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September 11, 2010

Without Photographs
Saturday. A thought, yesterday afternoon, walking out onto my balcony and looking down on the street below. None of the “double vision” problems were apparent, hadn't had any for whatever number of days it's been since I last mentioned them. Looking down from that second story height I had no particular feelings of tilting this way or that; just, you know, my usual feelings on being at a height. Not overly fond of them, heights, never had any desire whatsoever to climb mountains or jump out of airplanes (except briefly, when I applied for airborne training in the army), but nothing more than that. Just me, out on a balcony, looking down. That's good. Let's see how long it lasts.

Another clear, bright, not yet overly warm day, back from breakfast now and the papers. Up an hour later than the alarm at seven, to sleep last night around eleven, having watched a television show that caught my interest. Intermittent interest, anyway, an English mystery series on public television. I'm less able to watch these English programs anymore, even having difficulty with Sherlock Holmes, although I suspect some of that is the fact I've seen most all of them many times. The idea that I wouldn't watch a “new” Sherlock Holmes program is, well, disconcerting. Still, in this new (older me) world, not inconceivable.

I'm not sure you should ever admit to that.

Well, I, as many, have all the books. The collected works. Had them since I was a youngster and discovered an old two volume set my parents had on their shelves and I've since read all of them many times. Not compulsively, not in the hundreds joining S.H. societies and such, but they are, after all, The Canon, just as some very small number of other works are members of “The Canon”, and it's proper to do homage.

It's interesting, if not difficult, to see a time, perceive of a time, when they may become as unknown to a new generation as, well, others once popular in the distant past were to mine (the names of which I've - Q.E.D. - forgotten). If I can stop paying attention to The Canon, then, well, anything can happen. It's said time marches on and they may be right.

All that from watching an English police procedural last night? You sure you're not having any of those double vision symptoms?

Later. Back now from the WiFi café, the journal posted, spending the time to inspect some of the usual web sites for updates, my Internet access for the day pretty much done now except for whatever's possible on an iPhone, bus schedules, emails and such. Hot stuff, the iPhone, except it's rapidly dissolving into the background along with all of the other mobile phones, whatever their cost or functionality. You can make calls, you can receive them, wherever you are.

Not complaining, you understand, I'm sure it will earn its keep, it's just, well, a Saturday and other things are on my plate. The location of two festivals (in San Francisco) I was thinking of photographing. Tomorrow is the Solano Stroll, I know where that one is, no problem, but finding festivals out in the Sunset district, out in Golden Gate Park, are less obvious places - what buses and Muni cars to take after BART? - and barriers to getting over there to photograph them.

Later still. A nap. A good long intermittent nap starting in the late morning and ending in the early afternoon, some two or so hours. Why so tired? Feel OK, but tired. Yes, I admit to having two glasses of sake last night over the course of a couple of the evening, wondering again about possible side effects. But again, two glasses? A run to the supermarket for bread, ham, cheese, cereal and sake.

Later indeed. A walk down to the morning café for a salad, this time, a walk back takin my time, no thought to taking pictures, taking one or two at the lake because I'm not sure I can go outside anymore without taking one or two just to say to the brain: there, we've got one. Or something similar. We do go on.

A walk through Walden Pond books going back into their stacks to see what they had on music. They have a blues, a jazz, a rock and roll, a classical and other genre sections, but after finding a guitar song book out front in a bin for two dollars yesterday (was it yesterday?) it occurred to me they might have more inside. And they had one, just one, a rank beginner's book, but with a fair number of recognizable songs. Which is what I was after. Four dollars this time, but that's life. If only breakfast could be had for four dollars. No complaints.

While dozing earlier I awoke listening to a program discussing words, how thinking, as we understand thinking, is not really possible without words. A discussion of tests run first with rats and then with very young children, interesting tests, ending with a discussion of Shakespeare and how he used language and “words”. How many of the phrases we use routinely today “what's done is done”, “all's well that ends well” and many too many others were essentially invented, used for the first time in written form, both plays and books, by Shakespeare. The Shakespearean scholar in the interview talked in terms of writing, of Shakespeare's invention words done in ways we don't think of or use when we think of or do our writing.

I've read Shakespeare because you can't go through life without reading some Shakespeare, but I've never really appreciated him to a degree commensurate with his reputation, never really made an attempt to read and appreciate him on my own. No notions of the kind they were discussing on the radio program ever occurred to me, nothing I'd seen or read or heard ever made me blink. Odd, today, in bed, I blinked. I'm going to track down a book or two that approaches Shakespeare, as this professor was approaching Shakespeare, maybe it will open a door. Maybe it won't. What's to lose? At the very least some interesting reading from what I was hearing on the radio.

Oh (to wrap up), I mentioned getting the guitar book. I've been playing every day, not all that much, but enough to still call it practice. I've been considering taking lessons, if only to tap into a source for information, for song books of the kind I found this afternoon. I seem to be willing to play when I have recognizable music in front of my face. Also interesting. This leading to lessons. The day has gone slowly, but it's been a good day, even without photographs. (Hup! Hup!)

The photograph was taken at the Oakland Pride Street Festival with a Nikon D3s mounted with a 70 - 200mm f 2.8 Nikkor VR II lens.