Thursday, April 16, 2009

Framing; human symphony; Ricky Fitts

Sometimes I frame several people at once, and the lines of their experience and movement seem like melodic lines, which, when seen together, can form a beautiful polyphony.

I was sitting in a bookstore coffee shop when two women in their forties walked in and sat next to me. One was disabled, moved very slowly, and never spoke. The other, probably her sister, was restless and busy caring for her, handed her a book, which she slowly inspected, then replaced it with a magazine, rose and went off to look for something. He sister remained, silent, slowly looking over the pictures in the magazine.

Two women in their early thirties sat several tables away, and one talked continuously in a strong, level voice, which she occasionally punctuated with crescendoes expressing her surprize and puzzlement. No dramatic or violent emotions, just her stunned response to bewildering episodes.

Six pre-teens came in, moving in sporadic swirls. Four went to the counter as a boy and girl split off and sat at a table in front of me, laughing, distracted and light, and moving in ways that will soon beome flirtations.

And framing them all together I think, "Sometimes there's so much beauty in the world I feel like I can't take it, like my heart's going to cave in." (Ricky Fitts to Jane Burnham, watching his film of the plastic bag dancing in the wind. American Beauty; 1999.)

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