– 4 a.m. and random

Grace woke up at 2:51 a.m., went to the bathroom, and said to me from the hall, “I can’t sleep.” I sat with her, and, proving that she can sleep, she was deep into it by a few minutes after 3. And I’m awake.

I tried to go back to sleep. First, I breathed and counted. Then I got up, went down to the living room, and picked up a book. I read a chapter. Then I started looking at my feet, as fascinated by them as an adolescent is. (Are we in an adolescent state when awake at night?) Then I noticed the camera where Lydia had left it, and I wondered if I could take pictures, even without my glasses on. I tried. I couldn’t really see too much in the viewfinder to aim for quality. All I could do was aim.

Feet at 4 a.m.Then I wondered: What if I accidentally took a “good” picture — would it count? Eventually, I would put my glasses back on, and be able to judge my own picture, choose it, crop it, sharpen it, etc., and then say it was good (or not) and all that would be part of what makes it good. However, what if I never put my glasses back on? What if I were blind? And then I started wondering if a person can be a photographer or watercolorist (some medium without a tactile-ness) if you cannot see. Could you be a musician if you cannot hear? Well, you probably could learn to take pictures and compose music and even play music — do the mechanical things. But, you couldn’t experience feedback: see and judge your own pictures, hear and judge your own playing. Could you, though, get some sort of human “guide dog” to give you the feedback, and teach you how to incorporate that feedback? And, if so, could you still be an artist? You’ll be distant from your own feedback — actually, it won’t be your own feedback; it’d be someone else’s.

But, what if you could tell that “guide dog” (or, “artist’s guide”?) what you wanted from your pictures or your music, and they could be trained, by you, to give you a kind of direction in your feedback that’s precisely what you want?

But, you could never test their feedback.

Chair at 4 a.m.What if you decided to trust that feedback giver, and abandon that urge to test, and relinquish those aspects of making something to your guide? (A guide that you, originally, guided?)

Now it’s after 5 and almost time for the house to wake up. You’ll understand if the pictures, and thoughts, are unfinished.

4 thoughts on “– 4 a.m. and random

  1. EEK,
    I don’t know why I was thinking of my feet; they were simply there. However, I do think I was fantasizing about being a blind photographer because of that exhibit we saw last week at the MFA, with the Braille writers and the photographs on display. At the time, I thought I was looking at pictures taken by blind people, and I thought that was really cool. But, then the woman at the exhibit said that the photos were taken by a sighted photographer, and that was sort of a letdown. Apparently, my unconscious has continued to keep the idea alive.


    p.s. This fall, for the first time in years, I am following the Sox games. So… maybe the feet thoughts do have something to do with them.

  2. Classic Jane – your emotion upon learning that the exhibit of “blind” photographers really, well, wasn’t, is “letdown”. Mine would be full on pissed. Another reason I love you.

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