For as long as I can remember, I have a penchant to drift slowly into a distant reverie. If I happen by chance to be by some paper, whether it be a napkin, a tissue or a legitimate piece of fine writing paper, I find myself (as I dream of the world around me) doodling. This doodle has remained basically constant and steadfast since I was a little a boy. It seems quite pathetic that one doesn’t mature in one’s doodle, but mine has remained the same for many years. I am not sure if this is an infirmity on my part or something I should cherish. This doodle is always an arrow pointing directly to the right, unrestrained, straight, and powerful.
Sometimes there are smaller arrows veering in perpendicular directions and on occasion (but rarely) if my reverie lasts for some time, they can get quite complicated but always a version of the powerful arrow.
Now in my musings on other musings, I have stopped, woken up from my trance and pondered, “what hath thou created?”
It seems quite simple. It is obviously a strong phallic symbol, fighting off the familiar and other restraints that act to inhibit it. It is a testament to my need to plow the road straight and true.
But, and here is the real question, I think in some ways it means more. It is always pointing right, as if the right side of my brain, my creative juices, needs continual support. It is a metaphor for unflinching devotion for proceeding not on any circuitous or wandering path, but straight on in the Right direction.
It’s as if as a young boy I knew exactly where I wanted to go, even if my conscious mind had no idea, and it continually told me, as a map guiding the observer, to stay on the right road, to be in the right place, never veering from my original course.
As I approach my sixty fourth year, I think how correct this little arrow has been. To others (my family included), I always seemed so strange. For a secular person, I studied Theology. For a family with little academic or literary intentions, I learned to love language, studying, reading, psychotherapy and introspection. In retrospect, I see the arrow as never flinching, always directing me forward.
All these pursuits were leading me down a path at an early age to be a photographer. They looked like diversions but they were my unique way of giving form to my feelings. Even though while in the midst of all these endeavors, I seemed to always trust myself that there was some method to my madness. Although questioned by everyone around me, I always felt that I was on the right road. My doodles seemed to confirm this. All these divergent activities helped me learn the process of translating feelings onto a small two-dimensional piece of paper, called a picture. This process is full of intensity and strong desires.
No wonder at the end of each day of shooting, I am so expended, yet usually happy. I am like an exhausted lover who is slowly turning over to go to bed.