Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Holy Frig

In honor of the Honest Abe Lincoln penny pose struck by this cloud over Grand Falls, New Brunswick, I’m going to tell you the truth. Keeping up with the visual manifestations of iconic figures and forms has not been a priority of late . . . okay, it hasn’t been a priority for a while. Tracking and considering these happenings is a full-time job. Such sightings never stop, and they never will. It’s a fundamental aspect of our existence. Uploaded to YouTube on August 1, I just watched the video, viewer number 2,553,733. “Holy frig,” exclaims the man filming the sky.

The big picture is something I’m still trying to bring into focus, but for all of the differences in the countless individual stories, there are incredible commonalities. The commonalities are telling, though I’m still trying to crack the code. Recently I saw No Direction Home, Martin Scorsese’s Bob Dylan documentary. Recollecting the angry audiences that booed him when he first went electric, Dylan said something like, “Whatever they were mad about had nothing to do with what they heard.” We all carry so much with us that a song, a certain noise, a shadow or a scar can flip all sorts of internal switches and that’s why life on this planet looks as it does.

I’m going to keep looking and kick around some of these ideas from different angles. Most of this will be done in private. Some of it, like this piece about writers not wanting to read, will be shared, at least once a month at Print magazine's Imprint. I’ll do my best to post updates here, though I anticipate they will remain infrequent. The choice bits that do pop up here will be of interest to me, though perhaps not to you. We’ll just have to see . . .