06 July, 2009

Preamble to a long string of themed posts

To my dear and loyal readers,

Let me just start this off by saying that quite often I remind myself of Howard Hughes, and not in a good way. By that I mean that I fixate on things, sometimes to my detriment. If I get a concept or plan or value in my head, frequently I can think of NOTHING ELSE until either I develop a new fixation or I change my mind and abandon it completely.

In retrospect, it's a wonder I only changed my major four times instead of two hundred.

Sometimes this can be a good thing, because I devote a lot of passion and energy to things (or people) I care about. However, it can be limiting if I'm fixating on one thing and so refuse to participate in another thing that might be equally beneficial or even better. Also, sometimes I fixate on something to the point where I am unfortunately and unnecessarily inflexible.

One of these subjects upon which I fixate is the fact that banana ice cream, when fresh, is the best kind of ice cream in the known universe. No one could possibly convince me otherwise.

My latest victim of fixation is photography. Specifically, my hatred of tourist photography, or rather my hatred of pictures of myself. This is the first time I have travelled abroad without a camera, and I have found that my wish to commemorate my trip in ways that are not visual has made me a much more observant and present sort of traveller. Because really, no one wants to see pictures of me in Paris or Provo. You all know what I look like. And if you wanted to see photos of Paris or Amsterdam, you could find much better ones on the internet. I feel no need to prove to anyone that I actually went to the places I went to. My descriptions of them, if I am as good a writer as some of you think I am, will prove that on their own. I like being able to enjoy and describe where I am without feeling the need to document it through a camera.

I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about this, and thus, I spent an inordinate time writing while I was in Paris.

I am in Amsterdam now. But we'll get to that in good time. There must be an order in all things.

I now present to you my first collection of travel essays, tentatively entitled Än American in Paris, which of course is meant to be ironic.

With love and excessive formality,

Elisa A. Koler

P.S. Seriously. This is a TON of writing. Don't say I didn't warn you.


Ashley said...

FALSE. I would be ever-so delighted to see a picture of you in Paris! Or Provo. But come on, you're in Provo a LOT more often than you're in Paris!

But I eagerly await these essays all the same.

Brooke said...

Elisa. I love you.
I feel exactly the same.
I greatly dislike and find touristy photography to be boring and unnecessary. For the most part.

At least, I hate feeling like people do things these days FOR the picture, or FOR the express purpose of splashing it all over a facebook album to prove that they did it.
Rather than doing things just to do them. To live them in the moment.

I'd much prefer to read a thoughtful essay, or a colorful description of the things you saw/did and the people you met. And, well, you are one of my favorite blog writers of all time. So...bring it on!

with sincerity and love,

Brooke said...

P.S. my word-confirmation was just "parkedo," which I declare as the official martial arts style of the Parker family.

I'll be sure to tell you when i start offering classes. I think it will involve a lot of ducking and cowering and somersaults.

Brooke said...

the word-confirmation for that one was "zedelve" which I declare to be the official word for really throwing yourself into zen meditation.
As in, "Wow, you look so calm and relaxed! You are really zedelving right now!"

theFinn said...

I am going to have to disagree, although I DO enjoy your writings. Why? because I'm sure that in the early 70s, my father was wondering who on earth would ever want to see pictures of him on vacation in Greece. 30 years later, I'm glad he took those touristy photos, which justifies my taking of tons of photos and videos on my vacation. Sadly, we lost our camera two days before the end of our trip. My children will never know how awesome we were.

Rachel. said...

though I am one who likes photos, I also like words and the idea you shared of being present. I like that it made you more observant and aware, and welcome the documentation of your trip that is to come.

just a little bit mo said...

I love photography, but I have to applaud you in your stance against tourist photography. I often don't want to carry my camera with me when I travel, because then I feel obligated to carry it with me everywhere -- and take pictures of everything I see and all the places I go and all the people I meet. It becomes a burden rather than a joy. Then I find myself questioning why I even went on vacation in the first place. Of course this might all be solved by me carrying around a lightweight film camera in place of my lone, heavy as brass digital. The film would limit what things I could take pictures of and would somehow make it more like an adventure. The lightweight-ness would help me avoid the crick in my neck that develops after carrying around my heavy stuff. (I did this when I was in New York and I have to say, it was fun standing next to the tourists with their high-end digitals, expensive glass gleaming in the neon light, while all I held was a plastic camera that has uncertain focusing capabilities and shutter speed. It's no more than a China-made plastic toy camera, but it made my trip.) There you go. Mo's solution to tourist photography.

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