Pages

Followers

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Thinking Backwards



Entering the 4th week of Kat's class "journey of recognition".  Been amazed really how many wonderful tools and insights I'm encountering along this path.  Thanks Kat, enjoying the ride...with or without a scooter.



In this latest "challenge", the task was to randomly/intuitively select an image that jumped out at us and write about it. I guess normally you start writing and find an image to fit, accent, or show your point, or have some image thought through that would be good to write about. This time....image first; words second.

Due to time constraints.....and yes, that damn inconvenience of work, I've started this exercise 3 times. A surprise; each time I've begun the exercise a different image spoke to me. Though "Flower Vendor" or "Still Runs" would have produced a result-maybe the same, maybe entirely different, -today I'm going with "Gull"


Gull
Gull

I took several images of this lone seagull....but only in this one was he/she facing away from me.  It is not the first time I'm drawn to a subject from behind as the point of view.  I find it a pattern in my images and well, it must be about something.

Some psychologist or therapist, insightful philosopher, spiritual guider, or dream interpreter could likely tell at once what that means about me, or my art, or my life, or my thoughts....but I don't know.  Perhaps even amongst those who read my words-"ah yes, Susan does show signs of blah, blah, blah".  How is it we're transparent to others and opaque to ourselves?  Or perhaps it's just me. 

Do you ever wonder if you're the only one riding on the "Clueless" Bus while everyone else seems to be on the "Sure Path to Knowing Exactly Where I'm Going" Bus...which of course is headed in the opposite direction?
  Maybe this clueless-ness is an indication of pure genius or it may be an indication of being totally misguided. Or thirdly, feeling like this from time to time is just human nature.  I'll buy that argument.

This image has a somber quiet feel.   The fog, the lone gull, the looking out-observing, surveying, the blurred scene, the partially missing islands and boats in the distance. There's a sense that the gull is pondering what to do next, but still unsure as to what's out there or where to go.  To move is taking a leap of faith and hoping for the best.  Making that decision to jump, to fly, is one that can only be done alone.  It comes from within, even if it has the support of others.  The initial motion to change can only come from the individual.

Unless pushed....
but that is heartless, cruel, and brings 'round to sitting on the next perch and readying for the leap of faith from within all over again.

Okay, I get it.  I'm the seagull.

The truth of the matter, the scene does convey that, but it's not what was happening.  This was a bold and brazen gull daring to perch within inches of my friends and me eating lobster rolls and french fries on the wharf.  He had beady eyes and a loud long call that trumpeted through the air insisting on being fed.  We did not oblige and he turned his tail to scan where he might "score" with some visitors "from away" who would find him endearing. 
Funny how I created some deep "thing" from a scavenger scene....which allows me to again quote Thoreau:  "It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see."

How did I like this latest challenge?  I'm all over it.  I could do this again, and again, and again.  Maybe I'm not so much meant to be a photographer, maybe I'm meant to be a writer.  Hmmmmm....you may support that if you like, but don't push.  As always, if you have read my soul searching, I really appreciate it.  It's always nice to be heard.

22 comments:

Dyche Designs said...

I love your writing in response to this image, I need to do more of that. I feel as though I used to do more of it but seem to have pulled back recently and been relying more on the photos to speak. Thanks for making me think about it.

Brenda said...

Oh, Susan - this was writing of such honesty and humor. I have thought from my first introduction to your blog that you are a writer AND a photographer with such a unique voice and vision.

I have a feeling that even those who appear to be riding on the "Sure Path" bus feel they are on the "Clueless" bus. Our outsides rarely match our insides.

I loved hearing about the "true" story of this image - and its contrast to the image that you created - which is filled with its own brand of truth.

Beautiful image, beautiful writing.

Woody said...

Riding the clueless bus? Hell, most days I feel like I'm driving it ... right off the cliff! My ship has come in, but I'm at the train station taking pictures :-)

There is great solitude in this image. Gulls can be so obnoxious asking to be fed, but this guy is savoring the moment of peace and tranquility.

