I planned to go to the movies yesterday. A local theater had scheduled a group of shorts, some of them contenders for awards this year. Got there, and discovered the program had changed. Instead of the shorts, there was to be a showing of Man on a Wire, a documentary about a man who, in 1974, strung a wire between the two towers of the World Trade Center, then walked and danced on it for an hour.
Did I want to sit in a darkened theater and — for an hour and a half — watch images of the Twin Towers? I did not. I drove to the park and skied cross-country for an hour instead. And took some pictures. Nothing dramatic, exciting, or gorgeous, simply a few images to remember the afternoon.
This morning, feeling stymied as I tried to organize a next installment of this series project, I took a break and looked at the images from yesterday afternoon. None are noteworthy, but one held my interest for a few moments.
It’s actually a lousy picture in most respects. But cleaning up the original, I found a few small chunks which — even if not particularly good — interested me, seemed worth poking around for. Like this one.
Which seemed a metaphor for what I was trying to write. Sometimes you can look at the whole picture, and sometimes you have to focus on the details. I don’t think there’s a universal rule; situations and individuals vary. The lesson for me right now is that the overall picture is too diverse, too fractured and fragmented, too random. Instead of working from panorama down to details, I’ll try the reverse.