Sometimes I go out sometimes I stay in. Out, I sometimes take a lot of pics. This one reminds me that last summer I was taking lots of shots of bunches of people.
There, behind a little machine. Home and there again.
As I've said here before, I like photographs because I want to get a longer look. This pic here is from a day at Coney Island. I grew up on Long Island, where summer at least had Jones Beach which was and is the greatest of beaches to me because of its weird intimacies. You spend the whole day with whatever people decide to put their towels down near you. On a good summer day, the place was crowded with everyone who you usually see in cars and busses and on lines at multiplexes but here they are nearly naked and weirdly happy. Right in front of everyone, they go about living, like each group had been indoors and hadn't noticed that the walls had gone.
Of course you miss a lot. Which is where the pics come in handy. Also, you forget so much. Without the pics I wouldn't have remembered the day had even existed. The pictures I took this day remind me of how I was thinking when I took thirty or so pictures at the beach one day. With this picture here, I was thinking of the man at center feeding the seagulls with his kids. Feeding the seagulls is not good beach behavior as the gulls are rapacious when encouraged and will filch food from populated blankets and harass befrenchfried youngsters to distress. So seeing the picture I remember I was at first a little picklefaced at him, but then I decided he was interesting. Later he finds something very strange in the surf. Later the young man running at the left of the photo will be delightedly burying his friend in the sand. Alright I'll show you that one.
How much do you love the Nathan's cup and the punim on the boy in the sand?
The days go by and you do not always know what they were for or in what manner they forwarded your fortunes. Life sounds short when you drive past Greenwood or think about, say, the six hundred years between Ovid and Bede, but goddam some of the afternoons go on forever and some of these difficult eras change a lot slower than seasons.The idea is to try to let yourself feel what is happening to you, which, as the philosophers have told us, may as well be all in your head, and as the poets have told us, isn't. It is actually real and happening to you and you are the cello the universe is playing and you sound okay. Play. What if you were the greatest cello in the world but had two memory settings -- super short and super long. You wouldn't be able to tell, from the notes you could remember moaning, what piece you were playing, but you would know in some larger way that you are a cello and you are playing pieces and what kind of thing you tend to be drawn to. To which you tend to be drawn. That is, I think, the situation.
The economy, my economy and your economy, liberates those who once had jobs to go cry on the beach, but those of us who make our own hay must hasten always back to it. It is difficult.
Come visit me over at Dear Fonzie where I hope to show a few more pictures from the day at the beach, most especially, the weird thing Mr. Seagull-Feeder found.
Okay, was good to chat. And remember poet, don't kill yourself. I'm sorry it is so difficult to determine whether you are at the beginning, middle, or end and you really can't tell by looking at any given day. You have to try to feel it in whatever other memory bank there is, a middle memory that isn't short and isn't long but that knows what frikkin song you are singing and how it is going. Try! Progress is slow but probably somewhat possible.