Book Review: Deborah DeWit, Traveling Light

For my birthday my friends Bill and Connie sent to me a wonderful little book of some 80+ pages written by Deborah DeWit Marchant called Traveling Light, Chasing an Illuminated Life. Deb DeWit, who lives outside of Portland, Oregon, is an artist with a camera. I met her while I was a stockbroker back in the mid eighties. I was impressed by her talent and the fact that she didn’t crop any of her photographs. What she saw, you saw. I purchased from her a photo of an open white gate before an unpaved one lane road that ran off to the right. Beyond the gate in the background is a big light blue or gray sky, maybe its fog. The gate seems to stand at the top of a hill with no clue about what’s hidden over the rise or down the road. I always found it fascinating and calming to imagine what DeWit didn’t include in the photo.

The book is a tale of her journey as an artist fascinated by light and her quest to capture on film the feelings she had about the light. She quit college and took a train back to Scotland and she writes

…the light enveloped and caressed me as it throbbed across the dusky expanses of maroon hills and midnight valleys…Once again my pulse, like a thousand bouncing marbles, filled my ears, my veins, my heart, until
I thought I would burst.

It’s a tale of her growth as a woman and an artist, her shifting from capturing the outside to focusing on the inside. I am pleased to have known Deb in those early years and fascinated with where she is today. She writes on the last page,

Just as each photograph I stopped to take was the key that opened my eyes to the next image, I am convinced that what we see along our path is a reflection, a manifestation, of everything we have seen up until that moment.

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