Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Visual Adventures

Although I spend a significant part of every day with my eyes closed in sleep, I do have some choices to make about what my eyes do the remaining sixteen hours. I say I have "some" choices because I am not totally free on my commute to and from work. I am required then to “keep my eyes on the road” – usually the same road I travel four other days of the week. Likewise, the earliest minutes of my day work best if I watch my step even on routine travels from bedroom to bathroom to kitchen and the other rooms in the apartment.

There are things I have to do in a day, places I normally need to go, and I am limited in the scope I can give myself for visual adventures.

The way my home looks – isn’t that an interesting way to talk about what I get to look at in my home? The furnishings of my home, the hangings on my walls do not “look” at me or at anything else, do they? I can muse, however, over what other people might think or what comments they might make if they were the ones looking at a framed photograph I have hung over a work area I arranged in a backroom.

That photograph and its framing resulted from a gamble I made six years ago. I was making choices then about another set of rooms where I would begin single life again after more than two decades with a partner. The particular wall hanging about which I am speaking – a “found object,” a vintage snapshot of a family posing for a casual picture in their side yard – did not have to pass muster, so to speak, with anyone else living daily in its presence.

That photograph is one of the visual adventures I safeguard for my occasional pleasure these days. I do not have to look at it, but something I can only call love makes me attend to the adventure that someone else had with a camera one day decades and decades ago. I love the ease of the people gathered before that camera, their ease with one another and their ease with themselves. Nothing about the wooden fence along which they stand suggests a home that others would automatically envy.

My attraction to that picture is one of the loves with which I happily choose to surround myself these days.

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