not a pretty picture. not a good. not a bad. picture. but an argument.

Monday, January 7, 2013

box and beyond box

no matter what i do the bones of the world do not reveal themselves.  everything is too ripe with fat.

i can not see beyond me.

do you know how disgusting this is?

yesterday in the car on a long car drive with my children we talked about the possibility of the existence of god and the necessary redefinition of it.  (who can possibly be absolutely right about god, or about anything?)

i threw out there on the table, beyond the arguable, what is:  no matter who says what, my god, there are billions of individuals alive right now in the world, absolutely individual, particular, concise, equipped with their own histories, their own stories, their own feelings and beliefs.  this, this, this is a miracle!  that any one of us exists is a miracle and a miracle not to be taken lightly.

and yet, and yet, how horrible it is to know that a world exists just beyond me, just beyond how it is that i see it and not just a world but the world. 

i see only a particular world, my world. 

oh god, how i want to see more clearly and beyond my particular individual.

but even when i take a photograph i soil the world with my opinion.

i am incapable of anything else.

can i imitate and thereby rise beyond me?

no, when i imitate (and i can only do this poorly) i only exercise what is possible inside of me as a mirror but the possibility always comes from me.  i am incapable of anything else.

i take photograph after photograph and i am disgusted with how i taint the world, with how i limit the world.

and yet i know this is precisely the miracle, that i exist at all.


  1. Two phrases stopped me cold:
    "i soil the world with my opinion.."
    "i taint the world, with how i limit the world."

    We do affect what happens with our presence, tainting and soiling, changing the chemistry, changing the physics. All beings, animate and inanimate, all forces, happenstances, are all miracles as you call them.

    Whatever we call this phenomenon,whatever we agree to call it, we can agree that it is beyond our individual comprehension.

  2. rosaria, what you say is not to be said lightly, not that you say it lightly. if we could all agree that we are limited to and by self we might be able to eliminate judgement and war. who am i to know the truth? what is any one nation?

    and yet i laugh. i know someone who would say, well, we need to agree on fundamental rights and wrongs. for example, it is wrong to discriminate between genders and so all people are entitled to education, health, food, housing... but there are those cultures which do not believe this and inflict violence upon women and girls. of course internationally there are all sorts of forms of inequities based on belief systems that rest upon their own ideas of rights and wrongs. and so how do we begin to function as healthy societies?

    well, if it were that easy to determine...

    and so we have no choice, i think, but to not think large in terms of the world, but to think small in terms of the self and to lay one self down at the foot and mercy of another. i do not know any other way to move from violence except to admit that we are each a miracle and yet we are each limited and soiled.

    i look at the photographs i have taken and i am surprised at how they reflect only parts of the world, but more so, how they reflect me instead of the world. and yet it is the truth i yearn to see and show.

    but perhaps this is exactly the truth - we can not absolutely strike at the center of being. as we are each individual we can only ever strike off center, from the center of our selves.

    (forgive my rambling but i do believe that we can go from the philosophy of photography to the investigation of what it is to be human to the organization of societies. i think there is one vein of discussion/thought/truth that runs through everything.)


  3. Ah, yes!

    We can know a lot from our perspectives, but we can know more if we join and try to see from others' perspectives, really try to see.

    Right now, the gun control/rights /perspectives are running around shouting at each other. We need to dialogue what it is that is bright on our horizon and then, see if it is dim on somebody else's horizon. I want to find a solution that protects human lives, and yet, I know that while we all want the same end, we need to talk about the means.

    I also believe that if we speak the truth, without attempting to manipulate others, if we truly want to understand, we need not to be afraid to explore, to hear controversies, to accept the ugly parts.

    p.s. your last paragraph sends me to do some more thinking.

  4. It is so beautiful to understand the notion of being and that the most important thing is to be - that to live is a miracle not many have the chance to understand, because even the possibility of existing in the first place is so slim that we are very lucky to be here. But then not existing has no value, and so we cannot compare our life against the possibility of not being, like all the unfertilized eggs and sperms, or against the odds that the Earth could not exist. Indeed, the very fact that we exist is enough to be a cause for compassion, love, kindness. Because life is a miracle, and we are that miracle. Before I die I want to make sure that I lived a happy life and made others happy. I do not care why or how things make me happy but feeling these emotions, having the possibility of so doing, is enough for me. I do not need a heaven to go to, I need to live heaven on this planet at this moment, and if I don't succeed, at least I would have died trying to.


"Words at the limit of hearing, attributable to no one, received in the conch of the ear like dew by a leaf." (philippe jaccottet) or even a quiet presence is appreciated))