Friday, April 24, 2009
From within our moving car, we could not tell if the pages were blank or written on. We could not stop to investigate, but my curious mind made up a story anyway.
What if it was someone's novel, freshly finished, tossed or fallen for some reason from their moving car? Unwittingly, or surely someone would have been there, trying to gather those precious pages.
Maybe it was like the incident where all the voter documentation was strewn down the road in Tampa, people's names, addresses and political party affiliation physically broadcast to the world. They never found out who did that, but as in "Alice's Restaurant," it would have been possible to answer that question.
What if it was a diary, full of secrets? Life-changing, dirty little secrets.
What if someone was moving and their filing cabinet came open in the back of the truck, critical documents fluttering out onto the road? Birth certificates and immunization records flying out like trash.
We think, in our culture, that everything important is now digital, but it isn't true. We are still a culture of documentation. If you don't believe me, just try to change your name after a divorce or help your kids get their first driving learner's permit.
At any rate, it was a striking image, one I would have photographed had I not lost my camera. But the good news is I found my camera today, beneath the couch cushion my sick son had been camped out on all week long. And under which I had already looked.
I missed my camera. The world is full of visual rhetoric.