The Upside Down-UnTiring Potion #1

Remember Harry Callahan’s simple (O, yeah, simple–until you try to duplicate it) image that has been speaking to me for several weeks?

Oh, admit it you’ve forgotten.  Here it is again.  CLICK!

Well, it’s been speaking to me for weeks but it was only the other day when I listened.   I landed on a new website by accident and read the words of a Robert Lowell poem called “Eye and Tooth”:

“I am tired.  Everyone is tired of my turmoil.”

Click I understood what I’d been hearing from Callahan’s image.  I knew where to start.

I went down to the Queen Anne’s Lace clump (there’s no other word for it) by the pond early this morning and began a new series.  A series that shall take time to evolve but I begin with an image that suggests ‘time’ to me by turning it upside down.   I don’t mean just the approximate hourglass shape either.  I mean it is only sharp on the edges, top and bottom; the center is not in focus.

By making it into a near tentative shape,  recognizable–but not really; evocative–but evocative of what exactly?–I begin with skeletal symmetry, my version of Harry Callahan’s image.

This is a prevailing creative mood I have: flashes of sharp focus on the periphery–but, rarely, is there a sharp dead center.

Perhaps, it is an evolutionary mechanism that as we get older, we grow more comfortable in blur?

Why get really really clear on the endgame, anyway?  Just more to worry about.

PS.  My cousin’s husband and his first wife used to live in Hartford, Connecticut in the house Robert Lowell had once called home. He has many Robert Lowell stories.   First and foremost, he told me that Lowell was a notorious crank:  if  little children bothered Lowell as he walked to work in the morning, he’d kick them!

He was in bad need of becoming “un-tired” of himself , but apparently didn’t know about the “upside down-un-tiring” potion.

Or, and I think this more probable: I think he saw the endgame more sharply and nuanced (as poets do) than the rest of us.  His poem of this photo would have the center in focus and the peripheral out of focus.

Note to self:  continue to live in a non-poetic blur as much as possible.


**Select photographs from this blog are my wider archive are available for purchase at

4 comments on “The Upside Down-UnTiring Potion #1”

  1. Interesting post, and I love the image. It gains so much by being clear on the edges and more indistinct toward the center. In some ways thats kind of how life is, unless we think we know more than we do…

  2. Was he tired of himself or just the turmoil in his life? Or perhaps the turmoil in his life caused by other people? Or then again was he tired of the turmoil in his life that was created by himself because of the way he decided to think about things?
    I like the sparseness of your image but I have to ask, did you intend to leave evidence of the image being made up of two images? Was it some acknowledgement of it’s “creation” like the paint drips on Warhol’s soup tin paintings.
    Mmmm my mind is starting to run off in all directions now! As it does.
    Latest tangential thought:
    The join in the middle of the shot is a metaphor for the act of creation, acknowledging the fact that what we perceive as reality is actually an creative artefact of our minds……..
    or not!

  3. Don. I’m laughing. I am unfamiliar with humans who think they know less than they actually do. I’d like to meet one. Do you suppose there are many of them on earth?

  4. Razz, Now, this was perfection in commentary!! You added depth to my image’s imperfections by giving them intent and motive! I was going for the slight bend but not the visible seam! Me, careless not thoughtful here.

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