• James Eric Fristad

Three of These Things Belong Together

Updated: Aug 10, 2021

Surely images and sounds of 70s era Children's Television have bounced into memory, suddenly just now. The first YouTube example I found showed a 2x2 grid with three kids looking adorable and the fourth kid hanging upside down (braids flopping to prove it). What's this, another creative metaphor hatching? Please stay tuned a minute more.


For my few Facebook friends, yesterday I posted a closeup of a wine goblet with fingerprints showing (evidence of Eric's paws' presence). Here's that same photo with my personal whorls and ridges embellishing the Petit Syrah contents.

This morning that picture took my imagination to the Venice/Murano entries on the TGA (theyregoingagain) website, and the pristine goblet shown there with the romantic Venetian Canal shimmering at dusk, in the background. Sighing permitted.




And of course the Sesame Street song sprang to mind. "Well, yeah, of course, it could only be that."


Aside from the whimsey of linking instructive PBS kidplay to stately images of high-class emotion, what's the possible connection here?


It isn't so much a things-belong-together matter, as an illustration of what we decide to notice. In the one photo it's the incongruous, detailed fingerprints (I never realized there were such wrinkles on the ends of my fingers) making an unintended wallpaper on the meant-to-be-clean goblet, that sweep aside all the other details. Maybe with emerging wry humor I choose to notice that odd interruption in an otherwise tame photo capturing an hour of my day. In the second wine goblet photo, I would argue that the more memorable part of the composition is the slightly blurry background -- among which are the reflections on the vaguely rippling Adriatic waters, with its suggestion of passion unfolding behind yonder shadows. That, even more than the wine glass obviously arranged by an unnamed commercial photographer for effect, in order to sell his photos. I can't assume those particular issues will have leapt forth, in your own heart, in either of the two pictures ... but the assumption (that details trigger memories for the beholder) about essential story-telling is worth making. That the concept I'm calling "Story" may be found anywhere; that it's part of our making sense of the world as we encounter it, daily. And as we try to find patterns there, in order to be glad of it (it's a human trait, I think, wanting to be happy), we select certain messages to focus on more exclusively. Hence the beauty of very old graveyards. The charm of incredibly wrinkled faces surrounding eyes that have seen great joy and also felt the buffets of inconsolable sorrow. Stone floors rubbed to a bumpy sheen by centuries of barefoot pilgrims.


Storytelling is what I am seeking to do, in the course of taking photos and assembling videos throughout our adventures. Not just a "We did this and then this and then this" kind of slide-show, I fervently hope.


Insofar as my output ends up looking like merely home movies, of course, I have utterly failed.


Which, evidence suggests, has been the outcome more often than not.


Yet it is a worthy goal -- a windmill whose passing sails are at risk of Eric's metaphoric lance/pen/keyboard/Sony cameras.

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