Thursday, November 17, 2016

Confrontation and Desire

Yesterday I wrote that "every photograph must be a confrontation of sorts."  A friend noticed that in many of the photos I show here, someone is looking at the camera disapprovingly.  It is true.  Those pictures jump out at me when I look through the files.  They resonate because there is something active in an otherwise passive frame.  In the paintings of the old masters (and some who were not nearly masters), there is often one person in the crowd staring directly at the viewer.  Often, too, the face is a likeness of the artist.  I like feeling that the person looking at the camera is a version of me.  When I go into a crowd with a camera, I feel there is the danger of being beaten or killed for what I am doing.  It is a very, very difficult thing for me to do.  But, I figure, there is something noble in the act even if there is a bit or a hint of a sacrifice to it. I kid myself (perhaps) that it is sacrificially "holy."

Yea, yea, yea. . . .  If you disagree or laugh at that, you might enjoy this (link).  I know many who would agree with that author, but I enjoy most my friends who wouldn't or who just don't care, those who know a bit about trying to perfect existence and what it costs.  I don't disagree with the author.  I just think it is one way of looking at the thing.

That is what I think about almost every argument, though.  Some are more interesting than others.  Some are better supported.  But they are almost all destined to die and be buried in an unmarked grave.  Or, perhaps, they are destined to disappear in a Facebook timeline.

The dictionary definition of desire should be "our own yearnings to which we would like to subject others."

We are all so full of desire.


  1. "We are all so full of desire.."

    How true. I've fallen in love with new people and places here in Tanzania. I am talking about buying a plot of land and running a small guest house.

    I've had dinner in the houses of people I met last time I was here and have plans for dinner in houses of new friends next time. I climbed the first part of Mount Meru with my friend and guide from 2014 - he has made the first part of a dream a reality buy acquiring his own safari jeep.

    I have fallen in love with another guide (of course) in the new southern Tanzania discovered this time.

    Tanzania has a new president that everyone is so excited and hopeful about - despite years of deep pocket corruption the people feel like "this time we might be doing something good even though it will be slowly, slowly.

    Did you know that if you acquire a gun here in Tanzania - you must report every shot you take with that gun? Shootings are rare like the Rhino.

    I've visited two schools (one private where kids are working on projects such as gender equality and land management - making presentations on laptops and one government - with 160 little children in one classroom 5 to a bench with out enough books or even a proper "football". I was gutted the rest of the day but had to remind myself that at the very best - the children had a school and there are plans for a Nursery school.

    The bartender here on our last leg - on the coast of the Indian Ocean took Sam (my son) and I up to his village yesterday. Sam is heading up today to get his hair cut at a local barber and perhaps have a drink at the village pub (where women are still not allowed). I wish I could bring some of the fresh honey - now poured in reused Konyagi liquor bottles - so dark and sweet.

    For me, it is not now otherness at all but rather the exhilaration of discovering the sweet sameness of our marrow deep desires of understanding, acceptance and love.

    I'm coming back to the USA ... this time. :)

    1. Desire to come to Tanzania, of course. Wish I had/could. Make a trip to Zanzibar. There is desire, and then there is envy. Aieeeee.