What on earth do these photos have in common? It is a weird collection, I admit. Especially since you've already seen them in the photo safari reports. So why do I have them here, again? And why these particular photos?
Well, it's to illustrate one of the other weird things about my demented brain. Once long ago I wrote about how I see heart shapes around me all of the time. Well "see" them. Of course I see them, they do exist, they are there. What I meant was that I notice them where other people might not. Heart shaped leaves, or blossoms, or rocks or raindrops or broken bits of sidewalk that happen to resemble the valentine associated heart shape. I am not seeking that shape out, I just notice it. A lot. Like everytime I'm out and about. They are everywhere!
It so happens that another thing I notice a lot is letters. You know, alphabet letters. Usually upper case. Why? I have no idea. But there it is. A lot. I kind of sort of can't not see them. I'm not sure what that says about it, but whatever it is I'm not it's nothing horrible. It's not like I'm trying to see letters, the are just there. You know, there is a chair, there is a lizard, there is a letter K. It just is.
The above photos are just some quick examples. I see EVXOLTW in those photos. Of course I also see the birds and the pretty grasses and the trees and so forth. But when I'm choosing to take a photo, there are a zillion or so thoughts going on in my head all at the same time. Some of those thoughts are about lighting and composition and focus. I'm also thinking about the best angle for the shot. And the subject matter itself. The actual subject - perhaps the bird - but also the V shape of the tree he was perched upon. I most likely also have a song playing in my mind, a grocery list being worked out, a memo to pick up a birthday card for someone, a debate about what I'm fixing for dinner that night and a passing thought about how hot, cold or perfect the weather is at that moment. But that's for a different post. This one is about the letters.
I've always done this. Noticed letters, I mean. When I was very young, I thought that if I put together all of the letters I had noticed that day, it might spell out something important. Like a message from the universe. But of course, it never was. What a silly notion. But I went right on noticing letters in the most unexpected places.
Then, somewhere along the line, I ran across a book by Arlene Alda. An alphabet book. It was a wonderous thing. She took photographs of all sorts of things that made letters until she had compiled one photograph for every one of the 26 letters of the English alphabet! Wow! It was so cool! Of course I bought it. That was not even a question.
At the time, I collected alphabet books. A strange thing to collect perhaps. But perhaps not! I am after all a reader, a writer and a person who already notices letters everywhere around her. So maybe collecting alphabet books is not such a stretch. Perhaps it's not a common thing to collect but then, perhaps I'm not a common person?
When we we getting ready to move here, we had to get rid of a lot of our belongings before we left Colorado. One of the things I had to sacrifice was books. So Many Books!! And part of that was my alphabet book collection. (In truth, the collection had kind of gotten out of hand). I donated nearly the entire collection to a children's literacy program. So while I kind of miss my books, I feel really good about where they went.
I did say that I donated nearly the entire collection, didn't I? Yeah. There were a couple that I just couldn't let go of. One is a Christmas Alphabet book that my sister gave me a long time ago that I just could not part with. (I also used to collect Christmas books) and the other is called, "The Peter Pan Alphabet" by Oliver Herford. It's a very old book (1907) and in delicate shape. I knew that it would not survive much handling so I held on to that one. Well, I also adore the story of Peter Pan so even if it were in excellent condition I might have had trouble letting go of that particular book.
ANYWAY, so big fat hairy deal, right? I don't see "dead people" like that poor tortured kid in the movie "Sixth Sense", but I do see letters that are meaningless and spell nothing in particular. What was the show that had the regular segment on Stupid Human Tricks? Was that David Letterman? I think so. Anyway, I suppose that's one of mine. It's useless but it's something that I do. And thanks to Arlene Alda's book, I also know that I am not the only one who does. Nice to know that I'm not alone.
They say everyone has some inherent and ultimately useless ability...what's yours?
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.