Another ten-day delay. Like everything, I can find a reason.
In a recent post-new-year’s post on 43F, Merlin linked to Thoreau’s Walden, which to my (not great) surprise exists in its entirety on Wikisource. The section Merlin was quoting from is the introductory chapter, “Economy,” which in turn contains the famous line: Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.
Like most Americans, I was given this to read and ignore when I was 14 years old. Y had been mentioning Thoreau too, just a few days ago. So the coincidence prompted me to re-read it, and I was struck by both the sentences before and after the famous line above:
You read it here first….
Well not really since I have been sending SMS pages with the expression “JFX” for some time. I thought it was a common parlance but I haven’t been able to find it in any web search, so maybe I just made it up. I like it regardless.
“JFX” is short for “Jesus FX” which appealed to my picture-making nature.
“Jesus FX” is in turn is short for the maledictive “Jesus F***ing Christ”
Except that, unlike this blog post, it can appear in a Google safe-mode search.
I got the new National Geographic yesterday and the lead article was simply banner-titled: “Love.” The text was about the neurochemistry of attraction and attachment, with connecting photos by Jodi Cobb. I have to admit that I was a bit puzzled on (a) what made this a NatGeo story (yeah, yeah, an easy one: to sell magazines. But why NatGeo instead of Cosmo then? Where’s the market differentation?), and (b) why they sent Cobb out on this one, since the resultant photos of affection are, well, charming but hard to point as particularly specific to the topics in the article, and why would you need to fly around the world to get them? Anyway, to the Real Meat of this entry:
A couple of days ago I was having a coffee-shop stop and spied a travel book. At that moment, I realized something important:
If the letter “F” were prepended to Ireland, then it would be Fireland. Which would be great, because they would be the closest country to Iceland. Then, they could have a war!
It would be so cool. Err, hot.
Phil Perkis writes of photography:
To experience the meaning of what is. To stay with it for even a few seconds is no small task. The sound of voice without language, a musical line, a ceramic vessel, a non-objective painting. The presence of it, the weight of it, the miracle of its existence, of my existence. The mystery of the fact itself.
When you drive around the city and come to a red light or a stop sign, you can just sit back and make use of these twenty or thirty seconds to relax to breathe in, breathe out, and enjoy arriving in the present moment. There are many things like that we can do. Years ago I was in Montreal on the way to a retreat, and I noticed that the license plates said Je me souviens "I remember." I did not know what they wanted to remember, but to me it means that I remember to breathe and to smile.
It often seems to me that photography is a daily form of gratitude.