25 May 2011

All my designs simplified

I am currently reading Sheri Holman's Witches on the Road Tonight, and while I've not gotten very far yet, there was a passage early on wherein one of the characters, a female photographer working for the WPA thinks about taking a photo, musing over the difference between documenting what is interesting and documenting what is important.

What is interesting.

What is important.

Importance tends to take precedence in my life, marching along through my days with a military precision (and occasionally, a mournful dirge). Responsibility lies heavily on my shoulders.

But I'm drawn so much more to what is interesting.

Usually, after a day or week of taking photographs, I can go back and look at the set and tell you exactly what I wanted to accomplish with each frame. Whether or not I was successful is another matter, but I don't tend toward randomness. Tonight, posting the photo of the cat statue from the Met, I remembered precisely what I was thinking when I took it: "I bet I can do a good job with this." The decision had already been made to take a photo (because the subject was interesting--to me, anyway), but I believed I could also make a serviceable photo of it. And it led me into thinking about the choices I make not only of what I post, but what I photograph.

And what that says about me.

Recent days have been difficult and exasperating, and all of us are stretched thin, particularly with regards to patience. In my family, we've all, in different measure, been dealing with people who are making bad choices and the repercussions tend to splatter on anyone who is nearby, even if you don't have direct contact with the person or situation. Bad drivers, angry people, bizarre behaviour...there's been a rash of it lately. People who don't recognize what is important, so stuck are they in their own tiny heads, hellbent on feeding their own selfish little egos.

What is important

What is interesting.

It is worth knowing the difference. It is worth making choices that don't reflect poorly on you and cause trouble for those around you.

Go listen to some good music: "Arriving Somewhere But Not Here" from the album Deadwing by Porcupine Tree.

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