Yesterday in Burgundy, it was, in a word, wet. If jack-o-lanterns had been out grinning the night before, there was no sign of them. Gray skies, puddles, the first skeletal branches, and lingering green pressed in on all sides. It was cold enough for the fleece-lined Sorel’s I’ve been dragging around the globe with me for years. Wanted to give you a look, and a moment of quiet accented by your own breathing and the slap of your rubber soles on the wet road.
Country textures please me. Delipadation. Log piles. Weathered wood. Boarded up doors, and window panes sealed with plastic. Here and there, order, dignity and elegance. Everything, in the end, has the beauty of a found object. Our existence seems less invasive here…here, things grow up around us. It’s up to us to fight back the weeds, but we always sort of fail. That is the beauty of this place.
[If you liked this Street Tour, you might enjoy seeing its opposite: The Street #1: Via Palermo, Milan.]
Thanks Ian! Just me and my trusty phone. Short trip this one, so left the big “real” camera at home.
Ahhh, just what I needed, Charlotte, a little Toussaint break! How is your mom doing this week?
LOVE the images. am now thinking: if i took this approach to my very own humble, overly familiar neighborhood, would my pictures be as beautiful? would i appreciate my little blocks of nature and structure more? hmm…..now there’s another project for me to undertake. thank you.
I think you SHOULD do that project. Did you know that Roberto pulled me out of my culture-shock gloom by giving me his camera? (Smart man.) He said, “Take this and photograph what you want.” It makes you edit. Makes you appreciate. It’s a good thing.
What I love about these photographs is how much they capture a notion that has been obsessing me recently: the geometry in the ordinary things we see every day: the 90 degree verticality of walls, designed and built by different people at different times–decades or centuries apart: the angularity of rooftops and steeples; the curvature of trees and streams, the parallelness of pickets in the fence; etc., etc. The older I get (and this is becoming impressive, even to me!) the more dazzled and fascinated I am. Amazing! I wonder how it would work (or IF it would work) to teach kids plane geometry by maybe photographing, or drawing, scenes on the streets around them–and letting them marvel at the fact that buildings constructed years apart all have vertical walls, 90 degrees straight up and down, or using a protractor to calculate the angle of a roof. Or the number of circles on the street: every vehicle (except bicycles and wheelbarrows) X four. It blows my mind. And the Greeks figured it out.
I’v had the same thought about using urban environment to teach children about geometry. Hmmm.