I take most of my photographs while out walking my dog. My favorite subject? Objects found on my walks. I find a curious beauty in things lost, left behind, abandoned. Here are a few examples.
I've been asked why I take these photos, what it is I find so fascinating about these objects. Most of them worthless. The ones that were once worth something are now broken, beyond repair. Useless junk.
So, why do I find them so intriguing?
Here, I will seem to digress. In first grade, my favorite book was "Horton Hatches the Egg," by Dr. Seuss. "I meant what I said, and I said what I meant," repeats Horton, "And an elephant's faithful 100%." Horton promised to take care of an egg, and he faithfully protected that tiny egg, even when he suffered for it.
I didn't understand that my parents' marriage was breaking apart, that my father was having an affair with another woman, the woman he later married. Even tho I didn't understand, I compulsively read Dr. Seuss' book. Horton's words meant the world to me. "An elephant's faithful 100%." Horton kept his vow.
Our parents did not explain divorce very well to us. I didn't understand that it was permanent. I was waiting for him to come back to us. When I found out he had another wife now, I figured it out. He wasn't coming. He would never live with us again.
We had been abandoned. Thrown away. We were broken. I felt terribly, terribly ugly. And one day, at the age of 7, I had the realization that, "Someday, I'm going to die." Such a serious little girl.
Oh, there were visits. He paid child support (not always on time, but he paid it). I lived with him and his wife in high school, and naively thought she actually loved me. I won't go into the rest of the sad story, but I found myself on my own at 18.
Sounds like wallowing, doesn't it? "You're 60 years old, get over it!" My story is actually much, much worse, but I won't go there in this blog. And I will ask this question: "Have you gotten over the great tragedies of your life?"
I have reached the conclusion, surprising to me, that by finding the beauty in these broken bits of trash, these damaged objects, these things dumped unceremoniously on vacant land, to be someone else's problem -- in doing this, I am finding myself. The broken little girl, who thought herself so ugly, actually had value, beauty, dignity. She was actually cute as a button. And here she is:
You, gentle reader, may draw your own conclusions. And, perhaps, embrace your own inherent dignity and worth -- and that of those around you. Think about it.