ahead.  To this day, I believe this is one reason I savor my morning cup of coffee.

Bagan Myanmar Golden Hour - Blue Hour-79

Watching the early morning sky, I think of dreams drifting aimlessly like a balloon, its path relying on the wind.  The land below contradictorily familiar, yet exotic.

The pre-dawn moment where dreams either move forward to live another day, or silently drift into death…

Bagan Myanmar Golden Hour - Blue Hour-80

I once wrote:  She poetically said: Dawn is the time where the air is freshest and the electricity of our dreams we had during the night are out there for us to see…and it is at dawn when our dreams sparkle in hope that today will be the day when the dreamer claims them…instead of once again being tossed aside.”

Dawn allows us a moment to see and grasp at these dreams before they disappear.

Bagan Myanmar Golden Hour - Blue Hour-84

It is funny how vivid the mind can become in the quietness of dawn.  We can sense ourselves doing something extraordinary, just as we did when we were kids.  It seems when we were younger, dreams were more intense and crazy, and as an adult they become more serene, perhaps even mystical.

I suppose there is no comparison.  On one hand we have the younger mind of a rabid idealist versus an older mind of cynic: a cynic who realizes how much unclaimed potential we all leave out there.

Bagan Myanmar Golden Hour - Blue Hour-8

It is this strange contradictory nature of dawn and maturity that makes life interesting.  In our youth, we revel in the late night/early morning hours.  Intrigued by the peace of a post-midnight sky and the eerily quietness of the streets and the wilderness.

Breathtaking to feel so alive with energy in the dead of night, as if this moment was created for the young: the world waiting to be explored.  All the action and chaos of the previous day and night comes to a crescendo and slowly unwinds in the peaceful stillness of darkness.

Bagan Myanmar Golden Hour - Blue Hour-82

Come adulthood, for me this youthful fervor of post-midnight revelry has been replaced by an aching love for the early morning.

Being in a place like Myanmar, I feel the same wonderful spirit of daybreak that I have whether looking over wheat fields of Pendleton, pink rays breaking over Mt. Rainier in Seattle or the incredible Hong Kong harbor coming to life bathed in gold from the morning sun.

Dawn creates this state of bliss, a start of every beautiful day.

Bagan Myanmar Golden Hour - Blue Hour-10

James Douglas wrote: “it is a good idea to be alone at dawn, so that all its shy presence may haunt you, possess you in a reverie of suspended thought.”

There is much truth to this saying, which is why I enjoy this time of peace and solitude alone.  However, it can be special sharing such moments with others; to occasionally open up this time to share dreams and thoughts…

Bagan Myanmar Golden Hour - Blue Hour-88

The two weeks I spent traveling in Myanmar had endless moments of amazement, and I was so happy to be able to share it all with my sister, Sandi.  While we enjoyed our photography, the endless talks and creating adventures is what made the trip so eventful.

What good is the happiness of early morning dawn, the moment to wander among dreams, if you can never share it with others?

Bagan Myanmar Golden Hour - Blue Hour-83

“For with each dawn, she found new hope that someday,
her dreams of happiness would come true.”  ~ Cinderella

Bagan Myanmar Golden Hour - Blue Hour-81Best wishes to Ajaytao 2010, for bringing inspiration to many…

216 Comments on “Dreams Between Dusk and Dawn

  1. Pingback: Spring in sight | From guestwriters

  2. When I was a teenager, I thought my father was out of it when he woke up every morning at 4:30 and walked his dog until sunrise on dangerous streets in Chicago., When I asked why, he said the air is freshest in the morning, the bad guys are never out at this time because they are basically too lazy or undisciplined to hold a job, and he loved starting his day watching the sun rise.

    After I retired, I still get up every morning at 5:30 because I came to agree with him.

    Regards and good will blogging

  3. Hi Dola incredible post”yes what happiness is ,if we don’t share it with others whom we love and care about.Your photography skills are amazing those shots are the proofs.Thank you so much for liking few of my posts.My best regards.JalMichael

    • Thanks JalMichael, part of the fun of living & creating is sharing it with others. Cheers, and have a good week!

  4. oh my! these pictures are so, so beautiful! I almost started to cry…what a stunning view! you’re so lucky Dalo, having the opportunity to travel so much!
    and, as always, you made a great work! congratulations!

