The Territory of Our In-Between

I listened to an interview with the writer, Sherman Alexie, the other day and he talked about artists living in the “in-between”.  In his case, he identifies this as the territory of truths inbetween being an indigenous Native American and an immigrant to the colonists’ culture that took power.

Blew me down, this idea.  Not only this explanation of his own “in-between” status but attributing it to the territory of every artist.

So, to conclude my week-long, “The Growing Season Ends, The Series”  on Singular Sensation, my photo blog on all things flowers, plants and often peevish photography tips, the byline of which is “breaking photographic rules lowers your cholesterol”, I got out my wide angle lens and put it on the ground (thank-you, Razz) and shot upward to show the spaces in-between the dessicated Queen Anne’s Lace stems and blossoms along the pond, a territory of truths that is mine for some (as yet) unknown reason.

I began the series to demonstrate through one subject (Queen Anne’s Lace) that when the growing season ends, a photographer’s growth can just begin.

This is a perfect thought to end the series and one that I thought belongs on SFAR as well.

So, one for two, today.  And, do yourself a favor, listen to that interview with Sherman Alexie (linked above) and Eleanor Wachtel of “Writer’s and Company”.

You won’t be sorry.

©Pat Coakley 2009


9 comments on “The Territory of Our In-Between”

  1. Lovely shot… but then, they all are.

    • Amber, I am sure the town folk (there are some who get up as early as I do) think I am plumb crazy taking photos of these in all seasons. Come to think of it….Hey, they’re right.

  2. The name of my blog, Vesper in Limbo, reflects this very state.

  3. vesper, could you link your blog to your name or put it in a comment so we can find you?? I’d love to explore this state with you!

  4. Another more prosaic way of describing the “territory of truths in between” could be what we used to describe as a tension between the artist and the dominant culture. That tension is a source of creative energy.
    The space in between one’s beliefs/self and the surrounding culture is also the place where creativity can occur. Over commitment to either can squeeze out the place where questions reside and where art can occur. This is a good thing to think about.

    • Don, I’m trying to think about it, but can’t seem to go much further…perhaps, I’m simply too much a part of the dominant culture and find my “in-between” in less obvious forces. I don’t really know. You are right, though, it is a good thing to think about.

      • Of course you are the only real judge of your relationship to the world we are immersed in. But from the outside, your visual and written work suggests plenty of spaces, or “territories of truth in between,” where creativity flourishes.

  5. Very nice shot.

    A friend of mine, the artist Mai Long was born in Australia to an Anglo Australian mother and a Vietnamese father. Many people treat Mai as though she is a foreigner in her own country and when she went to Vietnam she got treated the same way. I wrote about her in a post a while back ( )

    I’m going to send on your link about living in the “in-between” on to Mai, I’m sure she’ll be glad to hear she’s not on her own.

    • Razz, I remember when you wrote about Mai Long and her exhibition! If she has the opportunity to listen to Sherman Alexie (click on his name in the post above), I think she’ll find someone who knows exactly who she is without ever having met her.

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