"To be engrossed by something outside ourselves is a powerful antidote for the rational mind, the mind that so frequently has it's head up it's own ass- seeing things in such a darkly and narcissistic way that it presents a colo-rectal theology, offering hope to no one."
Getting read to move has caused me, to a certain extent, to do exactly this. The phrase "I'm too old for this comes to mind" as we box things up. I've discarded yet more books, but there are many - probably too many - that I can't let go. So they will be moved to the new place, and probably to the NEXT new place. I have put several of my books into a book swapping website and found instant interest. That will give me more points so I can get yet more books. Meanwhile, I am continuing to read "Bird by Bird" by Anne Lamott and marveling. Why didn't I read this before? I ask myself. I've had it sitting on a shelf for years while I wasted too much time on Facebook trying to have a "discussion" that will ultimately go nowhere, or watched a political show on television that ultimately set my teeth on edge.
I've wondered on and off why I've become so engrossed in photography. I think I've found the answer. As a kid I was always interested in what was going on around me. I still am. Some people think of that as being nosy. Seeing two people sitting and talking and hearing snatches of their conversation get me thinking about what it would be like to be a part of that conversation or makes me glad I'm NOT a part of it. When I hear an interesting conversation, I long to be a part of it. Interesting conversations are few and far between. Getting interested in photography has made me interested in faces and movement and more. I see the world in a different way - in a way more like the kid I was.
I walked back and forth to school four times a day. It was nearly a mile. We had to go home for lunch if we lived less than a mile because my Catholic school was so crowded and lacked lunch facilities. This was the baby boom time. Our classes were large, our world view was narrow. We had just "won the war" as my parents liked to say. Looking back, it wasn't so long after World War II, but it seemed like a million years before.
I was a loner kid who didn't have a lot of friends, so I often walked by myself. Looking back, that wasn't a bad thing. It made me look around and see since I wasn't engrossed in conversation that would, most likely, be quickly forgotten. There are few things that I remember, but I do remember this: the smell of spring and walking home on a windy day at lunch time and feeling the wind trying to pick me up. It was a little frightening but also exhilarating. Would I be blown away?
And what exactly does spring smell like? I may have mentioned that to someone and got ridiculed. I do remember keeping things like that to myself. It seemed as if talking about the things around you - the smells, the sights - made you seem a bit weird. Well, that's fine. I've come to terms with THAT!
Some of my questions annoyed my parents because they were unanswerable. I always wanted to know why people lied, why they said the things they said. My Dad used to tell stories about his childhood that made me laugh. My mother mostly talked about how poor they were although she had a few stories that evoked the time. One of them is about homogenized milk. They didn't have that when she was growing up. The milk would be delivered with the cream on the top. Her brothers would grab a bottle and drink the cream which would make my grandmother really mad. On a cold morning the cream would be partially frozen. What a treat!
Am I the only person who occasionally buys a container of heavy cream and sneaks a little bit to drink. It's such a luxurious feeling.
The world is full of beautiful and not so beautiful sights, smells and textures of all kinds that both attract and repel. However, even the ones that repel can also attract. A fence with barbed wire, a graffiti covered wall, a street full of empty buildings, flowers, mountains, water, great food, movement of all kinds and more are there for all of us to enjoy.
Then there are those moments in time that evoke a memory for me: a little girl getting her nails done at a street festival & geese making their way through a crowd enjoying a day of fiddlers.
What the world needs now is less navel gazing and more looking around and seeing, in my opinion.