I'm getting sick of picture-perfect pictures. Slickness is not a virtue. When I was an undergrad and studying photography, I had perfection and rigid rules rammed down my throat. It was like being a goose whose liver was being fattened for foie gras. There we all sat, young and impressionable artists, while they stuffed this and that down our gullets. It pretty much ruined me for photography for about twenty years. I'm just now recovering.
I rubbed my sandpaper eyes. I realized that I forgot to blink—for about an hour. Deep into the development of my new web site I began to wonder. Were we humans really meant to co-exist with computers? PHP, CSS, HTML, FTP...blah, blah, blah. After my fifteenth phone call to tech support I rubbed my sandpaper eyes. I forgot to blink.
I looked out my window late yesterday morning. High clouds. Normally I like to make photos early in the morning when the air is fresh and the sun is golden—when the world is my own. But high, wispy clouds mean magic in photography so I broke my own rules. I went out with my camera in the latest part of the morning.
In a scratchy dream I learn to fly. In effortless propulsion I glide through air and space. "Why haven't I tried this before?" I ask myself. Somehow I reach an oasis of palms. Lanky and swaying, they acknowledge my arrival. They are rooted, yet free—something I make note of as I land on my feet and look up.
Suddenly my day gets jumbled with facts. I stare at my computer screen and the screen talks back. Wanting the last word, I start a conversation. This is a bad idea. The computer code that is my fledgling web site starts swimming around the room. It's time for fresh air. I go to the park and see my tree.
There is a tree in the town park about which I often write. Tall and singular, it is an easy object of affection. Meanwhile, another tree, a tiny one in a clay pot, has been growing lemons outside our back door. This week it has given forth a basket of perfect Meyer lemons. Have I neglected this selfless little citrus?
The doggie paddle was the first thing I learned how to do in Cook's Pond, a muddy swim hole in my New Jersey hometown. I dearly wanted to swim with the big boys out to the raft. But keeping my head above water had to be my first priority. The raft would wait. The doggy paddle came before the kick board which came before the breast stroke. I seemed to swallow a lot of water back then. I guess the murky pond was safe. I never did get sick.
A walk around the block—we tend to think of it as a numbing experience. It's just a walk around the block. It's the same block with the same cars and the same people and the very same smells and sights and sounds. Like some swinging pocket watch of a stage hypnotist, the sameness lulls us to sleep. We walk and mutter to ourselves that we need a change, we need a vacation.
Living in suburbia is a sweet experience with the metallic aftertaste of Aspartame. I stand in my own shadow as steel SUVs shuttle the neighborhood children to and fro. The agendas of modern mothers leave me in their dust. Lessons. Little League. School. After School. 3:00 PM in this town is the Wild West.
It's been awhile since I wrote about the eucalyptus tree in the Corte Madera Town Park. I try to visit the tree often but sometimes I simply neglect it. Other times I go, say hello, and can't find artistic inspiration.