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June 6th, 2003

Far To Fall
I need to rent a movie tonight. I don't want to go to a movie tonight, brave the traffic, which harbingers, perhaps, a sense of the future. (What am I saying?) This is my reality, a plain statement the old fart hides inside on Friday nights. Saturday nights. Soon, maybe, afternoons. Saturday. Sunday. Is this good? No way to tell. Just be happy, old man, there's still a "what will be" in the thought, some sense of future.

This dizzy thing does seem connected to the inner ear. There's an ongoing funky-aching headedness, not unlike being a little stoned. It could take worse forms. After a while, what the hell, I'll learn to live with it. Bend over to pick something up, though, change position rapidly and the world does a quick flip. Just for the moment. Nothing to knock you down. I hope it's nothing. I know there's no way you can tell until you can tell, even if the telling moment is but that, a moment, a brief flash of insight, a brief "Whoa Nelly!" recognition as the lights go down.

You're scaring the children.

I guess. Gets in the way, though. I'd rather get up in the morning clear headed and ready for a drive in the (new) car to, say Florida, New Mexico or Canada. Actually, not Florida. None of this walking down to the local ersatz 7-11 to mark the day's high point. Or do I take this too far?

Way too far. You're using a dizzy head to avoid telling.

Telling what?

That you're dizzy, it's lasted a long time, one day it will get better, otherwise it's a pain in the ass. The reality is you're stuck. Stuck in your own mud and you don't know how to get out.

Comfortable mud. Hot and cold running mud. Morning mud, midnight mud, the more the merrier mud.

Later. I wrote a couple of paragraphs about buying more photography stuff (or not buying more photography stuff, same difference), then I took a break and walked down and rented a copy of About Schmidt. Then I watched the first half. Then I pondered the meaning of art and life and writing about studio lights. And then I wondered, if I were to go back, sit down, and read, say, this last year's worth of journal entries, what picture would be drawn? Something like Schmidt's letters to his adopted ($22 a month) six year old Tanzanian foster daughter? A boiling, roiling quotidian fantasy of his life full of it? Only without the boiling and roiling? A flat rendition of quotidian fantasy. It might. You're never sure, in a world of rings within rings: "Which ring is your ring, my bucko?" How perceptive your eye, how foolish your sound, how far are you down?

You're keeping an online journal and you're worried about foolish?

You think not. You write it off to "learning the craft", as if you knew something about craft, and "clearing your head", as if you knew your head, but there's no way with time to hide the foolish from the crowd. From yourself, yes. You can hide foolish from yourself forever, easy as mud pie. Being The Fool ain't so bad on the cosmic scale of things, but we're not talking The Fool here. The Fool knows, the foolish are unaware. Schmidt is Schmidt, more foolish Schmidt than Cosmic Schmidt. I thought it better to rent Schmidt, though, than Robin Williams One Hour Photo. All I need to watch is a movie about a psycho photo worker. Or even a psycho not-photo worker, on a Friday, here in Oakland.

You've come full circle.

Round and round.

Anyway, I'd written another studio lights are all right blurb - before going off on the Schmidt digression - thinking, if I were to buy the studio lights, something I'm not betting on, I'd also need a 105mm lens, no doubt about it. The 105 is a standard portrait lens for 35mm photographers. A step toward buying the lights would be buying the 105. I'd need it later. I would. This was the point at which, rambling, (goosed by Schmidt), I realized rational discourse had degenerated into another mindless "I want" wail, a disturbing albeit brief glance into the mirror.

The photographs I took up close at the Ladies and Gents are maybe too up close, although I like them. Eyes and cheek bones. I'm a follower of the "if the pictures look like shit, move closer" school of fine art photography. The 135mm lens I used the other night gets you maybe a little too close from across a table, hence thoughts on something more suitable for the distance. Hence the digressions. Practicing photography through buying equipment. Art by mail order. Some just shoot pictures.

So Schmidt, you've dropped back to consumer pathetic rather quickly now, haven't you?

I never have far to fall.

The photograph was taken at an Oakland blogger's PCB get together.