Wednesday's writing assignment.
Benton Harbor. Junkyard next to garden store. Be still my heart —a broken bird in a discarded pedestal sink. Can you say something more than the obvious? That's Rose posing the question. Sometimes I have to ask her to shut up. I try to ask nicely but my tone, and I can hear it the instant the words start coming out of my mouth and it is too late to modulate, my tone can be construed as icy. Quickly, I begin over explaining to compensate for sounding snippy. I sounded as I was feeling and I was feeling so because I was trying to get there and such obvious interjections insulted and interrupted the process. When is an excuse an explanation? Isn't it primary school where we learn to write by answering the question with part of the question? Write two sentences about the bird in the sink and say why it is important to you. The bird in the sink is important to me because....stalling on the word "because" hoping soon for any idea to catch up and gain traction. Maybe by secondary school comes the metaphor and then how long is it before we bullshit with the symbolism knowing we can accumulate a satisfactory word count. From knock-kneed and precocious to gamine and pretentious, my attempts at the essay in my young adult years were thwarted by an editor of my first first-person article who returned a draft to me saying something like: You are nobody to write with the I. So this does not have to be an essay about my love of birds and my love of decay and the enduring photogenic nature of both and it doesn't have to be a simplistic psychological assessment (you love broken things because you are broken) but of course it is all of those things. Here comes the magic Rose, that first article I referenced was about an egg — it was my quest to discover the origin of the panoramic sugar egg, timed for Easter and published in the food section of a Sunday newspaper. I picked this image this morning as I was culling, cleaning, and organizing my photo files in preparation for gathering a few images of my cousin's wedding that I promised to send weeks ago. I see this image and remember, not specifically the day, but I remember the moment of coming upon the sink and peering in and seeing the yellow clay bird and feeling the kind of excitement photographers feel when a picture presents itself. Easter is this coming Sunday and that editor of long ago I now understand to be, and this is very liberating, an asshole. The point wasn't that I was a "nobody," but it read cleaner as straight reportage. Tone sister, tone. Everything, absolutely everything, is connected.