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Photo of the Week
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ISSUE

129

This week in the Photo of the Week:

"The Shepherd"



photo of this weeks photo of the week


The Shepherd

The portrait that makes up this edition of Photo of the Week features quite a charismatic person with a strong featured face. Model and portrait can share a story or two, anyone can see that. But alas, they were not sharing them with me. For the second time since I have started contributing to this production I came up completely blank.

However, this time a memory of a book I once read resurfaced with the whole 'not knowing what to write' dilemma. In it, a teacher of English encounters a problem shared by many of the students in his creative writing class at Montana State College in Bozeman. “He’d been innovating extensively. He’d been having trouble with students who had nothing to say. At first he thought it was laziness but later it became apparent that it wasn’t. They just couldn’t think of anything to say.
One of them, a girl with strong-lensed glasses, wanted to write a five-hundred-word essay about the United States. He was used to the sinking feeling that comes from statements like this, and suggested without disparagement that she narrow it down to just Bozeman.
When the paper came due she didn’t have it and was quite upset. She had tried and tried but she just couldn’t think of anything to say.
He had already discussed her with her previous instructors and they’d confirmed his impressions of her. She was very serious, disciplined and hardworking, but extremely dull. Not a spark of creativity in her anywhere. Her eyes, behind the thick-lensed glasses, were the eyes of a drudge. She wasn’t bluffing him, she really couldn’t think of anything to say, and was upset by her inability to do as she was told.
It just stumped him. Now he couldn’t think of anything to say. A silence occurred, and then a peculiar answer: "Narrow it down to the main street of Bozeman." It was a stroke of insight.
She nodded dutifully and went out. But just before her next class she came back in real distress, tears this time, distress that had obviously been there for a long time. She still couldn’t think of anything to say, and couldn’t understand why, if she couldn’t think of anything about all of Bozeman, she should be able to think of something about just one street.
He was furious. "You’re not looking!" he said. A memory came back of his own dismissal from the University for having too much to say. For every fact there is an infinity of hypotheses. The more you look the more you see. She really wasn’t looking and yet somehow didn’t understand this.
He told her angrily, "Narrow it down to the front of one building on the main street of Bozeman. The Opera House. Start with the upper left-hand brick." Her eyes, behind the thick-lensed glasses, opened wide. She came in the next class with a puzzled look and handed him a five-thousand-word essay on the front of the Opera House on the main street of Bozeman, Montana. "I sat in the hamburger stand across the street," she said, "and started writing about the first brick, and the second brick, and then by the third brick it all started to come and I couldn’t stop. They thought I was crazy, and they kept kidding me, but here it all is. I don’t understand it.”

Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance,
1999 (1974), Vintage; London, pp. 190-191.

'Till the next Photo of the Week, salutations,

Peter-Jan Vermeij
Website Peter-Jan (in Dutch)



And also..

A new series of live music videos.
SARAU CRIAR | MUSIC VIDEOS | MAARTEN ZEEHANDELAAR | © 2013


glad azevedo video renato assis video andre luis cantareiro video
of which these are just a few -I think beautiful- examples.

© 2013 Maarten Zeehandelaar

Until the next Photo of the Week!

externe link externe link externe link externe link


Texts and photography –unless stated otherwise–
all rights reserved © 2010-2013 Maarten Zeehandelaar

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