Making progress, we are.

One big challenge with our current work for the next issue is the nature of the response (as in “Call and Response”). In the second round it was my turn to make images in a manner rhyming (so to speak) with Kim’s images. However, that response needed to be informed by my memory of Kim’s work, our conversations, the meetings we’ve had in her home, what I know of her connections in our community, etc. etc.  That is, the response covers a much, much larger window of time than has been our practice for previous issues. My secret hope was that by insisting on having Kim in this current round I could depend upon the fullness of a Victoria spring — foliage, flowers and all — to put a little wind in my sails. It didn’t work out that way, and that is all to the best. I do not have a green thumb (the last thing I grew from seeds must have been radishes in grade school), nor do I have a green eye. I envy those with a green eye.

I wonder how much great art doesn’t get made because we insist on seeing the way we think we see? My friend Gerry keeps feeding me books of essays by Robert Adams, From the title essay in his collection, “Beauty in Photography”, Adams writes:

The job of the photographer, in my view, is not to catalogue indisputable fact but to try to be coherent about intuition and hope. This is not to say that he is unconcerned with the truth.

Part of what has made these current rounds so challenging and so exciting is that they have forced me to get away from what I think I see, to get away from what seem to be my own “indisputable facts”, to use a lot more “intuition” and a helluva lot more “hope”. All of this is me trying make sense of the way Francis sees, the way Kim sees — and, coming up, the way Paul sees — and to do so in a way that is not incoherent. It all feels a stretch, and that’s a good thing.