Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Part IV

The last few posts have been a bit scattered, especially that Part III, whatever the heck is going on there.

The themes, though, I hope are clear. Connectedness, mindfulness, being present in the environment, in the moment. Taking these ideas for ourselves, and simultaneously preserving and giving them back through the work. Preserving, transforming, and perhaps most important, renewing, facets of the old.

I'm sitting here looking across the bay at the road to Lahaina. I'm eating a biscuit, drinking coffee. I feel like Proust. The biscuit is a little sweet, a little salty. What does this have to do with pictures I might take today? Probably nothing? Maybe something? The road to Lahaina figures disproportionately large in my idea of Hawaii. It's always present in my view from here. At night the cars coming around the point create an irregular lighthouse flicker as they turn, momentarily pointing their headlights directly at us. It took me a couple days to realize what that 'lighthouse' was.

How can I photograph that? I have no more idea how to shoot it than I do how to shoot the taste of my biscuit.

The coconut also figures large here, both in reality and in my mind. The ancient Pacific cultures relied on the coconut. It's designed to spread itself across vast oceans, so it's always there when you arrive. It can sustain human life almost by itself. The Polynesians and the coconut are inextricably entangled.

How can I photograph that entanglement? I can certainly take some pictures of coconuts, but will the idea read?

If I can manage it, even a little, will I have successfully made something new but simultaneously ancient of this little slice of a culture, something which preserves, renews, and shares that worthwhile sliver of our vast human story?

Beats me. But it's ambitious as hell, isn't it?

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