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I know “curated” does not mean “stuff left over.”
A curator searches through his or her museum’s basements, files, archives, vaults, hallways, and subterranean sanctorums in search of pieces that support an important theme or idea.
The hope is that, as a whole, a curated show will tell a story or bolster an idea. A curated show is more than a theme — say for example, pictures with something red in them.
There is no doubt that during self-isolation, we have changed. As our lives slowed down, our perception has improved. I dare say that we are all seeing, feeling, hearing, loving, fearing in ways our previously busy, noisy, distracting, and demanding lives would not permit.
We may not totally understand or appreciate all these new stimuli, but there they are. There they always were, beneath our busy surface-skimming lives.
This is often called mindfulness, this greater awareness.
You can look upon it as a gift. Look upon it as an intrusion. Look upon it as a superpower. Look upon it as a curse.
That’s up to you.
Think of it like this: Imagine you have an intricately woven rug in your living room. You can walk across it a thousand times and never once pause to explore the hundreds of patterns that add up to its design.
Or you can sit, stare, and fall deeply into the many facts in the rug, imagine the people who wove it, appreciate their craft. Perhaps you could explore the origins of the rug, learn its age, the nature of the people who do this work, the lives they lead.
Next time you walk across it, you will be a different person, filled with appreciation for the lives and struggles and skills of others.
Your life has been enriched.
There are hundreds of things around you that can occupy your attention like this, for a moment, for an hour, for a day, for the duration of the pandemic. If you choose to let them do so.
Awareness leads to gratitude. Awareness can teach us something about ourselves. Awareness can fill us with appreciation. Awareness can teach us humility. Awareness can enrich our lives in unexpected ways.
Look at that. I started out talking about a curated exhibit and went off on a trip into mindfulness. Well, if this collection of images is curated in any way, perhaps it is to say they are all the result of heightened awareness while in self-containment during the pandemic.
If you want to invest meaning into some of them, by all means, do so.
Some of these were orphaned in other projects. Some were posted on instagram or Facebook but not here. So some may look familiar to you who follow me on those other platforms (I don’t recommend it. I have little original to say.)
I wish I could say there is a theme here, like — photographs with something red or blue in them. Photos of sad people. Photos of lovely flowers. Photos of shadows. Photos of uplifting moments.
This is just stuff. Stuff I don’t want to fade away without posting here. Stuff with no narrative. Stuff with no context. Stuff that’s just nice to look at. Sometimes.
But mostly, just stuff. Stuff I want to share.
Anyway. If you like one image or the other, good on you. Your time has not been wasted.
I get the feeling like this is a turning point of some sort.
I don’t know. Maybe I’m going to start doing something meaningful now Like go back to learning Spanish. Maybe finish the half-dozen odd stories that sit like broken bodies in my computer. Maybe start really exercising again. Maybe start calling my kids more often.
Are we at the half-point in this pandemic horror story? Are we still in the first chapter? Is anybody left out there? Are zombies real? Is there one under my bed? Are anti-maskers infected with a neurological disease that makes them act so weird?
Will cable TV survive?
So many questions. None of which will be answered by these images. They are, in the end, just a small relief package. For me. For you.
I hope you find something you like. Stick around as long as you like. Kick a few tires. Lift the hood. Talk among yourselves. Try the buffet. Have a drink at the bar.
Leave your card in the glass bowl at the entrance. One lucky winner will earn a trip to the stars, at a time to be named in the future.
I apologize for the lack of context and supporting information on these images. It is still being assembled in the factory by Buddhist nuns who are very slow but meticulous.
Please provide you own, if you like.