For a second there I thought the type was going to have to start under the picture, and I definitely wanted wrap-around text.

It’s 7:30 and I haven’t done anything with Flickr, but that’s kind of fun, to have more than enough. This could be where I learn how to do illustrated books.

The original text is “If your eye offends you, take it out,” but I’m remembering what Donald used to say about taking offense–how much of the problem started there–and thinking how I don’t look at my own experience the same way I look at the detritus I see on the street, the worn surfaces of buildings, the broken windows and defaced storefronts that I find so fascinating and so visually appealing. I thinking about some of the rundown areas of MacArthur Boulevard, where I would so much like to take pictures but where I am afraid my presence would be seen as intrusive or offending condescension, where I would be an “other” come to use the stuff of people’s poverty and misfortune in a way that is perceived as insensitive. I don’t know how I would say, “But let me thank you. I see such beauty here, beauty alongside and in the presence of the hardship and the public/private pains you are right to tell me not to assume I can appropriate without understanding.”

I know the eye I carry with me makes my Paratransit trips through “bad neighborhoods,” derelict sections of town, often a delight because I am able to see without judgment. “Back alleys and formal beauties”: the phrase that came to me at the laundromat in Berkeley all those years ago. “If thine eye be whole.” Maybe I can come to let myself extend this same kind of interested appreciation to how I work, what I’m going through–all the issues of aging, and weight, and loneliness, intensified as they often are by the borderline–by extending a benign eye upon myself. Somehow “a thousand years are as a day in your sight” fits in here too.

Note: The photograph “One open eye” can be found in my photostream at Flickr.com
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