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Friday, August 6, 2010

The Vacation


(Painting His Shadow by André Kertész,
1894-1985, Hungarian-born photographer)

“Memories are made of this,” sang Dean Martin (1917-1995).

THE VACATION

Once there was a man who filmed his vacation.
He went flying down the river in his boat
with his video camera to his eye, making
a moving picture of the moving river
upon which his sleek boat moved swiftly
toward the end of his vacation. He showed
his vacation to his camera, which pictured it,
preserving it forever: the river, the trees,
the sky, the light, the bow of his rushing boat
behind which he stood with his camera
preserving his vacation even as he was having it
so that after he had had it he would still
have it. It would be there. With a flick
of a switch, there it would be. But he
would not be in it. He would never be in it.

~ Wendell Berry, born 1934, American poet, writer, and farmer

2 comments:

Carol said...

This poem explains how I have always felt about the constant photographing and videotaping of life's events (children's plays, concerts, etc.?) When you are busy filming, how can you enjoy the event as it happens? I have always hesitated videotaping everything (even as someone who has worked making films myself) because I feel so guilty when I do film it and then let it sit unwatched. But maybe I feel that way because it feels like work to me. But it is nice to have the pictures afterwards -- it's a dilemma! What a great photo to illustrate this conundrum!

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