Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Pieces of curiosity.

 I do not usually see minute details. I let scenes wash over me in broad strokes, forming into a narative of impressions. Of course, the rigor of identification does not come easily or naturally to me ( though I believe I managed to identify correctly the following 18 items.) But this is not primarily what strikes me. What strikes me is first the adjustment to the small, to the domain of the minute. On my first ferry ride (which I took alone) all I could see was big masses- the ocean, the islands, the sky-scrapers. The experience was one of bigness. When we traveled to Lovell's island, what struck me was the sort of cyclical descent (in a Dante-like sense, but without the Hell,) from the suggested vastness of leaving the city to the sea, to the enclosed experience of fort Warren, and then, eventually, all of it terminating in a tide pool. Spending what could have easily been hours turning rocks and looking at and for small things. It is as if in one motion the rest of the world recedes and the entirety of the horizon is filled with what you are squinting to see, to get a better look at, right now. 
Another experience of absorption is getting in the water and chasing crabs. I never touched a crab. Now I find myself turning rocks, chasing them, struggling with their wriggling. It's not so much the fact that I haven't done this before, (or that I am slightly squeamish, usually).It's that there is no transition, or anything to think about. It's the task at hand and they are pieces of curiosity. Once you start looking, you want to see, and once you see all you want is to see more.When we leave reality snaps back into perspective, not before taking a segue into another tiny domain and gawking at snails. What I leave behind is a small explored alley, or a neighborhood block I got to know well. I only hope I remember everybody's name...

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