Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Carnivorous Cardinals, Photogravure, and the Gorgons

I'm a gutted fish today.  I've got nothing.  I finished digitizing the last of the 8mm films yesterday.  Now to edit them.  Lots of work.  Maddening work.  But. . . what else is there to do?  

One observation from yesterday.  I saw a cardinal with a lizard in its beak.  It was sitting just outside my kitchen window.  I didn't know that they ate the larger animals and couldn't believe my eyes.  I Googled it, though, and sure enough, cardinals will eat lizards.  I don't know why, but that was a real shocker.  

I took some zinnia seeds from my mother to Travis yesterday.  His house is an art museum, mostly paintings.  But there was a black and white photo of a glamorous couple sitting on a table.  I inquired, and it turned out to be his wife's parents when they were young.  He said he had another photo in the other room that was nice.  I was reluctant to get up because it hurts, but when I walked over to see, it was the San Francisco de Asis Church south of Taos Pueblo, New Mexico.  It was beautiful, alright.  I admired it for a brief moment before realizing it was mine.  It wasn't a photo, exactly, but a photogravure, a process I learned from Don Messec, a master printer, in Santa Fe, which involves etching a photo image into a metal plate that is then inked and printed on fine cotton paper with a printing press.  These images have incredible tonal range and look almost 3D, and yea. . . they are gorgeous.  It was really something to come across one of my images displayed.  

There are a lot of things I should have done in life, I guess.  I never made any more of those photogravures after the workshop.  The equipment required was just too expensive and cumbersome.  That is what I thought.  One lives with the consequences.  Now I think. . . but it is little consequence at this point.  Last night my sleep was disturbed by recalling some of the bad moments in my life, remembering things I do not recall in my romantically colored waking hours.  There have been some terribly hurtful things, of course.  Those goblins, though, sometimes get you when your guard is down.  Ugly things.  And in the morning, you cannot shake the consequences.  One can't.  I can't.  The day begins with a gray pall.  

That's what I get, perhaps, for relying on a horoscope.  

It is a bit of a cliché to characterize life as a rambling journey on which we can alter our course at any given time—by the slightest turn of the wheel, the wisdom goes, we influence the chain of events and thus recast our destiny with new cohorts, circumstances, and discoveries. But for the most of us, life is nothing like that. Instead, we have a few brief periods when we are offered a handful of discrete options. Do I take this job or that job? In Chicago or New York? Do I join this circle of friends or that one, and with whom do I go home at the end of the night? And does one make time for children now? Or later? Or later still? In that sense, life is less like a journey than it is a game of honeymoon bridge. In our twenties, when there is still so much time ahead of us, time that seems ample for a hundred indecisions, for a hundred visions and revisions—we draw a card, and we must decide right then and there whether to keep that card and discard the next, or discard the first card and keep the second. And before we know it, the deck has been played out and the decisions we have just made will shape our lives for decades to come (Rules of Civility).

No comments:

Post a Comment