I'm posting this on the road. For that and many other reasons, Dan's is practically a blank Canvas this month. Not what I had hoped. Yet a blank canvas is made to be filled.
A blank canvas is possibility.
I've been driving along the Southeast United States on I-95 from Virginia, through North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, to South Florida. No scanner in sight. As I've driven south, temperatures have risen from the 30's to the 70's. Soon I will be in Miami, comfortably at home in my 80 degree habitat.
And soon my car will be parked, like this car for Shadow Shot Sunday and for Hey Harriet!, bathed in the shadows from the hot sun.
My simple version of photography gives me the chance to focus on one aspect of art - composition - without all the rest of it. Now I find that I am always on the lookout not only for everyday matters to draw, but for shadows to shoot. It's all part of the same thing, as far as I am concerned - seeing and presenting.
The lawn will be high when I get home, and all of this I-95 driving - straight forever, within the lines - strains my creativity bug. As I said, my temperature is rising. Here is an example of what this creative fever has done to me (swine flu, step aside):
One day, when I was mowing the lawn, my 13-year old autistic son, Matthew, wanted to try. I gave him the mower and stood beside him as he began mowing masterfully, except in one way. Matt would snake and curl around and across his area of the lawn, without regard to order. I would have him swerve back and loop-de-loop so that he could catch the tufts of grass he missed. And this was doing the job, though rather unconventionally.
But I'm a father - and as such, I am compelled to teach. I told Matthew that he could accomplish a lot more if he walked in straight lines, and went back and forth to accomplish the task. This way, I wisely explained, he would not have to go back to catch spots he missed. And I tried to guide him.
That's when he lost interest and walked away.
A few weeks later, when I was mowing the lawn again, I thought about Matthew and his unorthodox mowing. And I thought to myself, Why do I mow in straight lines? Each time I turn the corner it costs me time! Maybe Matthew has it right! Why do I have to do it like everyone else?
You creative folks were first and foremost in my mind at that point. And since I feel part of the clan, my old skin that stays within the lines is starting to shed.
So I parked the mower in the center of the large square that is my front lawn and began to mow in circles, in ever wider spirals. If there are no corners you do not have to stop! Soon I was crossing the sidewalk and extending to the front swale, and occasionally, of course, I would have to go out into the road.
It was at this point, when I was in the road, that my wife marched out the front door and asked, "What on earth are you doing?!"
Thelonius Monk, the creative jazz musician, once walked around the house tilting all of his pictures with his wife frantically following behind, straightening them. He was showing her how to look at things differently.
I like to think I am like him.
I read a saying the other day: Adults do not grow up. They merely learn how to act in public.
I like that.
This is now my preferred method of mowing. Though I must confess, I have to do it when my wife is not around.
3 years ago