Thursday, April 1, 2010

On A Gift From Japan, circa 1912

(I'm fairly sure) there are two main reasons as to why i don't own a camera and never really have:

1. The act of experiencing is crucial to the notion of a memory, so why compromise it in order to immortalise it? It doesn't make sense in my head. One either experiences or documents. The two are mutually exclusive. 

2. I feel self-conscious taking photos of things. I'm not self-conscious about how the photos will turn out, or anything like that. The thing is, I am very self-aware of the actual act of photographing. I guess this point is related to point 1. above in that i find photography somewhat disruptive, and thus self-conscious about doing it, and so it goes...

Today, i embraced all this and momentarily made peace with it in order to unabashedly document (Iphone stylez) the cherry blossoms around our neighbourhood during a leisurely walk on a perfect Spring day. Embracing my hang-ups about photography involved embracing my hang-ups about appearing like a tourist, too. The results are these: 

3,020 cherry blossoms were gifted by Japan to the United States in 1912 to celebrate the building of a friendship between the two nations
At the stage which is photo no. 4, a peculiar thing happened. 
A middle-aged man, who was helping his wife and daughter lug things into a car out the front of their stately home, caught me in the act of being a cherry blossom tourist and commented, "It's lovely, isn't it. Would you like to see it from out on our deck?"
There wasn't much of a pause in anticipation of an answer, because he immediately proceeded to lead us up the front stairs, through the front door, the corridor, and the kitchen, and out onto the deck, where a giant tree covered in snow-like flowers grew from below, giving shade and fragrance and beauty and awe to us visitors. (And by us i mean me--Jared doesn't gush over cherry blossoms).
I politely took a picture, we thanked him for his kindness, and we walked away.

Embracing my tourist moment brought me an unimaginable reward: Neighbourly niceties.

No comments: