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I’m reminded of a  line  from a poem by e. e. cummings, “maunkind”: man, the narrator comments, “plays with bigness of his littleness .”   I wasn’t expecting anything to come this shot of an off-ramp in nearby Irving, Texas.  I was out with a group of other amateur photographers who seemed to be having a much easier time than I was finding subjects to shoot in the midst of what to me felt like a too-modern, too-new concrete jungle set along too-perfectly formed artificial waterways.  They seemed to possess — and have been possessed by — the inspiration I couldn’t find.  It was almost out of a sense of . . . frustration or better, frustrated duty, that I aimed my point-and-shoot camera up and absently released the shutter.  One image captured by this camera for this outing.  Only one.  If nothing else, the lines were interesting.

Ironically, this image was actually the best of the 12 I eventually got back, 11 of which came from other locations where I thought I could find the muse that had eluded me that day in Irving.  Yes, the lines were interesting; so were the colors. But it was the sense of being completely overwhelmed by the man-made that for me defined the picture.  I experienced the “bigness of my littleness”; how truly insignificant I was.  It was disconcerting, even anxiety-provoking  to be overshadowed by an indifferent monolith that could crush you into confirmed non-existence in the blink of an eye. Yet at the same time, there was something — beautiful? — in recognizing my own fragile mortality.


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