Sunday, January 09, 2005


What does one "take" when one takes a picture ? An instant of reflected light ? A few photons ? Hardly grand larceny. The image of the bird falls through my lenses, onto my film and retina. The image of me enters its round eye. It's a dialogue, a little nexus of mutual influence. The bird flies off, sooner than it otherwise might have flown, into, let us say, the maw of a passing wolf who would otherwise have passed right on, lunchless. What, then, have I taken ?

Next, now, comes the real corruption. The trafficking. Trafficking in images. Trafficking in all sorts of commodities. Tits and tats. Eyes and teeth. It's a veritable black market, its stalls heaped with contaband. What exchanges hands ? You might well ask.

It's all quite shameless. The moon, the poet said, does not bear a grudge. Neither, of course, does it love me. Or you. Nor would it if it could. Nor should it.

The squirrel has the right idea.

It is offering a profound teaching. Gratis.

Who has ears big enough to hear it with, my dear ?

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