3.25.2012

focus

daffodil, focused

The last year or so has been giving me recurring lessons in focus—what I seek out and obsess over like a dog with a bone, gnawing on the thing till it's gone, or a cat batting a live mouse (pick a metaphor), instead of letting the thing just be, instead of switching focus for a while, instead of turning attention back to what I've been ignoring on purpose because it's hard.


daffodil, unfocused

Maybe "so much depends" not on Dr. Williams' red wheelbarrow but a yellow daffodil against a gray-patterned wall on a Saturday afternoon following a parade of drums and bagpipes and old black police cars and baby-boomer baton twirlers wearing silver-spangled leg warmers celebrating Frank, a former police officer and resident of Brooklyn, who is not dead.

Do we get what we want once we stop wanting, but only when the wanting has bent us prostrate before our powerlessness over desire and fulfillment? Or do we root out the desire, sniffing along the forest trail like a pig on truffles? In the hunt for truffles, might we sometimes uncover morels, and is that enough? Must we all build a Web presence to prove we exist? Must the daffodil be caught on camera to tell how it once bloomed like the sun or yolk of an egg? Foreground and background, back and forth—how tired one's lenses must be after 100 years of automatic focus. I didn't realize when I sold my sofa how much a camera would teach me to see, the product and process of two machines, biological and mechanical-digital.

Happy birthday, Frank.

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