Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Dark Room

The summer I worked for the Mineral Wells Index, a man brought a dead rattlesnake in the back of his truck for someone to photograph. I'd been around snakes my entire life, but I sure the hell did not want to take a picture of one, even a dead one. Guess who got to take the picture? Found it in the garden, the dude said. My wife thought it was a garden hose until it started to move. I got my camera and walked with him outside to see this evil beast and startled when he pulled it out of the truck bed. His arm muscles quivered as he held the snake out to show its full length. Snakes have a weight you might not attribute to them, a way of imposing a certain vision that is not, as you might imagine, for everyone.

When I wasn't engaged in fun assignments like photographing dead animals, I took pictures of accidents. Mineral Wells had lots of them that summer, cars wrecks, boating accidents, and fools jumping off Hell's Gate, two big rocks that rose out of Possum Kingdom Lake that could kill you if you hit the water the wrong way. I took pictures of fireworks, wading into the lake while tiny snakes made v's through the water. Not a lot of things came out -- I'd lied about being able to use a camera. I could barely take a picture without lopping someone's head off. But there was almost always one that worked. It's probably no surprise that the dark room was my favorite place to be. You'd put your work in a tray of chemicals and images would arise. You could be certain that the only snakes you'd see would be the ones you'd already faced.

Michelle's Spell of the Day

"Tomorrow never happens. It's all the same fucking day, man." Janis Joplin

Cocktail Hour

Drinking reading suggestion: All of Us Raymond Carver

Benedictions and Maledictions

Wishing a speedy recovery from her car accident to Robin of R's Musings! Feel better soon!

69 Days Until The Sopranos!


Herman Northrop Frye said...

Snakes are one of Western civilization's most important symbols. Their meaning adheres to the Garden of Eden mythology, in which humankind is tempted into realms of unknown to ultimate downfall. Of course, the Greek parallel to the Hellenistic Fall is the myth of...Jesus, can someone help me with this...I'm drawing a complete blank here...does anyone know? Yes, you with your hand up in the back. Prometheus? Yes, correctomundo, my friend. See me after class for a bonus hug and kiss. Your name is Michelle, right?

Dale Earnhardt said...

All of the friends of Michelle's Spell wish Robin of R's musings a speedy recovery! Drive carefully everybody! It's slippery out there!

Short Bus and Special said...

If its all the same day, wouldn't the Sopranos be on today? Besides, we like watching the boobies at Hooters! And they like us! Especially when we wear our Dale Earnhardt coats!

Anonymous said...

Actually i think the more common parralell wth the snake in the garden of Eden rests with Zeus.

Epimetheus after he wed Pandora, whom his brother Prometheus warned him against, ever accepting any gifts from the gods. But the love struck Epimetheus wed Pandora anyway.

As wedding gift Zues had one of his,Vulcan or also known a Hephaestus put in a box the best and worst of all things, which was then given to Epimetheus and Pandora as a wedding gift. when Pandora opened the box all that was corrupt was loosed on the earth and man in particular because Zeuss had a case of the ass aginst man.

Prometheus on the other hand is depicted as loving towards man, having brought them fire and thus beginning mans knowledge and civilization.

I see the parralell between man in eden and the serpants role more closely associated with Zeuss because of the command from God to the Jews I am the Lord thy God and thou shalt have no other Gods before me.

The snake an analogy for satan who thought of himself as the one who should be God was also Pandora like in that he loosed all evil into the world when he was allowed to cross from the eternal to the mortal realm, through human disobedience (opening the box Prometheus warned them not to accept)

The difference being Pandora had no idea what was in the box but Zeus did as did satan once he was allowed into the perfect world of no separation from God.

Uh no hug or kiss necessary

I can't cook dinner but you know roughly when and where to find me on any given day and we can go out and kill us a snake or two if you want.



Anonymous said...

"You could be certain that the only snakes you'd see would be the ones you'd already faced."

I love darkrooms and that line. Have a great day, Michelle.

Herman Northrop Frye said...

All the narratives of Western Civ. contain no message of Zeus tempting humankind as a parallel to Satan's tempting Adam and Eve. Zeus was above all that. Class dismissed.

Anonymous said...

I like the "Snakes you've already faced" line quite a bit. It's strange how we can still be afraid of things we know that can't hurt us.

I too am looking forward to the Soprano's. I love the new promo commercial on HBO with Tony looking over a body of water while thinking back on his life, (Audio clips from past seasons) It'll be sad when it's over, but at least they won't drag it out because of demand and because it can still make money. I'm starting to realize with television that it's always better to quit while the story is good.

paul said...




Anonymous said...

Hi Michelle,

"His arm muscles quivered as he held the snake out to show its full length. Snakes have a weight you might not attribute to them"

I like how you show this. It's true, they're all muscle. We used to have 2 ball pythons who were amazing to watch, the way they'd inch up, rising higher till they stood on just the tip of their tales with their long bodies swaying in the air, reaching for a sturdy branch above. Or the way they'd twine together, fitting each other's curves perfectly like DNA strands.

Loveliness to you,

Anonymous said...

creepy! snakes freak me out. If there is glass between us at the zoo, or they are on TV, that's fine. But other than that.... RUN!!! haha

Anonymous said...

"You could be certain that the only snakes you'd see would be the ones you'd already faced."

What a great way to end this post. I can't wait for The Sopranos! I'm also jonesin' for the new episode of House tonight.

Anonymous said...

I was in a mcDonalds parking lot once writing a news story on a yellow legal pad so that I could call it in from a pay phone.

A guy drove up with a dead rattle snake in the bed of his truck and drew a crowd.

I was so focused on my notes, I didn't notice until the photorapher with me told me what was going on.

I'd almost forgotten that.