Summer came on
Like a floating blue orb
A sort of planet
A friendly thing
With summer's light
A rainbow bubble
Wearing no clothes
Its no surprise
All we have
Are the images
In our mind (she said)
I suppose she's right
Are memories to me
That no one else sees
Even when we can create new art or music or just plain old thoughts – we sometimes fool ourselves that we are “fresh” and doing something new. We don’t know – perhaps can’t know – that we need a change of reality – a sort of “airing out” – to give us new perspective that includes our past but also looks to the future. Maybe layering in new experience?
I went through a very interesting and introspective experience as I have been scanning 20 boxes of my old film negatives and looking at old prints I made when I had a darkroom. On one hand I’m very happy to be able to digitize and get all of that volume of my past into a pocketable SSD drive. All of my life’s photographs and music fitting on one cigarette pack sized piece of metal.
I offered my son – who is 32 years old and is a photographer and family counselor – if he wanted my old negatives, prints and even assemblage art – and he said “No” – that he has enough art. That surprised me at first but now it makes perfect sense. We all want the art that speaks to us – and I’m not talking about art in the literal sense – but that we each carry our own images that are tied to our thoughts and emotions. My wife said that while its great to be able to store all of these images – to her – she had the experience taking her photographs and that was good enough for her. A very interesting perspective.
We went to a Friday night Art Walk in Ashland and she and I had different favorite artists. I realized that its kind of dangerous purchasing art because its way too easy to think you like something – but that it could be only a passing fancy. I have many images that I thought were great 20, 30 or 40 years ago that now I wonder how in the world I missed the really good ones – and settled for the obvious.
There are some images that I loved back then and now – they have stood the test of time. But I think my wife is right – since I don’t expect that anyone in the general public will know or care about my art or music – what is important is the life experience in at least making an attempt to speak my mind or emotions with my art and music. And for me – its better than therapy – I get a kick and a little serotonin rush when something turns out pretty good. I have gone back through my art and music and I do have just a handful of pieces that still resonate with me – months and years later.
SO – these little successes – even if I’m only a legend in my own mind – are what keep me going.
I’m also finding that this new change of life experience – moving to Oregon is more exciting than the little sadness I have leaving this old mid century rancher in Orinda. Its been a great place – but the change upon us will do us good.