Friday, June 16, 2017

ghhhh, hubscam blam, fibbletak!

Dear Fixers,

You know, of course, how photography works- with chemicals for developing, and fixer, a solution to 'fix,' to hold, the silver salts in the positions recorded by the light?  So that they remain in the form of a hill with trees on it?  And if they are not properly 'fixed' they will fade; at first just a little bit, and then more and more, until the image is just a pale, ghostly pattern of smudges?

Fixing things, feeling, events, images, in my mind is of chief concern-  to be able to take these things back out and examine them, to pore over, to revisit and experience all over again; but this is so tricky, isn't it?  How do we save things, and where, and when do we get them out again to look over?  It's a pickle.

A picture of the skate park:  We went to one in a town south of here; we have gone once before, and then tried several times in between to catch it empty.  I have a great horror of looking like the elderly-you-ought-to-know-better-than-to-try-that-at-your-age roller skater that in fact, I am. 

There was only a yuppie soccer mom and her progeny present; a young boy she referred to as "Bud," but he was certainly a Forrest, Hawkins, Seamus, or some such thing, on a two wheeled folding scooter.  He was tear-assing around the place in the usual 4 year old manner, so I steeled myself for a mild losing of face and began to fall on the very wee little hillocks.  He kept on saying "it's only a hill!"  He also asked us where we got those 'roller skaters,' and why were putting on all these elbow, wrist and knee pads.  I thought, but did not say:  I am wearing them so that when I stumble over onto you I don't feel your tiny hands smashed under my knees, you little goofus!  Well, whatever, but I am a 'fraidy cat and safety, or what I like to pretend is safety, first!

I fell three times in front of this pair, and then the young dude who sweeps the rocks I'd been falling on up, arrived.  I made sure he wasn't turned my way, and once more tried to stay upright down the short, shallow slope of concrete.  Yes, you guessed it!  I did not fall!  What a triumph!  But, that wasn't enough- I next tried to get to the bottom of the real ramp, the 4 foot or so one.  It dips down, lies flat for about 10 feet and then heads back up.  I got to the bottom and threw myself on my knees to keep from continuing my madcap pace!  Twice I ditched in this manner, then I crossed my fingers and let the momentum carry me on up the opposite slope.  I wanted to shout and sing it to the rafters!  I could not believe I had managed it! 

The thing, though, that I know, is that it seems like nothing to tell it like this, especially to anyone who's done it or doesn't want to do it, and that covers everyone,  doesn't it?  Or maybe even to anyone anywhere anyplace anytime.  Phooey!  I want to tell you how fun it is, and I cannot.  I mean, I can, but it's so much meaningless gibberish.  It sounds like this:  ghhhh, hubscam blam, fibble-tak! 

Oh, yes;  I wonder, do you think this lovely photograph of a skater falling was taken at Cartier-Bresson's decisive moment?  Or was it a little late, or even too early?  I have adored and carried with me this notion of his for decades, as in a locket:  I never think about the movement of life and photography without it.  If you would like, please take it for yours also- get it here, for free, locket not included.