Thursday, December 29, 2011
advanced photography in one lesson
she asked me to help her with part of a photography assignment she was working on at college. what do i have to do? i asked.
just be yourself, she answered, and started clicking away.
no, no, no! how can you take pictures with the house such a mess. let me clean up first.
i'm not taking pictures of the house. i'm taking pictures of you. besides, who cares.....
but it's all gonna be there in the background, all the clutter.
or something like that. i don't remember everything, but i remember enough. she said what she needed to do was to grab reality, to show what's honestly—painfully—real, to examine life the way it actually presents itself—my unwashed hair, the overflowing ashtrays, the piles of unfolded laundry, dishes and pans on the counter smothered with encrustations from last night's dinner, the stacks of books on the sofa, coffee table, floor—everywhere those all-important books!—read, unread or partially read, the must-read-before-i-die! books, books in yet-to-be-opened boxes from amazon, borrowed books highly recommended by friends—this was reality, according to her.
while she was busily catching the light, capturing the mood, seeing with her mind, allowing life to be be be exactly as it was in the moment, i was the subject she followed around and had to keep instructing to stop posing, act natural, just keep doing what you're doing.
i was the subject with a toothbrush in my mouth, an old sweater pulled over my head, the car keys jingling in my pocket, my backside out the door.