Sunday, February 4, 2007

A reflection


Why do you travel? For me, it's to see new places, expose myself to new things, people, culture. Walking unfamiliar streets, eyes peeled to the sky; watching people pass you on the street; hearing the street noises in a new city: needless to say, the urge to see and do these things in an unfamiliar place aren't original.

But one thing struck me yesterday as I looked at the photography exhibit at MoMA. Even though I was surrounded by some of the world's best art, I found myself searching for the familiar in the art there, particularly in the photographs. Which I loved. The shots of nature and models and portraits were intersting. But the photographs of Knoxville and the girl at the flea market in Georgia, I couldn't get enough of those. I go hundreds of miles away from my home to experience something new, yet search for the familiar when I get there? Why? I really don't know. Maybe I'm drawn to other people's interpretation of your home, in general terms, out of the environment in which it was created and reflected. It's like looking in the mirror in the dark, where you struggle to recognize the shape you know is there without even opening your eyes.

Or maybe I'm homesick for a home I couldn't wait to leave.

1 comment:

Frances said...

dang it all, i commented on this this morning. a whole long thing about how looking for the familiar is maybe a way of understanding where you are. i don't mean like looking for the familiar the way folks try to seek out an applebee's in warsaw. when i was in death valley, i was down in the dumps and the place was so big, hard to comprehend, i mean understand beyond just going somewhere and snapping a picture. plus i was sad because of all the coyotes hanging out around the trash cans licking dorito's bags. so one morning i got up early and watched these big ass ravens and, you know, they're smart as hell. they were fascinating, man, and i don't know, those ravens got me exploring the place more. y'all are out there somewhere, maybe in rome. hotdog. this is from frances.