Friday, August 10, 2012
Suppose The Day Is Being Photographed
Have you ever taken a trip and, when you looked back at your photos, appreciated the remembering of the experience more than when you were actually there?
I recently went to Paris. It was what I expected and nothing of what I expected. I did expect fine art and architecture, flaky croissants and crisp baguettes, all wine and cheese to be good, and to wish I could better speak the musical language. I didn't expect the women to be wearing very little makeup or perfume, or for The Louvre to allow flash photography, or for it to be so crowded that one would have to use elbows to get to the Mona Lisa. Needless to say, who could really see it under those conditions?
I knew I would like the Paris Opera House. I knew I wouldn't care about going up in the Eiffel Tower. I thought I would find high fashion everywhere, but didn't. And while there, I was already making plans for what I would do differently if I ever went back.
I had a good time--I especially liked it when the French woman who sold me a scarf offered to tie it for me. And though it wasn't funny then, I now laugh about getting stuck in the turnstile at the train station. In reviewing my pictures when I came home, I found it curious that I had snapshots of so many doors. And I regretted I had only 1 of the 17 bridges on the Seine.
Doors. Bridges. I have done the same in other cities. Hmm.
And your pictures from your travels -- have you realized a pattern?
If a person from the other side of the world came to visit us, what would she take pictures of that we no longer pay attention to?
What about today or tomorrow, here at home? Suppose the day is being photographed. Are there things that will have passed us by until we look back? Could your breakfast omelette filled with crisp bits of bacon and topped with snipped fresh chives next to three firm red-ripe strawberries have been pretty enough for a picture? Maybe someone joined you at the table, poured your orange juice, and expressed thanks with a kiss on your cheek. Or maybe you remember the day it was so.
Perhaps on the way to do something as mundane as gettting the mail from the mailbox we see a rainbow in the puddle from last night's rain. The toddler from next door is trying to pick up a watermelon. His mother is laughing. Her husband is in Afghanistan.
Pick up the blue-black feather on the sidewalk. Listen. Look up. Note the exact blue of this morning's sky. Yes -- today is a photograph.
And before we step back inside, let's not forget to notice the door!