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Palo Alto Doctor's office

July 24th, 2001

I'm Rambling
I was reading my last few entries thinking "fewer adjectives, cleaner exposition". Then I had a drink and said the hell with it. Reading my old entries. Jesus. A couple more drinks and I'd slip into verbs like some hopeless addict with nothing better to do with his evenings. I'm not one of those. No sir. Not I.

What to write tonight? I've just had my drink and things are a little fuzzy. I need to prepare for my Seattle trip this Thursday, charge my camera batteries, think about what to pack. I've arranged for the guy upstairs to come down and feed Wuss, which is good. I've paid my bills. I haven't vacuumed the rug or anything radical, you understand, but I may get to that later. (So the guy who comes down and feeds the cat won't think I'm a slob. He knows I'm a slob, this is not his first cat sit, but I don't want him to think I'm a slob, which passes for logic in certain circles. I've seen his apartment while feeding his cat and it looks like an operating table: No clutter, everything scrubbed. And scrubbed again. I am in awe. No, really.)

I received two Cartier-Bresson photography books and a newly released Buffalo San Francisco (mean assed) pigeon Springfield CD collection today. The power of Amazon: They know what you've purchased from them in the past so they send you an email saying, "just press this button and receive your heart's desire", and, by gosh, there you go, pressing the button. Buffalo Springfield? I like Buffalo Springfield, one of those bands from my past, but would I have bought a four CD "definitive collection" had not Amazon sidled up close at a weak moment with a smile and a killer décolletage? No. But what the hell. There are many things sitting about the apartment that I would not have bought in a rational world. Ever. But I digress. The first CD of the set is playing now in the background.

Henri Cartier-Bresson. For those not particularly into photography, he is a street shooter's icon, a first member of the photojournalist school that dominated photography in the fifties when I shot my first picture. I ordered a couple of his books (Mexican Notebooks, with an introduction by Carlos Fuentes, and à propos de Paris) and I'm going to go through them later this evening.

I haven't gone out of my way to purchase photography books or go to exhibitions, although I think these are necessary for any photographer who wants to develop his or her craft, but rather I've just shot things as I've found them and then thought about the images and what they meant to me. What makes a photograph interesting? I think this is different for everyone, just as certain kinds of music or writing may strike your interest, but not another's, so too, only certain images strike at your core. Lots of overlap, of course, but the important thing for me is to find that tone or feeling that I'm after. Takes a while. Maybe takes a life of bad shooting to find the good. Avoid too much reliance on other people's vision and opinion. But then I've talked about his before, the need for time of your own to make your mistakes before you have to face the crowd. I'm rambling.

The banner photograph was taken at my doctor's office in Palo Alto and the pigeon was photographed last weekend in San Francisco. The quote is from The Zen Koan, by Miura and Sasaki.