  5. omg, these are stunning pictures, Randall… surreal and dreamy… loved the metaphor of dreams as balloons… you are right, dawn is full of magic… and so are your photos…

    • Thanks Alexandra. Surreal and dreamy, those were the exact feelings I had when shooting… 🙂

  6. Are you the photographer? In any case dawn has to be my favourite time of the day. It’s magical and best of all it is not shared by the majority.

    • Agree, dawn is magical and comes at a time when most are in dreamland (like me…). Yes, I also am the photographer which fortunately draws me towards dawn. Thank you.

  7. What gorgeous photos. I especially like the photo-of-a-photo-being-taken… the background is gorgeous and the vantage point is unique. Best wishes!

    • Thank you, yes the shot of my sister taking a photo is one of my favorites…we still talk about the color (about 15 minutes after sunset).

  8. It is so beautiful….just no words!!!

  9. Wow, beautiful, the first pictures made me think about real life Arabian Nights adventures, then the balloons and dawn pictures are just stunning and make me want to see it with my own eyes, lovely.

    • Thanks Charlotte, it was such an enjoyable trip…I was surprised at the youths love for music (One Direction was huge…), you’d feel right at home there.

    • Truly do hope this will be the case… the monks and people have true power, and I was stunned by the freedom of the youth & monks who speak proudly and without fear about democracy. Agree that it certainly in deserved, thanks Malcolm.

  10. I had an amazing holiday in Myanmar, Burma as it was when I went and your pictures of Pagan brought it all back – thank you, loved this post!

    • Thank you Georgina, Myanmar is this magical place…still untouched, and hopefully it will remain so. The beauty of photos is their ability to transport us to places again or for the first time. Cheers!

  11. Seems to me that photography is 50% putting yourself in the right position to take the shot and 50% knowing what you are doing. I’m getting better at the first part but then just press a button. You seem to perform alchemy.

    • Wonderful comment Simon, and a perfect description ~ getting in the right position is tough enough, but to then see the beauty in the way you want it…that is the fun. While I fail too often, the journey (as they say) is the reward. Cheers!

  12. The Oscar Wilde quote made me smile, I don’t know why.

    I tried to get up this morning to see dawn. I recently got my dad’s DSLR and I wanted to get up and go to the beach to capture the sunrise… but I missed it. I love dawn, especially on early morning road trips when the world is quiet. I’m excited about the camera and being able to take photos, but I have no idea what I’m doing! The last few days I’ve been trying to learn about settings and exposure and ISO, but it’s a lot of information.

    Also, I thought I’d already liked this post, but I must have gotten lost in your writing and photography and forgotten. Reading your writing is surprisingly cathartic and makes me feel relaxed.

    • On road trips is when I find it real easy to get up at dawn…and having a DSLR helps, as it inspires me to see the place I am more closely. One of the best book on photography is Bryan Peterson’s “Understanding Exposure” as a kid it inspired me to experiment and made things so easy. Thanks for the nice comment and happy shooting!

    • Ha, ha…nothing quite like a nice sunrise, hope you made it up. As for Myanmar, you will not be disappointed.

  13. Thanks for taking me to these wonderful places.
    Dawn is indeed a precious moment that I cherish.

    • Wonderful time of the day isn’t it? Just sitting and soaking in the coming of a new day is one of the best feelings. Thank you.

  14. Well capture the beauty and the serenity of dawn!!! I like how you see it as it is the beginning of dreams.

    • Thanks, there is not a better feeling than being able to capture the feeling of the break of dawn, somehow makes the day perfect right from the beginning.

  15. Hi Dalo, wonderful photographs and they really do transcend directly to a different world. And excellent literature makes for powerful. I love when you say “It is funny how vivid the mind can become in the quietness of dawn. We can sense ourselves doing something extraordinary, just as we did when we were kids. It seems when we were younger, dreams were more intense and crazy, and as an adult they become more serene, perhaps even mystical.” – very true and motivating. Keep doing good work and sharing with us. Thanks.

