Friday, January 4, 2008

Seeing with Writing

I’ve recently read an article in the New York Times about a photographer named Lee Friedlander. An exhibition of his photographs is about to begin at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I was struck by a comment he made in the introduction to the exhibition, “The photographs of these places are a hint, just a blink at a piece of the real world. At most, an aphrodisiac.” I’d like to think we can write about nature that way, at our best. The whole experience slips through our grasp, but there is a wisp of the experience, a whiff of nature’s perfume, left on our fingers.