中孚 Zhōng fú, “Inner Truth”.
Outside truth may be lost in translation from the eye to the brain. Stuck along Alameda Creek for over six months, it never looks the same, never looks different and it doesn’t have to be anyplace famous to catch the virus.
Too much truth can get in the way like “Can’t see the forest for the trees.” No need to know everything, just no everything else.
In the case of the photograph, one may not experience the feeling because of the meaning which imposes its own feeling, a literal feeling associated with words and separated from the visual experience.
Why does a photograph have a meaning? Is the meaning separate from the feeling? Or is what artists do is to integrate feeling and meaning or create new experiences by integrating diverse feeling and meaning.
That is one kind of consideration when looking at photographs.
What is the purpose of looking at a photograph? For individuals there are many purposes—far beyond the imagination or pages available for writing.
Almost always a part of any purpose is an “accurate visual record” of a moment in time and perhaps, hopefully, something more.
The aim of Zen training is to overcome the worries of the world and attain poise of mind and strength of character, and the test of attainment Zen is found in moral life.
Manual of Japanese Flower Arrangement Josui Oshikawa and Hazel H. Graham 1947
“Find everything?” Spade asked .
“Yes,” she replied in a cool voice, not raising her head. Then she set the percolator aside and came to the door. She blushed and her eyes were large and moist and chiding. “You shouldn’t have done that to me, Sam,” she said softly.
“I had to find out, angel.” He bent down, kissed her mouth lightly and returned to the living room.
The Maltese Falcon Dashiell Hammett
I always thought The Maltese Falcon (the book) was a love story and compared it the story in Hitchcock’s Vertigo, where both men are in love with the “criminal woman” yet its Spade who stands for personal integrity while Scottie chooses love and compromises his integrity. In Hollwood, exit the hero, enter the protagonist.
Marshall McLuhan suggests that early humans made a more balanced use of their five senses for knowing compared to “modern society”—“since Gutenberg” —which has become predominantly dependent on the visual experience for knowing. Snap a photograph and send it around the world almost instantly .
Many people like to see photographs of themselves, just as many people, but not everyone, like to have their photograph taken.
On many of these images I make no one will know who it is, that is not something I want to know either, things look different from a distance.
Sometimes at this spot a bike is left leaning against the fence. I know the people in the house, its not theirs, but I never asked them to whom does he bike belong.
Marshall, Minnesota, 1970 A family I knew for a school year.
I lived in Somerville for a while, off Highland Ave. The Somerville Police Department was located in Union Square.
While in art school I drove a cab nights in Cambridge. One chilly fall evening, just about dark, working “The Eight” stand in North Cambridge the dispatcher sent me to a bar in Inman Square . . .
Union Square, Somerville MA.
. . . From the get-go it was weird, the bar tender had “escorted” the fare, an elderly disheveled drunk woman, out to the street, I pulled up, he put her in the cab even before I could get out, vouched for her, and left. She said “Go to Union Square and I will tell you where to go from there.”
This would not be an uncommon thing to say if you were a local long time resident, lived in the same rental perhaps for a second or third generation, and spoke the local language, it was that kind of bar. When I got to Union Square and asked her “What next?,” she did not answer, it was weird, the police station was right next to me, so I parked in a no parking zone, opened the back door, checked her out, no response, so went in . . .
Fence and roof, Somerville MA
. . . It got weirder, the cops were not interested, I was a bother to them. After venting at me for creating a problem, they finally came out to look, could not wake her so they took her into the station and took my name.
While driving a few nights later the dispatcher, over the radio—so every driver would hear—announced the Somerville police had called, were looking for me and I was to to go to the station. I met with them — still angry I had created a problem for them, asked a few questions and still, nothing else ever happened. Someone’s mother, sister, aunt or child got drunk at a bar, spoke to me, rode in the backseat of my cab and died. Her last words were spoken to me.
My son made one of my favorite dishes on a stove in his kitchen about 5133 miles away, I will not taste it but it really looks good. I also like some small shrimp and/or some natto added.
That is why I sometimes try to have a conversation with my darker self but too often its pointless. If I cannot find what I am looking for maybe I should not be looking.