27 May 2007

I want to wander through the night as a figure in the distance even to my own eyes


Today you get some fun, though eerie, photos that I took at Natural Bridge, VA--and one excellent photo by Inge Morath. I've had thoughts about the kitschy tourist stuff around Natural Bridge before, but my thoughts don't tend to stay put for long and right now they aren't making an appearance. The thoughts had something to do with french critic Baudrillard's idea of simulacra, a copy that replaces the original, and the very unnatural world created to draw tourist into "natural" bridge. I haven't actually seen the Natural Bridge that was supposedly a sacred site to the Monacan Indians and that young George Washington felt compelled to mark with his initials, so I like to imagine the little rainbow bridge in the 5th shot is the Natural Bridge. I need to get around to seeing the other one, but i'm not sure I would find it awe inspiring because i've seen it so many times in tourist brochures.

In any case, moving on, I took the first five photos at the "Enchanted Forest," which looks like it used to be something like a haunted house but now is a fake dinosaur and bug repair shop. If you go there, take a walk over the rainbow bridge and through the door and you'll find yourself in a graveyard of broken dinosaurs. The bug, and the man struggling to break free of its shell, make me think of Kafka's "The Metamorphasis," which is fitting because I've been feeling kind of bug like today, estranged from myself and everyone else.

I anticipated this post going nowhere, which is why I included the photo by Morath (to give you some worthwhile viewing). She took the photo while travelling across the country with Henry Cartier Bresson (a big name in photography) in 1960 to take photos on the set of the Misfits, a John Huston film based on a story by Aurthur Miller. At the time, Miller was married to Marilyn Monroe, but that marriage soon collapsed and Miller married Morath, who he met on the Misfits set. The photo was took in 1960, and the shape of the cars really add to the appeal of the photo for me. Cars aren't as photogenic now.

My last photo, the futon with the orange cover and the playpen balls, was a happy accident. I hit the shutter button on the camera one night while my kids were at my dad's house, and that photo was the result. It was low light and I was moving the camera, so it's blurry. It has an interesting glow, though; to borrow Karen's word, it's "snazztastic."

The song line that titles the post is from "How to Rent a Room," a song on The Silver Jews album The Natural Bridge . The quality of my writing has steadily deteriorated since I started this blog, so I occasionally include someone else's writing to make up for it. This one should make up for a week or two of bad writing--it's a great song!

No I don't really want to die
I only want to die in your eyes
I'm still here below the chandelier
where they always used to read us our rights

I want to wander through the night
as a figure in the distance even to my own eyes
Have you ever rented a room
have you ever even rented a room?

An anchor lets you see the river move
but now that your evil dreams came true
there on your face
a row of teeth will come to replace

I know you laughed when I left
but you really only hurt yourself
When you see your curtains move in the wind
you can bet I'm betting against you again

Cause I'm a man who has a wife who has a mother
who married one but she loved another
You're a tower without the bells
you're a negative wishing well

I should have checked the stable door
for the name of the sire and dam
you were always at the dogtrack
with your brother and all his friends

Chalk lines around my body
like the shoreline of a lake
Your laughter made me nervous
it made your body shake too hard

Now there's a lot of things that I'm gonna miss
like thunder down country and the way water drips
when you're running for the door in the rain
read the metro section...read the metro section
see my name

No I didn't really want to die
I only wanted to die in your eyes
Grant me one last wish
Life should mean a lot less than this

Oh yeah, if you've made it this far, keep scrolling down; i added some stuff to Friday's post.