January 10th, 2004
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seeing


A few months ago I discovered a blog that had linked to mine written by a highschool student. If you are reading this you will know who you are. He wrote that he enjoyed visiting my site and that he was confused about all of the things that I saw on my excursions because he lives in the same town and sees none of what I see. I smiled at this. {But I refrained from writing him for fear of invading his privacy.} I wanted to say that these beautiful things are around you all of the time. You just have to slow down, be present and look in a new sort of way. Sometimes I feel the need to stop, not sure of what I’m looking at and something surprising will emerge. I heard a famous photographer say once that quite often he did not know what he was shooting. It was not until he went to develop the film that he could see it.
Last night I stopped in front of the local corner store. In the window I saw the owner talking to a customer. The customer was taking clementines out of a box and squeezing them, then putting them into another box. I saw the owner take a clementine, peel it open and then offer a piece to the woman. I could not hear anything of what was being said. It was like a scene from a movie, the way the light was, the colours, the snow, the quiet, and I had a front row seat. The act of peeling an orange for another person seemed so intimate and beautiful. And, yet I know in reality it may not have been, (was she complaining?) But something about the whole image summed up something so simple, an everyday task, an interaction with another human being. I watched as the woman left the store with a box of clementines and bag of Tender Vittles.
It is there, it is all there.

 
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