One of the things that has repeatedly struck me over the past several days is my reaction to Ben Shepherd. Ben is an artist, and I recall intensely disliking his character the first time I read the series. He was too self-absorbed, too intense, too close to the verge of madness. I remember reading quickly through the sections of the books that were focused on him, not really absorbing his story.
It’s strange, then, discovering just how much this character has influenced me, and more precisely, how closely my ideas about art and beauty and reality parallel his. No, scratch that… it’s unsettling. I’ve spent the past few days wondering whether these ideas are my own, or if somehow the seeds for them were laid years ago and have recently pushed shoots up through the rocky but fertile ground of my psyche.
I really need to pick up a camera soon. In the latter days of exploring my nascent interest in photography, I kind of ditched the one I had. There was a complex line of reasoning behind that decision, though in looking back, it seems horribly shallow. Somehow, I managed to convince myself that I didn’t want to see the world framed through a camera’s lens. I wanted to be free to experience things without thinking about whether what I was seeing would make a good composition. Really, though, it was just a huge smokescreen designed to sabotage my interest before I developed any sort of technical expertise or personal style. Better to not do it than discover that I suck hopelessly and can’t communicate through the medium, right? Gods, but it seems like such a cop out now.