These are a few pictures from July12/13 – if I recall, this series was full of animals and faces…but, only if you are willing to see a thing as something else. Don Delillo once wrote (Underworld) that “to see a thing as something else is such a human thing to do” or something to that extent. It seems to me that we are now hyper-literal about so much that a lot of the mystery and wonder are sucked clean from our tidy lives.
Of course, regarding one another, we are subjective as hell – dealing out judgments as if we are the kings and queens of all knowledge and sense, so rarely taking into consideration the limitations of our own knowledge and sense. If we are to be so reckless in declaring truths about one and another, should we not err on the side of kindness and compassion?
I am glad that the clouds have been sparse the past couple days. I get a chance now to begin to sift through the raw photographic data I have collected. I know what clouds look like and I began taking pictures when the clouds began to seem more like stories, because I thought someone probably ought to and, in all honesty, I figured that maybe I finally had a small little purpose for myself…to put flat on the mat any inclination to walk away from my own instinct.
Whether that instinct was based in my spine or my gut or my mind or my heart…I knew that it seemed strange to me that a cloud could appear so much like an acorn and an oak leaf held aloft, an apple or a cherry on the other side. The detail was too fine.
Of course the acorn quickly devolved and the picture became something else entirely, as is so often the case…
Building a pyramid, among other things…
We forget sometimes that it is not only us on this sphere, some of the ‘creepier’ forms I have photographed appear to be more a collection of parts, everything connected somehow.
It appears that the (above) partial portrait in profile is breathing some old breath. Old people probably heard stories about breath and God when they were young. Lots of people have suspected a connection between soul and breath. Which is why more than air seems to leave us when we pass, as if all the little lightning flies out.
I distinctly recall muttering some expletive exclamation when I saw this construction (below) cross over the trees. I think I was exasperated when I realized that I was going to just have to keep watching.
See the sad thing is that someone will look at this record I am keeping and decide that it is “sick” – conveniently forgetting some key factors, 1) I wasn’t looking for anything, 2) I am not exactly thriving as a result of this project…in fact, it has – for all practical purposes – wrecked my life-as-I-knew-it, 3) I was scared to death 1/2 the summer because, to me, something seemed to be occurring and I didn’t know what and nobody was remotely kind or helpful, quite the opposite actually.
I like this photo, as it appears to be a mother in repose with her child, resting against a cloud. I want peace like that in my life.
I don’t know what to do. I have been read and written all wrong and nobody* is…helping? I realized today that my family won’t advocate for me or offer comfort to me because to them, in spite of what they see and know…well, maybe it’s safer for them and their rights as grandparents to just go along with what’s happening.
I noticed today that they don’t have a single picture of me on their refrigerator, plastered with photos as it is.
He told me to talk to my lawyer about it. I think he is embarrassed of me. I wonder if, in his mind, I somehow failed?
It is a horrible feeling to have, that my mere existence seems to instigate indifference and hostility that cleaves me away from my children on the basis of ill-conceived, assumed, subjective and manipulated
(for example, the alarm clock not going off and me getting the kids to school five minutes late does not constitute me not taking care of them, nor does me having them spend the day at my parents house a few days per week this summer, nor does me not going swimming with them at the public pool – the glare gives me a headache and I can’t stand the aftersmell of chlorine that stays in my nose for the rest of the day…these things are not negligent parenting…)
My hands are being tied behind my back and I am so stunned numb that I can’t even feel them anymore…I feel, on this day, pretty damn powerless….
Why write about all this on a public forum? Because I really, literally, have nobody…and I am trying to stay alive as my better and most true self.
I am, quite simply, addressing a need that is unmet in my walking and talking life.
Besides, I have spent my whole adult life trying to find my place with people and every single person I relied on to care about me has shown that, in fact, they may not. Now I am just writing and waiting for my place to find me.
No ordinary place will do, because I finally gave up on ordinary…that place is fleeting and mean.
This is a poem that used to make me cry in the late-1990’s…I have no idea why. It doesn’t make me cry anymore, but – truth be told – very little does.
MY MOTHER, IF SHE HAD WON FREE DANCE LESSONS by Cornelius Eddy
Would she have been a person with a completely different outlook on life?
There are times when I visit her and find her settled on a chair in our dilapidated house.
The neighborhood crazy lady, doing what the neighborhood crazy lady is supposed to do, which is absolutely nothing.
And I wonder as we talk our sympathetic talk, abandoned in easy dialogue, I, the son of the crazy lady, Who crosses easily into her point of view. As if yawning or taking off an overcoat.
Each time I visit I walk back into our lives.
And I wonder, like any child who wakes up one day to find themselves abandoned in a world larger than their bad dreams, I wonder as I see my mother sitting there, landed to the right-hand window in the living room, pausing from time to time in the endless loop of our dialogue.
To peek for rascals through the Venetian blinds,
I wonder a small thought. I walk back into our lives.
Given the opportunity, how would she have danced?
Would it have been as easily
As we talk to each other now, the crazy lady and the crazy lady’s son,
As if we were old friends from opposite coast picking up the thread of a long conversation,
Or two ballroom dancers who only know One step?
What would have changed if the phone had rung like a suitor, if the invitation had arrived in the mail like Jesus, extending a hand?????