“Give me boredom. At least I know where I’m going to eat and sleep tonight.” Al Paca
“No matter how bad a state of mind you may get into, if you keep strong and hold out, eventually the floating clouds must vanish and the withering wind must cease.” Al Paca
“The trouble is, you think you have time.” Buddha’s Little Instruction Book
A couple of weeks ago my friend Alena pointed out that what I thought were Alpacas were really Llamas and vice versa. I’m sure she meant well, but I was worried that if I was wrong about this maybe I was wrong about everything.
I forgot about it for a while until this afternoon when I stopped to visit some old friends. There he was, Big Al, staring me down with bright red eyes and a look that told me I was going insane.
Something snapped inside what was left of my mind and I began to lose touch with reality. I started to wonder if I was a man dreaming that I was an Alpaca or an Alpaca dreaming that I was a man.
When I got home and looked in the mirror I saw that my ears looked different and there was hair growing out of them. I was also noticeably uncomfortable wearing sneakers and had a strange craving for a bowl of grass.
The way I see it I have several choices, one is to go back to the funny farm but last time I gained ten pounds and they have limited smoke breaks. Another is shock treatment, which I think I can do at home with a car battery.
The third is to resume therapy, but my therapist is a goat and I think he may be biased. Or I can simply stop photographing animals and shoot trains, which are relatively safe unless they run you over which rarely happens.
I’ve never read The Metamorphosis by Kafka but found this quote which says it all: “I cannot make you understand. I cannot make anyone understand what is happening inside me. I cannot even explain it to myself.” Thanks Alena.
My good friend Alena Shminke who is also a therapist was trying to cheer me up this morning and wrote: “I think animals are basically happy because they just live in their bodies and that’s all. And btw, they don’t read Nietzsche.”
Since she lives in Estonia I thought it might be easier to talk to an animal face to face and see what he had to say. I met a woman who was feeding chickens and goats cookies and lasagna, which I thought was completely normal.
Al wasn’t interested, possibly because he was on a Keto diet so he came up to chat. Not knowing exactly what to say I asked: what is enlightenment? And he replied, when hungry, eat. When tired, sleep.
Knowing that this was the truth, I thanked him and asked, then what? He told me to come back at the golden hour, use a wider aperture, low ISO and get the color right which pissed me off. So I shot him.
Yesterday I sent my friend Alena a photo of a horse modeling his new coat and she thought it was the same horse as in several of my other shots. But in fact I had never met that one before.
I saw this guy at Walmart this morning and had to take a few pictures. I told him how some people think all horses look alike and he seemed shocked, but we both know that the real difference is the horse’s nose.
This one has a traditional Amish nose, probably because he’s an Amish horse. If you look closely you can also see a bump which may indicate that he was a boxer at one time before he took this job.
There is even something called Physiognomy which is a practice of assessing a person’s character or personality from their outer appearance, especially the face. While this may not be used much with horses the principle is the same.
After meeting with several horses today and assessing their character by the shape of their nose I can tell you one thing for sure. The ones with this type of nose do not like to be photographed.
They shake their head, stomp their feet and make strange faces, especially the former boxers. But with a little patience and no sudden movements they will eventually calm down enough to let you get a good shot.
Note: Most horses like to hear a good “horse walks into a bar” joke as long as the punch line isn’t “why the long face?”
“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” Scott Adams
“Enlightenment is understanding that there is nowhere to go, nothing to do, and nobody you have to be except exactly who you’re being right now.” Neale Donald Walsch
“We are made up of nothing. There is no self. We are whatever we decide we are.” Frederick Lenz
“I live in a very small house, but my windows look out on a very large world.” Confucius