Saturday, July 25, 2009

Every Single Thing

every single thing is both:
ended and begun

possibility rises like a camel's hump:
which side will you ride?

all is lost:
begin again

all is begun:
this is the end

every single thing is both

Friday, July 17, 2009

Snowball, This One's for You

I've been trying to learn Nikon's Capture NX2 photo editing program, which I have installed on my computer on a 60-day trial, a week of which remains to be used. Before I shelled out the more than $140 to buy it, I wanted to have a sense of whether I'd be able to use it, whether it would be too much or two little for my needs.
At first I felt as if I'd been dropped into Advanced Potion-Making at Hogwarts with no preparation.
I either got no result or a result that wasn't what I was looking for. The online help was definitely inadequate, so I picked up a trade paperback and went through that, which helped. I know now that competence, the kind that can move without pondering first, is a matter of months, not of weeks, and that I'm liable to get discouraged during the process. But already I've been able to achieve effects that please me, and I will purchase the full package eventually.
I'm pondering the similarity between photo post-processing and active processing, as it were, of experience, a processing that goes beyond memory into an emotional, visceral, intellectual engagement with something that happened before. "Oh, I remember that." We've all said it--and the memory returns to the shelf unchanged. And we all have the themes and situations from our past to which we return over and over again, as if we have not yet gotten them into focus, as if we cannot yet see them clearly enough to lay them to rest with other accomplished recognitions.
So we hold these experiences this way and that, consider possibilities of blame and expiation, and cannot let them go, unsatisfactory as they are, till something shifts and we have a new way of seeing the situation whole, entire.
When I was a little girl, my most beloved dog ran into the wheels of a truck, he was so glad to see us. The truck driver was upset but there was nothing he could have done to prevent it. Obviously Snowball was injured. My mother carried him home, put him in his bed to see if he would get better. Three days later, when he hadn't, she took him to the vet, who said his hip was badly broken and put Snowball to sleep.
All these years I have held anger in my heart toward Mama, that she didn't take Snowball immediately to the doctor, that he had to suffer any moment longer than necessary. And I know that things were different 50-some-odd years ago in the South, that even loving people didn't necessarily take the same kind of care of their animals. But this didn't ease my heart, till a dear, trusted friend said, "Lynn, have you ever thought that perhaps she could not face giving him up?" I don't know. Tears still come to my eyes, but now they are more complicated tears and even the past has been somehow affected.
Today's picture was quite drab when I started to work on it. Somehow it seems this version says more about what was "really" there.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Blow Up the TV

I just left in my wake a small swath of discomfiture at a major American corporation that will remain nameless to protect the guilty. You see, after my final bill for cell phone service, said corporation said I still owed them $1.99. I thought about not paying it, but I did.

So today I receive an adjusted final bill that showed said corporation owing me a credit of $1.77. I call to request a refund and am told variously, by four different employees moving higher up the organizational chart, that $1.77 is not enough to warrant a refund, writing the check would cost the corporation more than it was worth, and they only issue refunds for $4.50 or more.

My blood boiled. I announced, quite clearly, that I was not angry with the person on the phone but the corporation. . . . Well, let's say that's a different matter and that my conversation was sprinkled with "petty larceny on a corporate scale" and "class-action lawsuits" and "who gave you the right to decide how much of my money you get to keep?" Each time I was told no, I said, "I want to speak to your supervisor."

Finally I got a young woman who as much as intimated she was breaking the rules by authorizing a refund for such a little amount, "but because you're so upset," she would do it. When I cash the check, I'm planning on sending back a note of thanks and saying that while I appreciate the corporation's belated sensitivity to my upset feelings, refunding the money because it wasn't theirs to keep in the first place would have been a much more satisfactory solution.