A couple weeks ago I decided not having a wide angle lens for my SLR camera meant I was missing a whole world of opportunity. For whatever reason after years of using telephoto and macro lenses to bring things closer (isolate bird from the cacophony of the trees, isolate the bee it holds in its beak), I wanted to bring distance between myself and the world, capture hot air balloons soaring, sunsets, great architecture instead of great cornices. I tried a wide angle lens in the store and experienced – vertigo. Life, for me exists piece by piece, there is never enough minutiae, for this I blame my father, the difference, I think is he uses a microscope, while I use a telephoto lens.
Magpie that I am, you give me an old garment, if the buttons shine, I’ll peck them off, store them in a jar, shove it in a closet and get back to it later (more on that later) and leave the cloth behind. In other words, I know the difference between figure and ground. My Dad, on the other hand, I heard that they used to call him Mo, short for molasses. My brother-in-law said you take a natural talent for slowness and add to that infirmity, well.
But I don’t think it was an issue of slow. They also called him Shanks for his legs. He used to run distance. Same with his bike. I’m not sure when he quit, but he was still going into his seventh decade. I think he is enamored with the ground. When the ground is desert, that’s one thing, but what if it’s, say, New York City? If you live at the end of a microscope it makes a difference, in terms of distractions. My Dad got out of the Great Depression, what do you suppose the ground looked like then? He worked a full time job and completed college in four years. Then he spent most of the rest of his life accumulating and much of it he has been “trying to get organized.” He loves math and science and this isn’t something you can manage with equations or logic. I’m sure he’s tried. And now he can’t run from it, anymore, either, he just moves it from one stack to another or has one of us do it for him. Meantime, I have buttons and a daughter like my father.