Morning Thanks

Garrison Keillor once said we'd all be better off if we all started the day by giving thanks for just one thing. I'll try.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Monkey shine

Most everyone is familiar with the infinite monkey thereom--to wit, that an infinite number of monkeys loosed on typewriters has to eventually gain us, well, Hamlet, for example. An infinite number of people--me included--have played goofy games with the idea.

There's some truth to it, it seems, when it's affixed to digital technology, at least, in my case, digital photography. Today, just goofing around, I must shoot hundreds of times the exposures I used to using film. Why not?--just delete what you don't like and you haven't spent a nickel.

What happens, however, is that sometimes this monkey gets exposures that this monkey didn't really intend. An infinite number of snapshots, somewhere along the line, yields something profound or memorable or surprising. Happens every once in awhile.

For instance, this one. I walked in the Rehoboth cemetery again not long ago, a place where I could run dry a score of digital batteries--there's so much life amid all that death. Anyway, I found this crucifix attached to an ordinary plaster slat, just one in a ring surrounding a grave. Just snapped the picture and walked on.

Somehow it sticks. Is it because of the profusion of desert sage behind it?--the odd sense yet comforting sense of Christ in the wilderness? Is it because whoever created this fortress of slats took the time to let one of them extend beyond the others, pushing the suffering Jesus high, as I somehow thought he was on Calvary?

Honestly, I don't know why this picture is somehow haunting. Maybe it isn't to others. But it is to me. This one, for some reason, sticks.

Does that make it art? Who knows? In my mind, maybe--if for no other reason than art can't be art if it doesn't stick, don't you think?

This composition speaks somehow. I'm not sure why, but it does.

I wish I could say I designed it--that I planned it out, used the right filter, determined just exactly what I wanted to say. Ain't true. I'm just a monkey. One of many.


Del VanDenBerg said...

Ain't should know "composition is vision" whether it is writing, painting, or photography. When a picture is taken, as a word is written...a window on the author's vision is opened. In this case, as with many "monkeies," inspiration is intuitive, something you can't put your finger on. Sure, mark it up to humility...perhaps happenstance, but something triggered the photo from inside your head. Humility accepted, but give yourself a little credit of "seeing something no one else could see...then hitting it!" I believe someone in the past called that action "genius."

Anonymous said...

If it touches a soul, it's Art.