Tag Archives: Goldfish

MARCH 1, 2015


Our rental house comes with an old well (this was once a farm house) which is now filled with fish, and it’s been my pleasure to feed them every day. It’s gotten to the point that when I walk by they all surface and start following me, even when it’s not feeding time.

As I scattered the food today I saw that the casting of the flakes and the rising of the fish made for a confetti-like dazzle of energy and imagery, particularly because there’s that grille (probably so that the guest’s grandchildren don’t fall in and disappear) which adds to the buzz that made it all seem so abstract and delightful, like a mardi gras for goldfish.

What has been interesting to me about this process of a picture-a-day is the outcome of any given day’s seeing. Because, surely, that is all this is about. For example; if someone asked me, “Joel, what did you make a photograph of today” and I answered, “well…there were some goldfish….” it would, on the face of it, sound inane, and maybe seem as if I had abandoned my standards. But here is what this whole discipline is becoming for me, now that I have completed 2 months of it. It is an exercise in opening up the limits that a lifetime of working can impose on any one of us. And so for 5 minutes I stood there, still as a stone, and just let it all play for me, and the trance was hard to leave, but then I snapped out of it, leaned in, and made a photograph.

It’s become a way of looking harder at my quotidian comings and goings, and thus pushing me to make something out of what normally could be overlooked. My freshening sense is that like confetti, the random juxtapositions that daily looking offers may awaken some new idea that I might not have considered had this not been risked.

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