Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I always find it interesting how when I'm involved in a project it focuses my thinking so that suddenly I am noticing everything around me that pertains to it. Yesterday I was at a meeting for English language arts teachers and we were talking about response. I thought of my participation in the 2009 - 365 photos challenge and my blog. Both the photos and the writing are forms of response. And I realized how much my mind is primed for certain kinds of photos - what I bring to the picture. Today I had a hard time deciding on which photograph to post.

I knew that many people would be posting photographs of Obama - and I, like many, took pictures of my television. My response to a world event, wanting in some way to participate on a larger basis. I watched my Twitter friends commenting on the event and joined in the discussion, the sense of wonder and hope that the world may be feeling a little brighter. Text to world - How would the text seen and heard on television affect my vision of the world? Another response to this text - I called my daughter and asked her to join me at the television. This event was too big to witness alone. I needed the face to face contact with someone to share.

Taking out my garbage this morning I saw two large crows in a nearby tree. I snapped a photograph. Here was a great example of text to text. In my head I heard the song There were two ravens... This is an old Renaissance song which I have heard sung by Daniel Taylor among others.

There were two ravens sat on a tree,
Down a down, hey down, hey down,
They were as black as black might be,
With a down.
The one of them said to his mate,
Where shall we our breakfast take?
With a down, derry, derry, derry down, down
I don't think I would have taken the photograph if I did not have that experience. So now the photograph and the song are paired in my head.

I finally settled on a photograph of children building a snow fort.
Day 20: Snow Fort

It brought back my time teaching - when snow forts were both positive and negative aspects of schoolyard play. There was always the joy of building but there was also the need to possess and the children were not always good at sharing their fort. I guess forts were always made to keep people in and keep people out. But in this photograph, at least, the children were playing peacefully. Here I brought my experiences - the response to the photo - text to self.

Response is not the reason I started this project - but it is interesting to see how different aspects of my life and experience find their way into my photographs and writing.

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