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Sometimes We Don't See Ourselves (Mouse Over)

Dear Kim,

Why I like to be gone is a complicated topic. It may take a few postings to get it right.

I like to repaint a wall or two in my apartment very once in a while. And I definitely like to rearrange the furniture on a frequent basis.

It is about refreshing my eye so I see my environment newly and don’t grow stale in my thinking.

Travel is like that for me. When I am driving down the street trying to find some place, my senses are heightened. I pay closer attention to landmarks and street signs. It is like being slightly hungry.

(Kim: This happens to me if I'm carrying a camera. All of a sudden, I start to see things. Ernest Haas used to talk about the difference between seeing and orienting oneself. Most people only do the latter.

Another photographer, Minor White, said that "people go on vacation and forget to take themselves with them." You seem to do the opposite. Many go on vacation from both their day-to-day surroundings and from themselves.)

I also need the stimulation of the food and culture and ambience of different places. If I stay in one place all the time, I can experience the pleasure and deep connectedness of immersion but not the diversity that other places have to offer.

Loving art as I do, I need to see how it manifests itself in other settings. There is work that is specific to Los Angeles or New York. Things that I just cannot see if I don't leave my comfort zone.

But at the bottom of it all, I leave to have a different relationship or maybe conversation with myself. I have so many responsibilities at home all the time. Try as I might, it is difficult for me to make sufficient time for myself to think.

I leave so I can have time to think.

(Kim: I'm not sure that I need to travel, though it is fun to do. I just need a nap and the world pretty well escapes me and I can think about higher order things. Sometimes.)

Later,

Joan

Wednesday, Feb 8, 2006

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