Moon over the Yosemite Valley

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


I have been in sort of a dead space. Haven't felt like doing much of anything. My mother is hanging on at hospice, strangely and miraculously. We have already said our goodbyes but she has never been one to cooperate and now is throwing a final wrench in at the end, to the amazement and consternation of the medical authorities. Good for her.

Not like this wasn't all her own script, now she gets to create a little drama in the final act. Bravo.

Been dreaming about her a lot and also dreaming about my own life. Opportunities squandered and wasted, general reckoning. Counting my many blessings and my many fuck ups.

That life is about to get real busy again and so I am trying to fully indulge in my lethargy at present. Yesterday I got a wild hair and drove to the San Diego Safari Park aka the Wild Animal Park. I used to help maintain the epiphyllum houses there but hadn't been there for a long time and things have really changed. Not sure for the better. I arrived in the late afternoon and caught the last tram around the African Plains.

I took a mess of pictures yesterday and they mostly all sucked. I generally take an ungodly number of shots and rarely have bad days. Yesterday was a bad day. Never felt comfortable with my equipment, never felt in synch. Flailed and failed.

I saw some cool opportunities, a cute pair of lion cubs tussling, a crash of rhinos, but couldn't nail anything.

It is tough to deal with zoos and drainage pipes, ear notches, tags, proto-wild concrete structures and cages once you have been to the real thing. I spent a month in Kenya and Tanzania on safari when I was younger, a lifetime ago, a dream trip. Now everything else pales.

I will have to go back to the park one day and try again. Hope to have it more together.

The toughest thing for an artist or creative person is to self edit. We fall in love with our own crap, and sometimes I mean crap. Best tool we have is the wastebasket or delete button. Yesterday nothing was in focus or properly exposed. Might be getting used to my new eyes a little bit.

And as an artist at times you have to ask yourself how far you can push the metaphor, abstraction, focus, crazy factor, or stomp before you start to lose people. And not just the L-7s.

I have decided that I am flush enough to buy a decent, cheap medium format camera and go back to film. I am feeling the limitations of digital 35mm style slrs. I bought a scanner and want to start playing. Got outbid on a Mamiya 7 yesterday. Might have a lead on a hasseblad or a rollie.

The cool thing about yesterday was that artistic output non withstanding, I ended up having a fabulous day. You see I stayed until the very end, and it got very dark. Practically the last person there. The zoo in the dark takes on an eerie jurrasic park quality. Strange noises from the bushes and enclosures. I ducked into the bat house to add to my gothic sensation.

Dark is where it's at at the Safari Park.

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