Monday, May 26, 2014

Rebecca Solnit's "The Faraway Nearby"

That which I did not think possible: Rebecca Solnit's The Faraway Nearby has booted my previous favorite by the same author: A Field Guide to Getting Lost. What could be more perfect than reading a chapter each day for two weeks about storytelling while creating artwork about a narrative as seen through water? I could quote passages from 3/4 of the book but will not. There is one concept that Solnit mentions in the beginning and the end; it struck me to such a degree, that I tried to photograph it.

"Where does a story begin? The fiction is that they do, and end, rather than the stuff of a story is just a cup of water scooped from the sea and poured back into it."

"We never tell the story whole because a life isn't a story; it's a whole Milky Way of events and we are forever picking out constellations from it to fit where and who we are."

Redfish Lake, Idaho, 2014

It was easy to relate this to an autobiography of water as I have spent the month collecting slivers and shards that belong to the past and the present. I knew I wanted to photograph Surel's old paint jar the second evening I saw it above the sink. It was the color of the water of the Middle Fork of the Boise River, the Payette, and Redfish Lake. Pouring is a welcome addition to holding a glass for all to see. The intent was not a literal interpretation but rather thinking about this image falling into the middle of the story, not knowing how it will end. Here the color is an illusion, not matching the background, but giving the impression that it belongs in this space. Is the story lost or has it been told? Is it silenced or is it set free?

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