On the George Washington Bloom Project: Memory and Focus

18Mar09

In which The Gay Recluse becomes increasingly obsessed with orchids.

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It is in the nature of certain people (ahem) never to be satisfied, which — depending on the context — can be a curse or a blessing.

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For example, I just finished a very delicious chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting (but not too sweet!) and am already aching for another. This is also why it’s sometimes better to leave the contours of life blurry, so that we can be distracted by questions of interpretation instead of fixating on crossing boundaries that all too often we realize in retrospect might have been better left uncrossed. But at the same time, relentless dissatisfaction can sometimes yield work of improbable beauty, and this too can provide a measure of unexpected relief.

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It seems like the unhappiest people — by which I mean ‘the happiest’ — are those who never give in to either extreme, and exude satisfaction and contentment. I was like this once, until I broke my glasses and everything was a blur for several weeks. I grew to appreciate this, so that when the time came to pick up my new glasses, I told the optician to grind the lenses back into sand; this made me happy for a little while, until I grew fatigued with everything this new world offered, and more than anything else, I wished to possess what I had once had. Now that I am older and a ‘productive member of society’ I sometimes attempt to nostalgically recapture these extremes through photography, and intentionally blur images; I am vaguely aware that this is actually an exercise in memory, which is equally susceptible to distortions in the attempt to make them more beautiful than real life.



2 Responses to “On the George Washington Bloom Project: Memory and Focus”

  1. As a true Libra, I seek balance, rarely to find it. Yet the tension between the extremes is exhilarating. The Tao says things always resolve into their opposite state, pausing and moving on again. This is where life’s joy and life’s contentment lie for me. stillness is the beginning of movement; movement resolves into stillness.

  2. All part of that all too common and rarely recognized human condition–Dissatisfaction and the ever greener grass on the proverbial other side.


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