Posts Tagged ‘interesting’

Humdrum Photo

30 June 2011

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Dear J-

Do you have any pictures of the hopelessly mundane? Did we ever think to take a camera along on these long debate trips to capture simple things like playing football in the snow or the sheer exhaustion that comes on after dinner and there’s one more match to go or just the bus ride, mountains and snow and tunnels? Even something as ordinary as the view from your front door of the house you grew up in would be welcome. I sometimes panic because we don’t necessarily have all of that: there are memories and moods of 31 Woodman Street (Boston MA 02130) that I failed to get like those first few mornings in a new place, the blue curtains lending cool light in an odd place, or the cats yowling their love songs outside.

It’s not all lost if I can remember it and write it down I suppose but it would be nice for photographic evidence to fix it in my head and remind me in emotional shorthand what it meant to bring Bean home from across the country for the first time, for instance. You believe in what you want but I’m sticking with the power of the picture to set mood to place. Now that my parents have sold their house in Cheney I suppose there’s no way to go back and ask the current occupants if I can go back in and capture the view from the bedroom window or the how the light changes in the corner office or even holing tghe back door open with the family room door (there they’d clash together at an angle I’d always call Hong Kong in my secret heart).

Problem is we never think to grab these things before it’s too late, believing that there’s still another year to do so, another week left, a few more minues aren’t going to hurt anything. We don’t capture the everyday because it falls beneath our notice. It’s easy to photograph the novelties and everything’s interesting when you’re out and about but we take the humdrum just like it sounds, for background noise tuned out by our regular filters acting too strongly. We become allergic to the ordinary. The remarkable falls before the usual and before you know it time’s up, hand in your papers and have a nice day, drive the point home with the mundane.

Mike

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Underlying Judgment

6 January 2009

Dear J-

I feel myself working in slow-motion at times; the more I get pushed the more I feel myself dragging my feet.  It’s not exactly a recalcitrance for being obstinate’s sake, rather think of it this way:  I know how slow my mind works, and pushing me any faster is just going to result in a whole lot of rework and misery.  Perhaps it’s this diffuse feeling again, like I’ve got too many irons in the fire lately.  If I could just get a few things done, then I’d be a bit more focussed.

It’s funny how much our perceptions are colored by expectations and our peers.  If there are universal concepts and definitions of beauty, then it’s because a fair number of people have gotten together to say that particular something is beautiful.  Yet everyone has their own ideas and ideals; the flavor comes slightly differently for everyone, and my colors may not be your colors, but that’s what makes life interesting.  Get beyond the obvious and there’s a world of motivations and reasons under every judgment.

There is the well-worn saw that opinions are like bellybuttons; everyone’s got one.  Moreover, everyone’s convinced they’re right, right?  How much righteousness has been waged in the right to assert you’re right?  It’s too easy to feed yourself the things you’re comfortable reading, the opinions you find unchallenging; the very nature of seeing things in print lends them an official air.  But just like too many potato chips, you start to rot inside without knowing it; your mind stagnates and the closed loop draws ever tighter.  I’m working on finding challenging assertions, but it’s not always easy.

Mike

Summer Nigh

26 August 2008

Dear J-

All I can say is that one person does not constitute a team, and two lag even further behind, especially when they’re two of the newest folks at work.  I should really stop calling myself new, though — it’s been nearly two full years since I started there, it’s time to start being familiar enough with what I actually do, isn’t it?  Good thing about being busy today, all the work was fascinating — I got to teach myself about grease and tomorrow I’ll have to run down some drawings for the folks up at Diablo Canyon as part of their transformer replacement project.

It’s been a hectic two months, and I’ve lost my patience more than once, prompting me to believe I need a break at some point soon; I tell myself that the easier thing to do is just let it go, but I still rise to the baiting that I know as bait.  If it was still time to gird up and ride into battle with our new program at our side, most of our folks would still limp along with the crippled functionality of the old system being towed behind, because no one’s comfortable with the new system.

Work’s still interesting, but it’s starting to pall.  And the cold has settled into my throat, meaning earaches and general surliness for all who dare approach.  No, seriously:  more signs of the impending end of summer are nigh; our intern’s last day is tomorrow, Labor Day is next week, and, of course, the hot, sticky weather seems to have settled in for the long haul.

Mike