One of my favorite things about humans is that we build things for a specific purpose. A dock, say, with which to launch boats. Or sometimes a pathway for walking out into a river and telling a story to the tail end of a day.
I couldn’t wait to see him when I found out he rested outside San Francisco’s Legion of Honor fine arts museum. A famous work of history! I would photograph him and take him away with me as a piece of a masterpiece. Like visiting Michaelangelo’s David of Florence, which I also aimed to do one day.
Rodin’s Thinker sat magnificent against the clear California sky. I framed the figure, pressed the button on my camera to release the shutter. Click, click, click in HD. It wasn’t until I walked away that I read this Thinker was a replica. One of multiple castings. Even if he had been commissioned during Rodin’s lifetime, he remained a copy of a copy, born of a mold.
I wish this didn’t make him different. Wish I’d kept seeing him as a marvel, an original, the way he’d been to me at first glance.
These boys were playing on Salmon Creek Beach and so I took their picture. It wasn’t a particularly nice day… cloudy, and the Pacific currents their usual frigid temperatures. I roamed the beach for hours shooting birds and sand patterns and seaweed, and the boys played the whole time.
This image brings me a certain softer insight right now. In this time of struggle to come out from under the white male gaze, it helps me to remember that everyone at some point was a kid who loved nothing more than to play.
I looked at this photo the other day (taken about four years ago) and thought how something about it both encapsulates this time we all share right now and defies it. Bare faced. Close. The people in it are lost in their own realities as much as they are connected. And even the way she is circling the spoon around in that cup looks subversive.
I used to be late for work all the time, or late coming home. I blamed it on the cats (one of them threw up again, can you believe it?) or on a demanding work project. But really I was having an affair with the Sonoma County landscape by way of my new handheld camera. To and from work I sought the light, swell of hills, dance of trees. The surest way to fall into rapture.
About six years ago we took a hike down from a trailhead near Bolinas, CA. The destination was a lake for swimming and swinging. I did neither, but I did reach the lake and watch it ripple while the more active among us competed for best plunge.