  16. I live in the funky world of being a night-owl AND loving the dawn – – if only the world could adjust for me to sleep each day between 10am and 4pm!
    I think of dawn and midday the same way I think of awaking to snowy mornings – when the world is quieted by the blanket of white – where the stillness is so complete it feels as if the whole world is at peace and holding it’s breath, waiting for the next exhale – – then, the plows get out, slashing through the muted landscape, mixing mud in with the white – excited children dent with boots and re-arrange with sleds, and by mid-day, gone is the quiet and peace in a surge of shrieks and laughing or cursing and moaning, depending upon whether you must work or play – – 🙂

    • I made the switch to morning a few years ago…miss the night, but morning more than makes up for it. Great description of your dawn! Cheers to both.

      • I’m still trying to do both – which means the world wishes I would disappear during cranky time (10-2) LOL

  17. the dawn seeps within my soul
    covers me with a shroud of perfection
    letting go yet holding one
    I dream of being part of her perfection

    your thoughts flow your photographs as you write the whispers of the dawn
    incredible memories you have caught wandering through timeless space
    Take Care…You Matter…

    • What a beautiful poem, “I dream of being part of her perfection…” could not have summed up my thoughts any better. Thank you MaryRose.

      • You’re very Welcome….
        and I think I should proof-read before I set ink to those whispers LOLs..
        I was wandering again through the photos…I am working on a quilt and as I looked for a blue I keep
        feeling, I see many blues I want within your photos! 🙂 yes magick they are
        again,… These are beautiful with a story within each….
        I will enjoy following your thoughts and images ….they make me smile …
        Thank you again …
        Take Care…You Matter..

  18. Your thoughts and eloquent words bring these beautiful dusk-and-dawn photos to life.

  19. Utterly breathtaking! I am a dyed in the wool owl, but this is a compelling argument to convert to a lark!! 🙂

    • It is strange how I made that transformation…I think it is due to my HK/Seattle schedule that makes me wake up so early these days. And the experience of dawn is pretty amazing. Cheers!

  20. I returned to this again. It is hard to describe how much I liked these captures, esp -10 and -84. Almost morning on another planet in another age.

    • The mornings in Bagan were simply magical…and I want to head back there again & again. The history of this area of SE Asia is incredible. Happy you enjoyed the shots.

  21. I can totally relate to the quote by Jerry Garcia. The dream between dusk and dawn is a beautiful place to be – no matter where you are. But when you are able to capture pictures like these, Randall, it’s a dream come try. Such beautiful images, full of inner peace and tranquillity. Bagan in Myanmar is a place I want to go. Thanks for taking me along – until I get there myself.

    • Thanks Otto. Dusk and dawn, these two times of the day are great for reflection and for invigorating the spirit. As you mention, Bagan is one of those places that brings out tranquility ~ and when you get there, you’ll find yourself happily lost 🙂

  22. Beautiful photos! Bagan is definitely on my list, I have to agree with you that the older I get, I feel more for early mornings compared to late nights. It feels very much fresher and welcoming. Nothing beats a really good start in the morning for the day!

    • Thank you Melissa ~ you really nail it, it is the fresh feeling of the cool morning air and getting a jump on the day that is the best. I still revert to my lazy mornings when I can, but there is something about dawn. Bagan, Inle Lake ~ so much to see there… Cheers!

  23. For me, the fact that you placed your thoughts about dawn in the context of Myanmar is especially poignant. Beautifully realized photos, as always.

    • The mornings there were untouchable ~ closest things to perfection I’ve seen in a dawn. Of course, the PNW has its fair share of such morning too 🙂

  24. Just imagining that balloon ride is intoxicating. Your prose are shear poetry and your photos stunning!

    • Thank you very much Léa, the whole landscape there was truly intoxicating… nothing like returning to the photos to capture a bit of that feeling back. Cheers to a great week.

  25. It is interesting how so many stories begin either at dawn or dusk. Nothing intriguing ever seems to happen in the middle of the afternoon. It is those transitional times, much like spring or autumn, when everything seems to have added magic to it. Of course the allure of dawn for photographers is undeniable. Your shots of this special time in Myanmar have me dreaming of spending several dawns there.

    • Ha, yes I also understand this phenomena so often when I travel the afternoon is good for a nap, until the colors/mood of the late afternoon arrives. When shooting, that is even more the case as you say. I want to return to Myanmar soon…incredible place. Thank you!

  26. Pingback: Caretaking Democratization – t f rhoden

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