Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Yesterday, out of the Internet blue, there was an email purporting to be from a company in Atlanta that was searching out the provenance of a photo I had taken. The company, according to the note, wanted to use the photo of Soen Nakagawa Roshi as partial background for a movie that is in the works.

The request seemed legit enough. At least it didn't begin, "Dearest in Christ" or offer to cut me in on a $27 million inheritance. So I responded briefly and we'll see what happens.

But in the meantime, there was a kind of shifting of perspective. I had taken the picture, I remembered the time and place, I liked the photo ... but it was filed away in my experience and attachment panorama ... pleasant, but mostly unimportant. And yet here was someone suggesting an unimagined importance ... and possibly some money ... and I was flattered ... and other wispy thought patterns.

It was just odd for a moment, but in that moment, suddenly all perspectives got called into question. It wasn't that the perspective about the photo was right or wrong or better or worse. It was just sort of flimsy and tentative, as if you held a piece of clay which did not object to being a bowl or a plate or a statue of a horse.

If anything could be anything, didn't that diminish or at any rate redefine whatever sense of "importance" was brought to bear? And if so, was the heat and weight given to "importance" a bit too much?

I don't know ... it just seemed to bring me up short. Perspective, importance ... I don't know.


  1. Sort of pales in that infinity thing.

  2. I never know why something appears on Google and in what order.

    Anyway, I just checked in with Google Images to see what pictures of Soen Roshi were available online. I did see that your picture is first one the list.

    Lucky you! Will you get a nice check and / or a mention in the credits?

    More importantly, what's the movie about and do you know if you want to be associated with it?