Saturday, August 11, 2007

The long view

I was photographing a teddy bear this afternoon, when it hit me: I am no longer a teddy-bearish kind of guy. Even when I was into them, I was a bit of a snob about it. None of those Hallmark mass-produced cookie-cutter bears for me. I liked interesting bears, unique bears. I still have two miniature bears (somewhere) that were made for me, and because they are so small (so small that I've no idea where they are?) I imagine I will hang onto them. The bear I was photographing (to sell) is one-of-a-kind, also hand made, also a gift (from around 15 years ago), but I look at it--him (what was his name? he had a name card) and mehh, I don't need this in my house.

Though I'm surrounded by books I'll never read again, there are hundreds I'm unwilling to let go. One of my goals as a young adult was to one day acquire/amass a decent reading library; since then I've focused on having a decent poetry library and--even though I've given hundreds of poetry books away (to the Stadler Center library and to the Gary Library at Vermont College), the books I've kept (many of them) feel like an extension of my adult identity: it's almost as if they emit a sub-frequency or collectively give off an energy of place.

I've always admired photographs of Pablo Neruda's house: every wall, every level surface covered with an endless array of objects--art, masks, bottles, shells, driftwood, stones--so encompassing was his love for the physical world, an attentiveness I share (though now I tend to photograph stones and leaves and insects, not take them home). I always thought I'd love to live in a house like that.

But now, suddenly: ehh, not so much.

[photo: birdnest fern, 8/5/07]

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