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Under Construction
A building on Lake Merritt in Oakland

February 17th, 2005

Lack Of Imagination
Wednesday. I shall do this one more time, perhaps because I have not an idea in my head that might lead to writing something interesting and entertaining, perhaps because this current sensation is so novel. Yes, the head still aches. (“Aches”, is not really the right term, more dramatic than the reality, but it's a close enough description for a journal entry.) What is different is the increase in energy and the clarity of thought. (Clarity has no relationship to accuracy, you understand, but it makes you feel like a clever fellow.)

I again have the feeling that things that surround me are interesting. When you're down and out you don't find much that tickles your fancy, you're not really sure you're thinking at all and you worry that whatever it is you've lost (mind, body, coherence) isn't coming back. Which, I can assure you, can be depressing. Have I been down, dumb and dead these last three years? No. But I've sometimes wondered: is this the not with a bang but a whimper end? The last chapter? Not so, evidently. Now, wine glass at hand, I'm wondering where I put that camera?


Thursday. The building in the picture is one I've photographed on a desultory basis now for the last several years. In another time, at another age, in another universe I could see becoming obsessed with shooting it from different angles at various times of the day in every kind of light just to, well, I'm not sure "just to why", just to shoot it to examine the color: the clouds, the sky. But this is not the time or the age or the universe and I probably won't make the study. Unless, of course, I do. Life is like that.

Best, if you're going to write like a flake, to remain comprehensible. People will follow a good way into banality if you make it coherent.

Well, who was the famous painter who painted over two hundred studies of a mountain in France? Gradations of light and color? And what's-his-name, the American painter, who painted two hundred or so studies of the woman who lived next door (and with whom he had tea and sex after each session, which makes his obsession more sensible)? Color and light, a glimmer of what drove the Frenchman to paint the mountain; color and light in an old imposing building built on the shore of a lake. Not something I would have thought about when I was twenty. Better sense at the age of twenty or a lack of imagination?

The photograph was taken of a building down the way on Lake Merritt in Oakland with a Nikon D2h mounted with a 17-55mm f2.8 Nikkor lens at ISO 200.