My new UCLA class is called “The Lyric Essay: Writing by Associative Leaps.” It’s brilliant I think…I’ll be a more lyrical person when I emerge on the other side a couple of months from now (and, it is safe to say, lyricism has never been my strong suit). To put it simply, as I understand it so far, it’s about paying more attention to the sound and rhythm of language and expressing oneself more freely partially through an emphasis on images rather than the usual focus on narrative. This will not be easy for me but then where’s the challenge if it were to be otherwise.
Images are proving to be one problem—odd isn’t it? Every moment our eyes are open there are images before them. I’m surrounded by images captured first-hand, when my eye sees the thing(s) directly or second-hand, when a photographer or filmmaker or sculptor has already captured the image for me.
How hard can it be then to jot down ten images in a day? REALLY HARD, it turns out. Because an image worthy of capturing, to use in our writing should have something distinct about it, right? Not beauty or drama or even extremes of any kind but something surely.
Then there’s the second issue, my need to take photos of some interest to someone/anyone for my blogs versus my need to capture these ten writing-prompt images for my class. They may or may not be the same at all.
The following photos will give you an idea of why there is a problem. I leave my comfortable but non-descript house, drive unprepossessing winter streets to my run of the mill place of work, notable only for its colorful but fading paint job. I leave there at the end of the day and drive to the gym, another plain brown Albuquerque building. Then back home to my very ordinary house and ‘hood. I’ve tarted a few of these photos up to make your viewing journey more fun than it would be in real life.
Where are the images for my exceptional photos and extraordinary essays?
I’ll get back to you on that…after I’ve checked in with my IMAGINATION.