i stopped to photograph the stars on the highway towards west wyalong & it was silly – i struggled with the controls in the pitch black, couldn’t even recall the settings i’d used previously for this sort of thing. it was so absolutely quiet though & that ends up being the thing to recreate. it was at least fifteen minutes by the side of the road & not even a vague rumble or the distant glow of a single car’s headlights. it’s that unusual lack of sound then that affords the darkness a real presence, like it’s holding you in place. i don’t know.
regardless i still take away one image, one with the camera poised flat on the car roof, a thirty second exposure. later, when the levels are pulled up slightly the stars are tiny perfect baubles, & with the saturation emphasised, each takes on its own distinct colour. blues, yellows, reds. i feel like i can now see something my eyes couldn’t & it’s really pretty. this missed prettiness probably happens all the time. anyway, so it’s not the most impressive image but i kind of like it & i make it my facebook background image. it has a minor impact, 5 likes i think.
why do i need to recreate something in order to experience it fully? why the requirement for acknowledgement? words, words. hey i could have simply been in that cloistering darkness & quiet, underneath the milky spread of stars. i could have just experienced that. i did, i guess, but i also capture it to share. here & there. it’s a proxy for turning to someone & looking into her eyes – a moment shared then acknowledged with no exterior art. i remember ben lerner writing about some kind of dental procedure in his novel. the drugs put him in state of bliss, & he is certain that this state of perfection is only possible because he won’t remember it at all. of course he remembers it. & we should have known, i mean, it’s in the book. the conclusion he comes to is that what he experienced could not have been perfect. is this the only conclusion?
i was going to delete my skype account, some kind of digital burning, but it’s now the platform violet & i use. she calls me every night at the same time. she’s wonderfully suited to it, prattling on, never stopping to wonder whether she has anything interesting to say. she wanders around, showing me where she is, the things she has. it’s a communicative routine that pulls at the heart after-the-fact. i even took a screenshot, knowing i’d look back on this. courting sentimentality. maybe i’ll read back over these words. feel these feelings. if i can remember everything it’s not perfect, right?
being in the moment feels important but it’s also elusive. in one of samuel beckett’s novels (not sure which, i’m citing things from memory, i’m sitting in front of the heater right now & it’s too nice to move) his character ponders the different ways that he might walk around a table & through a room. the many routes & options are pondered at length & you basically experience all the different ways one could walk across a room. it takes pages & pages. you might say beckett is boring the reader, but i felt (or at least i think i felt – it’s been a while) like he was immersing the reader in the experience of being paralysed by options. there’s a miranda july short story where she conjures up the same feeling – she places herself in the centre of a room, narrating a sense of being unable to move from one spot.
i’m not sure where this is leading. i was also just thinking about samual beckett being the most noted intellectual to ever play first class cricket. that’s not really relevant though… i think maybe this ends with me trying to get out of bed in the morning. i get the feeling of options bleeding into paralysis. why get up at 6 when it could be 8? there’s no real difference, no imperative to action. besides there’s a tricky & interesting mixing of shadows as the dark turns to the early light grey. this is the real crisis i need to be documenting via image. i make up my mind to sleep with the SLR on the other side of the bed. or do i, i don’t know, it’s hard to tell.