It is just barely possible that, at the rare moment, Bend Light can be rather, uh, Heavy. This is because I am that way. There is a lighter side to me, however. There is a side that wants to be known in a goofy way, a side that wants to feel less guarded. You get the idea. I really can be funny, although often, the humor comes with a paper cut so you have to like both. Some people actually do. That has little to do with this:
There is a project on flickr that is bugging the shit out of me. It is called 100 Strangers. You immediately get it I am sure. Walk up to 100 people I don’t know and discuss a photograph. The photograph is of the them and I am taking it. If you have been here for even 3 posts you will see that portraits are as rare as an Irish Elk (largest deer in the history of the world, which is pretty good for Ireland. Extinct for over 7000 years. You can go back to bed now. You have learned something new today.). I have known for a long time that my camera needs to find faces. I need to. I need to connect with you right in the eyes. I have a decent ability, or at least I will say that I enjoy my own ability to see the unusual beauty of mundane scenes. What I have been less willing to do is look you in the eye and ask for permission to capture your soul on film. I am now going to do that. One at a time, painfully. You can just know that every one you see here will be a source of pain for me. I am reclusive. I only do the chicken dance at home for Rose. I only squeal like a little girl for the kiddo ( but it is way worth it, actually on both counts).
I am driving between Bend and Redmond, because there are lots of weird things in those 14 miles, trust me. I suspect there are lots of weird and interesting people and I am looking to find them. I run across a yard with planes on metal posts. This was weeks ago. I got out and hid and took some pictures from across the fence, but I knew the story was in there and not just that someone had constructed 10 foot airplanes out of bent sheet metal in their front yard. So once I found out about 100 strangers I went back.
Bill has been making airplanes for his seven kids since they were, well, kids. The blue plane you see is the plane that Bush I was shot down in during WWII, the Big One. (I am a pacifist, but I always thank veterans for their service. I also thank every teacher I ever meet. They get paid nothing to unlock our minds. ? ) I knocked on the door and asked for the person who made the planes. Bill introduced me to Wynona, his lovely bride of 50+ years. Bill was an MP in the army then a welder when he got out. Seven kids were raised in the house I stopped at, a house that looked exactly like a double wide in terms of square feet. While I was there they got 4 phone calls from kids who love them and just wanted to say so on a Sunday. All the models in the photo were hand made (without plans) by Bill. Wynona is in the photo behind Bill.
I asked Bill if I could make a photograph. He agreed. Wynona was canning tomatoes. I got an extensive tour, but the best part was the feeling welling up in this introvert when he touched a stranger. So there will be more.