Thursday, January 21, 2010
When You Are The Camera
Thanks so much to Laura at her Wardrobe by Sam blog for inspiriting this post!
I liken pictures to an autobiography of sorts, this is me, this is who I was, this is where I have been. Was in a discussion the other night about whether knowing something is autobiographical automatically takes away from the artistry. I think not, though others disagree. I think it's a question of taste (for instance, I usually prefer photography to painting and that in some ways mirrors my taste in literature) because all writing comes from somewhere and it ain't thin air. You're pulling out the deepest parts of yourself, trying to understand or at least tell a decent story. And as Joan Didion pointed out not so very long ago, We tell stories in order to live. I can survive without a lot of things, but a story isn't one of them. Even if it's a story about not having a story -- my brief flirtation with meta, I suppose.
For me, writing is where artifice meets honesty, paradoxical bedfellows. Sometimes we are most ourselves when we are posing as someone else. When I was a little girl, I used to imagine myself as someone else, usually one of the popular, effortless girls, tried to see what it would be like. I'd choose a new girl every week, imagining her reality to be far superior to my own. But I never quite made myself believe it. I remember a lot about that time, but not everything. My favorite picture of myself from these years is one of me lying on my stomach, reading the Bible, dressed in a nightgown and pom-pom socks, looking as serious as can be. As if I could midrash those stories, find out what I needed to know in order to be whole in the world. I don't know if I ever made it, but I have the proof that, at least for a moment, I was seeking it.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"And as I've gotten older, I've had more of a tendency to look for people who live by kindness, tolerance, compassion, a gentler way of looking at things." Martin Scorsese
Drinking movie suggestion: The Woodsmen
Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Thursday! And thanks so much for the reminder about Robert B. Parker -- rest in peace, writer extraordinaire!