Sunday, April 06, 2008

Sunday Scribblings
# 105
The Photograph

With Sunday winding down and bedtime closing in I decided I'd best be pecking out a submission to post or risk being late or absent altogether. The girls have given us as a prompt "the Photograph" or just photo if you wish.
99.9% of the time the prompts presented here offer a wide array of possible avenues to explore, and today's is no different. Anyone who has read this blog for any time at all know that my love of photographs is represented herein very well . I do love to use photos to help tell my stories or illustrate my poems and so they, the posts, are liberally peppered with purloined as well as self made photographs.

In keeping with my tradition of trying to pick an avenue less trod by the other Scribblers I've decided that instead of posting some of the pictures I had originally selected to grace this post, I would instead write a post of a thousand words, sans illustration, photo or image of any kind.

Just kidding! Well, about the thousand words anyway, not the absence of photos.

I'll make three points about photographs and then leave you to mull it over, or not, as you will.

1. I love photographs. They, next to trees, are some of my best friends. They are memory simulators, history keepers, art-for-art-sake images, and entertaining (think moving pictures here).

2. But really, what is a photograph?

3. Using a photo to create a character.

What is a Photograph?

A photo is a snapshot of a dream
To hold the past unchanged.
A work of art, a piece
Of time held still.
A reminder of something
That only existed for that instant.

A photograph stops time
Just as death terminates life.

They are simply a mirror reflection
O what once was-
Fading, yellowing
Aging, slowly crumbling,
Turning to dust.

These images serve to
Remind us of what once was
And can never be again.

And we love them all the same,
like nuggets of gold,
priceless treasures to save at all cost.

When we're gone they end up
In pawn shops for some
writer/ photographer to buy
For a penny and
Use to stimulate his imagination and to write a story,
That never happened.

This poem materialized in my mind as I was awakening after a night marinating in my right brain and flew out the tip of my pen almost before my feet hit the floor.

Character creation:
Shortly after I started blogging I came across Corey's blog, Tongue in Cheek.
The first post of hers that I read had to do with a girl, a fishmonger she had espied in Marseilles, France. She included in that post a picture of the young woman conspicuously posed in a metal kitchen chair with the port of Marseilles and incumbent fishing fleet behind her. Although she was sitting, I guessed her to be 5'6" or 7", with crow black hair cut short like a shaggy bob, and matching dark eyes. She was slight of build, maybe 115 lbs. Her olive skin was clear but some what hardened by hard work and exposure to the sun. Her long fingers were chaffed and scared from much fish cleaning. Over her t-shirt and black trousers she wore a heavy white rubber apron which hung from just below her collar bones to just blow her knees, and almost touching the sea green knee high rubber boots she wore.
With an unsmiling mouth but the devil twinkling in her eyes she was beautiful in an obscure sort of way. She seem out of place yet at the same time a perfect contrast to the the scene set up by Corey. I left a comment to the effect of the contrasts within the image and that was that. Until a year later and I was writing my first novel for NaNOWriMo, and one of the characters was/is a fishmonger young woman named Elodie. As I was writing her into the scene I knew immediately who Elodie was. I've seen her I said, "I know exactly what she looks like!"

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Blogger paisley said...

what an excellent post.. the poem and the tie in to the story that followed... yes indeed they are a moment snapped in time.. never to be relived,, but just as surely,, never to be forgotten... bravo my friend.. this was a pleasure!!

9:39 PM  
Blogger Granny Smith said...

I liked it all, the poem especially. Photos are indeed crystalized fragments of past time, but, as your following essay illustrates, they can be the genesis of creative inspiration in their future.

11:12 PM  
Blogger Lucy said...

All these interesting words and a beautiful poem and It's your bedtime? Excellent post Rel. I love the inspiration you found from a picture viewed so long ago. I didn't know you were writing a book! Way to go! and Lot's of luck! :)

11:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So much truth here Rel. Isn't it amazing the things we see and tuck away to appear in our writing later.

6:02 AM  
Blogger Elisabeth said...

I have tagged you for the six word memoir game. For the rules, check my blog (entry posted on 4/7/08.)

8:58 PM  
Blogger Churlita said...

I loved this post about photographs without any photos. As always, amazing writing.

1:00 AM  
Blogger chiefbiscuit said...

Fascinating - I love the words you've woven and the way you've explained it all too. Especially, I think, the bit about your right brain and the words flying out of the pen before your feet hit the ground! Wonderful image.

3:13 AM  
Blogger jadey said...

I love this poem. Very nicely done.

12:31 PM  

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