I have to post these, to have them up for display. Though this page is primarily for the writing, I must share the fact of these images. There is something native in them to me, like the smell of a place, or a kind of light. It is nothing to do with New York City, though the state does figure in. It relates on a more visceral level, these photographs are the stuff of fashion blogs a mile across… and this is nothing to do with me either.
It’s a psychic landscape, a little like holding the sepia-toned photos of your long past and unknown relatives. Like knowing somewhere, in a minute, you wouldn’t have to explain yourself. When all the common references that keep each modern generation glued together start to wear thin under the rest of it, we are left with these ghostly landscapes, places that describe a feeling across time and manage to serve far better than any consensus of culture. There’s nothing to imitate here: we each conduct our own passage through time.
What’s it mean to find a match across time and place? As the physicist Niels Bohr said, “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” There is a recognition, and it is too alien to be considered nostalgia. It’s not so complete, more like having a conversation on a train with someone with whom, in the course of it, you realize you’ve exchanged no information but step away completely moved, somehow validated as a human being. These pictures have a bit of that quality for me; also, the understanding tenderness of an aunt whose husband has been carted off to jail again. You can tell her all your young troubles, her mind is not occupied with how you measure, they come across as a droplet sounding in a still cavern.
Here affection grows from an awareness of the priceless, costly gem of stability that you share – nothing in life, on a human scale, can disturb the depths of this. It is a backroom of the heart, down long corridors, that one is only escorted to when there’s trouble. The woman in there spots that it’s time, fetches the ring of keys and escorts you directly, unlocking each passageway, her heels striking the floor with deliberate and steady purpose. You admire the completeness of her movement, but don’t interrupt the delivery. The room is half spare, a chair and table, and half wild: a wall is opened up, exposed to the forest. Here is that glimmering movement in the brush that assures a vital part of the mind that you are not alone.