My Perception Is Lacking
I’m busy looking through my archive for that one photo that will help tell the story I’m working on. There are a lot of photographs in my archive. First, the black-and-white phase at the start of my career. Even before a career. All the way back to my beginning as a storyteller and the school patrol trip to Washington, DC, when I was 12. And the Disneyland camping trip two years later. Disneyland was formative. The camping part was formative.
Then, in the military sneaking photos on the classified flightline followed by college, the anti-war movement, working in the camera store in the town’s only mall, then back to the school where I became its news and sports photographer, then newspapers with a scattering of color, on to the wire service where the transformation to color was completed and black and white relegated to the negative morgue.
While searching the archive, the newest in digital format, the oldest in prints, I went to an old notebook to help me index my search. I’d seen so many photos from my life of making them that I’d lost track of what would work for the new story I wanted to create from them. I’d remembered a note I’d written myself several years before and thought it would corral my wild-eyed mind.
The note proved to be a distraction. A note without any explainers or qualifiers. A one-work note.
“Anosognosia.” Not sure of what it meant, of course, I googled it.
“Anosognosia is a condition in which a person is unaware of their own mental health condition or cannot accurately perceive it.”
Now, after searching through years of photo archives and becoming confused by the quantity of photos, the mix of color and black-and-white, and how it seemed they were all connected in some way but separate in their exposition, I’d arrived at a one-word clue.
I was concerned for my sanity.
Began wondering if I was part of a new Leonard in Mememto and I’d been leaving myself a trail of clues to help me determine my current state. Unlike Leonard, there aren’t any murders or strange tattoos in my life, and there is seemingly little confusion about the tasks ahead of me.
Leonard was also tasked. However his tasks took on a more sinister purpose that was revealed to be his own creation.
Perhaps I was like Leonard, exploring my own created world. A world of every possible photo assignment short of a war zone. (I was in Detroit in the 80s.) A collection of two-dimensional expressions of a three-dimensional life placed in a world where dimensions are rarely recognized, discussed, and pondered.
Perhaps when I'm gone in many, many years, when I’ve made my last Final Photo and someone else is put in charge of my archive, they will be able to create some order of what got me to where I am today.
I’m too close to it today. I can’t fully perceive it, either in the singular or aggregate. I should have kept better notes. Better than one-word notes.
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