Monday, February 24, 2014

Quatrain #24: Murmurations

Around the time of first grade, there was this small sign taped in the doorway that was always easily visible as I made my way out of the house. Stop, Look, & Listen… 

It was an easy expression to recall, which as a kid, simply made the experience of crossing the roads on the way to school safer. The expression became sort of a chant, and it resonated in my mind like a good friend who was continuously reminding me in a calm, low, indistinct voice; some might call it a murmuration.

What's kind of funny about this is that the practice to stop, look, and listen never seemed to disappear as I grew into being a photographer. The experience of safely crossing roads became habit, and yet the practice of these simple acts turned up to define the essence of seeing and creating images. On the flip side of this, as a viewer, consider how images inform your other sensory experiences. I mean, upon viewing this quatrain, can you hear leaves falling, or the wind blowing… an airplane engine droning high up above… the shrill of a flock of starlings swooping in the sky, and synchronous to one another's every movement… a low rumble of distant thunder? If not, so be it… I can.

But what about the fish form, and where on Earth did that come from? How is this even possible? How can a flock of birds strike a collective pose as a fish? I believe that it can partially be explained with a quote by Louis Pasteur that I like to murmur from time to time, "chance favors the prepared mind."

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