“Powder,” Ansel thought, awaking from a dream in a dark room, just before the light. Just the word. Nothing to do with guns or snow or color or dust. “Powder.”
But he didn’t think it. It wasn’t a thought. Then where was it if it wasn’t? The weight of the mind itself, “powder” floated. There was no thing — no sayer. What existed? “Powder.”
His eye lids lifted.
Then, in the pale purple of that time, there was more. He thought “pow”, and then he thought “der”, and these things turned that unheard, invisible thing floating, “powder”, into something else. “Powder” wasn’t floating. It rested.
On his lips, he mouthed, “powder”. No sound. But there was more than pale purple, now. There was some form. And contrast. And with more time and light there were white mountainous, black pulverized earth. Big white. Cold, charcoal.
And then he slept, and things like that happened.
Then later he went looking for it all. And in a chromatic black and white wilderness, Ansel looked over each shoulder, and then again straight ahead with his naked eyes at the forms that lay before him, and said, “powder,” aloud, before lifting his lens.