WHAT IS THAT ANGLE?
I had a friend who would drive to BWI airport in Baltimore and park his car on an air cargo lot at Furnace Branch road just to watch airplanes take off and land. I can only hope that what I've come to say here can be appreciated in a similar light.
The photographs I took as a young child still mean something to me. It's why I keep them. I've lost pictures taken over the next two decades - that is not the point. I see an angle of light in those pictures.
As children we stare into the sky. We are told not to stare directly at the sun, sometimes we do. We are always staring upwards. How many years of our youth are we considerably shorter than our father? We look up to parents, older siblings, relatives, teachers, the principal...you get it.
And as you look up the "grown-ups" are often backlit by a brilliant blue sky, with clouds and the sun. This would happen quite often, i suppose, if you played outdoors a lot.
For children it takes time to learn how to adjust yours eyes to the appropriate amount of light in the sky. Squinting comes later. All this light in our eyes. Hmmm...I bet that would make for some intense visuals if we could manipulate that view with what we know as adults. What if our view of the world was always that way? Well it isn't.
As adults we stare across the horizon. We greet other adults face to face. We look down on children. We are far more sensitive to sunlight. We buy sunglasses. We buy multiple pairs of sunglasses, maybe some with different UV ratings.
We don't look at the sun. If we drive, we try not to drive towards the sun at sunset unless the visor is down. So we try to avoid these situations, perhaps we drive at an earlier or later time. The same goes for a morning sunrise commute.
As we get older we make less eye contact. We look down to the ground. Our backs start to ache with age, and as our posture curves we see the sidewalks much more than the buildings, parks, and streets adjacent to them.
Just like my friend who parked at the airport, I want to keep fresh the notion of looking into the sky. There is a lot to see up there, and often I find myself remembering looking up that way - as a child. Our imaginations ran wild in our childhood, and we are nothing without using them. I've tried to dust off those memories to gain more of an impact than from teenage and young adult recollections.
I wish I could see the world from that same angle. What if I was two feet shorter I jokingly ask! Perhaps the "little people" know something us taller adults do not. I want to find a way of rediscovering that angle.
And that is the angle where, as a child, everyone I looked up to was backlit by the sun - as a halo.
"As the SPIRIT wanes, the FORM appears"
        -Charles Bukowski