Kenneth Madden

Monthly Archives: January 2009


Taken outside the Crane bar on Sea Road. The dog’s in this picture agreed to be photographed.

One wet Saturday in Galway city

On a cold wet Saturday I took shelter in the porch of St. Augustine’s. The rain moved on and a crisp autumn sky whispered lush wetness. I love the twilight: it’s as much day as night. It shows you that opposites are terms of relation not absolutes. The same thing revealing itself differently.

As you can see this little dog wasn’t too worried about the rain, he was mad to get back out there and looked quite puzzled at his owner who stopped for a while.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

I was treated by my housemate Lolly to an impromptu performance of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. It was truly was amazing. My only regret is that you too couldn’t have been there. Fret not, I suspect she may bring it on the road. It was a crime not to share such talent. The lovely Laura joined in and it became, well, something else. I think the final couple are from a medley of Jesus Christ Super Star, Cats and Jesus Christ Whats Happening.

‘Close every door to me…’ hmm indeed.

Coole park

These photos were taken in Coole park sometime last November. The lake was dead calm. We threw stones in to ripple it or Duncan did I should say. His aim’s not the best (sorry buddy). It’s hard to get a good assistant! We spoke about how life is unknowable and immediately This, among other things. Everything was reflected in everything as everything is in everything i.e. there is no separation on any level.

Some kids arrived just as we were leaving. This picture has a surreal feel to it. It reminded me of the worlds we used to create and abandon during long hours of childhood play and exploration. I thought of the following lines from a Kelly Joe Phelps song:

Shouting revelations out
A boychild man of ten
Never looking up to heaven
It was heaven there and then
And we wrapped our bloody fingers like a shine eyed Mr Zen
River Rat Jimmy and Jehosophat

*River Rat Jimmy, Kelly Joe Phelps


Mt. Shasta, California

Gary, Darragh and I attemped to climb Mt. Shasta in Northern California around mid September. The snow had long receded and when we told people in Shasta town that we were headed up the mountain we mostly elicited a “but why?” response. We reached the trail head late in the evening and had to pitch our tent in the dark by the time we got to the Clear Creek campsite. I was lucky to survive the night considering the dangerous level of poisonous gases I was exposed to in our tent. We pitched it on a hill so I literally fell into a short sleep for a couple of hours before heading off at four in the morning under an almost full moon.

The previous day’s incredulous “but why?” responses very quickly made sense: If a rock slide didn’t kill us the shear exhaustion of climbing up what seemed like a giant sand dune would. In one of the pictures you can see Gary asleep after taking a five minute break. We had to shake him out of a deep sleep. We turned around at about 13, 500 feet as a rock slide had cut off the trail and large sections of it began to shift as we tried to cross it to pick up the trail. We had all the hard work done but you have to be sensible about these things.

Thousands of butterflies appeared as we started our decent. They seemed to float along the gentle air current that blew across the mountain. You can see one move over the lad’s heads at our summit. Mariposas will always give you a lift. We had run out of water also so by the time we made it back to camp, about eleven hours after setting out, we drank straight from the creek beside our tent and water has never tasted so good.

Photography wise i was happy to have the my Nikon D3 with me for the fantastic ISO ability. You can see from the photo’s that I was more or less shooting in the dark at times. It is a bit risky taking such expensive equipment when you’re climbing a mountain but you’ve got to consider that the possibility of breath taking photo opportunities that you want to capture as best you can. On balance I think I’ll take the back up camera next time. Oh ya by the way- NEVER try to climb Mt. Shasta when the snow is gone. Clamp- ons are the way to go.

The sun is always setting, always rising.

The sun never sets, the sun never rises. Perspective.

Aikido Galway

Anna being stretched at Aikido class.

Another leaf, another drowning.

This is it.

Leaf Drowns, Bridget’s Garden Galway

I like pictures of objects sinking into water. It reminds me of how we often sink into experiences and loose ourselves in them. We often hear comments such as ‘I loose myself when painting’ or whatever the experience is. People often loose themselves in music. Then they come back. “I” come back. That is until I don’t.

To Blog or Not to Blog That is the question

If I continue to blog at this rate I will average an impressive two photos a year. Considering the fact that I have thousands of them on my hard drive I’ve made a new years resolution to increase output a little. I’ll be posting photos of the last six months of 2008 mainly. I took one in Rinville park.