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  • Be bored. Be bored but use it.

    Walk a different route. Take your camera. You can be bored, as long as your camera isn't. Go down a secret alley, walk the wrong way, sit at a different cafe. Sit in your garden, patio, office, classroom, balcony, sitting room in a different chair, facing a different way. With your camera as your companion. Think of the picture not as an impediment in the way of your words, but as a dance partner. This, I have found is the Cowbird blessing. It forces us to use more than one part of our brains.

    It forces us to slow down. To make choices. To ponder. Making decisions tones you. Think of it, even bored, the way you might think of a certain walking or running routine. The visual choice tones your brain. And boredom for sure is a key part of any toning. It is part of art, love, marriage, work, kids, households, travel. It is part of any breakthrough.

    Sure a picture might live alone.

    Sure a piece of prose or poetry might live alone.

    But together they might make unexpected sparks, even beautiful music.

    As the great philosopher of all things cultural, Walter Benjamin said, "Boredom is the dream bird which hatches the egg of experience."

    Who hasn't been bored in a plane, a train, an airport, a hotel, a park, at home a calm zombie...and then....

    ...Dogs might appear.

    A big dog and a little dog walked in to a hot South Florida day. The big dog and the little dog got tied up at the same post. The big dog and the little dog looked at me. I swear to you I was bored out of my pants, but gloriously bored in Miami Beach. I went to the store to pick up a few sundries, and these two darlings picked me up by way of their eyes. Who could resist? I was lucky because bored as I was, I had a phone with a camera in my pocket and there they are.

    I love that the big dog casts a big dog shadow and that the little dog is aided and abetted by the lamppost which gives him more shadow heft. I love that by chance a red car drove by which picked up the little bit of red in the dog leash doodad tied to that post. I loved my minute-long eyeball street friendship, and my capture of it, to give me a kick, later.

    I loved how I swore I heard them say, "Hello Momma. How ya doin'? You think this is hot, babe? Honey, you're barely broiled, you're hardly simmered, you are far from properly sauted. You come back and see us in August, sweet cheeks. Wait 'til it's for sure summer. Then you'll see fur and pity bowls on the street." (I think the little dog was the flirt.)

    Well, tied up and waiting they might have been as bored as I was.

    But for a moment we made a bored bond, and voila.

    We met cute with a camera.

    Be a dream bird. Who knows what the shutter might hatch?

    (Photo by Susan)
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