Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Your Monday Photo Shoot: What A Mess!

"Life isn't like a book. Life isn't logical, or sensible, or orderly. Life is a mess most of the time. And theology must be lived in the midst of that mess."

-Charles Caleb Colton

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Take a picture of a real mess. Messy rooms, trash cans knocked over by raccoons, kids playing in the dirt, pets tracking in mud... anything that makes you go, "My God! This mess burns my very retinas!" is what I want you to take a picture of.

-John Scalzi

I remember this mess. Last summer, I attended the Monet exhibit at the Palace of Legion Of Honor, in San Francisco. It was a lovely day, and a lovely exhibit, but I saw one or two things that was...well...a little sad. Alan and I are big people watchers. We love to visit interesting places, and try to figure out the stories of the people we encounter. Rarely do we ever really find out if we are right or not, but on this day, we just knew about a certain couple we saw admiring the amazing art. By the end of the day, they wouldn't be a "they" any longer.

The lady, who was in her 30's and her guy of about the same age, had been walking all through the exhibit hand in hand, but it seemed like each was in their own world. A few times we saw the young man, break free from the lady, so he could sit on one of the many benches. He seemed to constantly have a look of boredom on his face. He couldn't have been less interested in the collection of Monet's, as opposed to his lady who was obviously thrilled, as she walked among the art. I had to wonder about the two, as I walked through the exhibit. They just seemed so... empty.

A little later in the afternoon, Alan and I decided to get a small nibble and a couple sodas at the restaurant in the museum. While I was waiting for Alan to comeback from the gift shop, the same couple came into the restaurant, and brought their trays out onto the patio where we were sitting. They looked even less happy now then they did earlier in the day. By the time the two finished their salads, it was clear they had broken up. It was mutual, it was quiet, but it was very sad. One didn't have to be a genius to see that. I didn't meant to stare, and I tried hard not to, but life was unfolding right in front of me... real life.

When they got up from the table, the young man kissed the lady really soft on the cheek, and then they left. For some reason, I felt compelled to photograph the empty table, void of people, yet telling a story. I didn't see the couple anywhere else in the exhibit, so I guess they left the museum at that point. I always wondered though, did they at least stay friends? Sometimes, life can make the biggest messes.

"After The Affair"
Legion Of Honor
San Francisco, California
Summer, 2006


Charley said...

This about made me cry.

Life is so horrid, sometimes.

Anonymous said...

This brought me to tears, Carly. Really. Literally.