Corner View: Noticing
I have a vicious addiction to the camera. Really quite bad. From time to time (not all that often), I have to force myself to take a "day off", and leave my camera at home when we go out to dinner or what have you. Even in a restaurant, it's terribly difficult for me to sit for more than an hour without looking through the lens.
There are worse addictions, I suppose. Photography is creative, at least, and anything visual that one practices on a daily basis hones the eye for other visually-creative skills. So it isn't a total loss.
When one spends as much time behind the lens as I do, there are those magical occasions on which what happens on the far side of the lens is like a new play unfolding...a fairytale in a foreign tongue, heard for the first time. No way to guess what the ending might hold or how the story will unfold.
Sometimes, behind the lens, one has a preconceived idea of what sort of shot one is looking for. It can be dictated by the light, the occasion, the setting, the season. But on those rare, magical days, one has no preconceptions and anything can happen. It's a mystery waiting to unfold.
So it was that on this day, when we stopped spontaneously at a local school playground, dormant for summer except for passers-by like us, I noticed this girl.
To me, seeing her like this, unexpectedly, through the lens, she appeared as a fairy princess trapped by a jealous spell in the arms of an enchanted and malevolent vine.
Here, she wakes, struggles, and begins to look for a means of escape.
Rising against the spell, against the odds, she finds her center and looks for a way out of the malicious spell.
In fact, the actual game (heard distantly through my dormant ears, since other senses recede when you grow accustomed to the tyranny of the lens) had something to do with one person being in jail, while the rest play on through the game. A very common theme for children's games.
But once the eyes have been opened, preconceptions dissolved like early morning mist, one begins to see every detail of ones surroundings with fresh eyes.
This school playground has been recently renovated. The equipment is new and modern and expertly-designed. But the paint on the tarmac is decades old, cracked and layered by the Colorado sun. Instead of repaving, the designers have printed over the old layers, creating a wonderful collage.
Words stenciled over the cracking paint give a humorous nod to higher learning, and a freshly-paved centerpiece is engraved with the Shakespeare's famous and much-echoed contemplations on the name of a rose.
Summer art camps have scrawled complimentary words on top of Shakespeare's words in chalk.
Stenciled words hark back to oft-taught theorem, such as this one that, read carefully, honors Pythagoras.
Q making flying leaps over "radio" and "light".
And then, finally settled down for a dinner of pizza, salad and pasta, I noticed this puckish young man at an adjacent table, who shared his much -coveted football with Q for a time while we waited for our second course.
For more insightful Corner Views around the world, visit Jane in Spain.
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