Ellie said...

I enjoyed reading your blog - you are good at writing. Often I know what I want to write in my head but it won't flow onto my keyboard. Do you know what I mean?

Carol Blackburn said...

Ahhhh, there are many words inside you just waiting to get out. Wonderful job with this, Susan.

Linda R. said...

WOW!! I just love this post. I think I am on the same bus (cluless most of the time.) I wish I could write half as good as you.. The words are in my head I wish I could just get them down on paper or computer.. Hee Hee.. Your photo is awesome..

Leanne said...

I loved reading this post. It made me laugh. You write beautifully. And a lovel gull shot too.
I think most of us are on that clueless path, only occasionally getting a glimpse of the right direction.

lisa said...

I cannot tell you how much I am enjoying reading your posts as you take this course Susan. Each one is so thoughtfully and candidly written. Really beautifully done.

P.S. I am on that "clueless bus" a lot, but you know, most of the time, it's a lot of fun!! :-)

urban muser said...

you did a great job with this one. it seems you are getting a lot out of this class!

Deborah L. Tisch said...

Susan,
Love, love this post! The photo of the gull is beautiful. And I really appreciate your words, "To move is taking a leap of faith and hoping for the best. Making that decision to jump, to fly, is one that can only be done alone. It comes from within, even if it has the support of others. The initial motion to change can only come from the individual."

The clueless bus is now a part of my vocabulary. Glad to know I'm in such good company!

JJINJERSEY said...

I'm on the bus with you lady!!! I love this piece - I wonder (gently wonder, no pushing) if you don't have to choose between photography and writing, because you married those pretty beautifully just now. Maybe the clueless bus is actually the forging new territory bus. i'm just sayin'.

Anita Johnson said...

I like the photograph, with and without words. And I'm going to go with this thought of yours..."Maybe this clueless-ness is an indication of pure genius.", because I too am often clueless.
(-:

Becs said...

Fellow passenger on that Clueless Bus! I love your photo and your words. I find it fascinating the way photography can show a moment that is not actually the reality at all. Thank you for sharing. :)

Kat Sloma said...

I love the quote Susan, and it is so true. What we choose to capture with our photographs is not the whole picture of what we saw, and what we take away from them is truly our own interpretation. You have captured the essence of photojournaling here - how perfectly pictures and words go together, and how they can express our heart and soul in a unique way. I so enjoy reading your words full of humor and life. I hope that you realize that on this journey we are all riding the clueless bus. I just think some of us are willing to admit it while others wouldn't be caught dead. :)

Laura said...

This is such a great post! My post is a little bit along the same lines - while my chosen photo isn't of a bird, lately I've definitely been feeling a bit afraid of flying. I hope that you are able to easily continue on your journey, as your images are wonderful. And thank you for this insightful post and quote. Wonderful.

Jamie said...

I'm certain I'm bumping along on the clueless bus.

Ms. Becky said...

most of all what I like is the color variation on the bird. his black little head, gray wings, and black tail feathers. and his stance. he's standing there all alone in the midst of vastness. the single soul regarding it all - but is he searching? or content?
happy day to you Susan.

gina said...

Wow! Such a profound analysis of your "simple" image. I am so impressed with your writing and ability to dig deep for your interpretation. I often feel like I'm on the clueless bus, but that's part of the learning curve, no? You were definitely "all over" this one!

seabluelee said...

I love your seagull, so crisp and sharp against that soft fog. Susan, you don't need to choose - you are a photographer and a writer. I enjoy your posts very much, whether they are making me laugh or think - or both!

Do you think those people who "know" where they're going have half as interesting a journey as those of us on the Clueless Bus? I doubt it.

this is Belgium said...

it looks fantastic,! congrats

Francisca said...

Fabulous.

Wanda said...

Clueless or not, I think you nailed this assignment! You were somehow able to distance yourself enough from the reality of the image to create a completely different story and, to top that, use it as a life lesson for yourself and others. Well done!