Ox-Bow: Day two. Thoughts clearing, weather clear.
On not knowing.
There are currently three noises sounding off in the woods that I do not recognize, but those sounds overlay the chatter of two women walking down the path, the clank of beer bottles being thrown in the trash and far away-the whine of a motor boat. When I was talking to the Ox-Bow director today she explained that one of the things she likes most about growing-up and living still in the woods are the unidentifiable noises that animals and birds make at night. Holding off the urge to identify and categorize the information that comes through the senses is a difficult task, since I think as students we are trained, disciplined (some might say) into making quick quantitative or qualitative judgments. "What color is the apple?" "The apple is red!" What, if any, are the real benefits of delaying that response? That would only prevent you from making the next step towards analysis: what type of bird it is, what are its behaviors, how rare or common is the bird in these woods? I don't know that there are any benefits aside from living with a sense of uneasiness about the world and your environment. Instead of assuaging those uncertainties with knowledge, just accepting them as unresolved.
It really puts a tremendous burden on the senses to perhaps do some analysis that they otherwise might not do--to listen more closely, to make associations between sounds and smells, or sounds and certain types of light or weather. Delaying that response to identify and categorize could possibly result in a more cohesive sensory experience. One of the things I realized today as I was photographing the woods was that the camera has the strange effect of making me both more and less physically involved in the space/place. For instance, I crawled part way under a tree today, kneeling down in wet leaves, I thought I would never do this if I wasn't here to take a picture because I would be too caught up in the potential discomfort of wet knees, or bugs, or stepping in a hole. So then can the type of knowledge acquired through one sense (like the camera privileging the sense of sight, ever be truly isolated from the rest of the body and the senses?
Dinner today: Shrimp Creole with rice, cornbread and crazy fresh Okra.
Song of the day: Reckoner by Radiohead.