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  • Not too long ago, Kathy Weinberg’s Cowbird piece, Cover Story, triggered a flood of emotions…hence this belated sprout. Kathy and I corresponded a bit back when her story was written/posted, and I've been thinking of it since then.

    Kathy covered a lot of ground in her story...reading it was, for me, not a was much deeper, more like a prolonged visit.

    But the immediate and primary reaction I had was about "creative trespass." You see, I was raised with that sensibility ingrained in me, having first (and many times later) heard it from friend and mentor, Andy Wyeth, who once said, “I don't really have studios. I wander around people's attics, out in fields, in cellars, anyplace I find that invites me.”

    I grew, therefore, into my photography - and ultimately into my approach to life - feeling very comfortable poking into corners and lives. I always figured that if you were above board, not afraid to look people in the eye, and had nothing (too obvious) to hide, that creative trespass was fully allowable.

    There have been very few times when I have run too hard aground by being open to opportunity, and I have found that generally playing with all my cards on the table, face-up with the lights on, has more often than not led me into wondrous places - and lives - I never would have discovered otherwise.

    To thoroughly mix metaphors, I recall that I once referred to myself as a visual raccoon. My brothers and I had three raccoons when we were kids and I now understand that I especially loved them for their ultra-curious natures...they were generally fearless and overwhelmingly inquisitive. I deeply related to that aspect of their wiring.

    Like them, my constant prospecting has once in a while led to the metaphoric equivalent of garbage cans crashing around outside at night, but for the most part, nothing too serious and my life has surely not had too many dull moments...thank God.

    I like to think that if Kathy and Ben Weinberg's father had indeed come across me in their cellar hole, there may have been the brief tension experienced when one encounters a forager in one's backyard, but I am (with raccoon confidence or cockiness, perhaps) certain that he and I would have fairly quickly hit it off.

    I think all of us here in our nest/pasture/community have our dalliances with trespass. If we play it all too safe, what's the point, after all?

    This, in a cameo of my own raccoon/ADD synapses, reminds me of a line Richard Nixon (talk about a guy who was not afraid to trespass) once used in his defense; quoting Sir Thomas Aquinas, he recalled that "If the highest aim of a captain were to preserve his ship he would keep it in port forever."

    So, my friends, while not emulating Nixon's flawed mojo, let us all take chances, push our luck when advisable (or we think we can get away with it), and have a great voyage on this, The Main Event.



    A word about the photographs, all of which I shot while on the island working on Tina Gillis' brilliant book, Writing On Stone, to which Kathy refers in her story. If you look carefully at the first image in this story of mine, you'll see the original image....including the house I removed for the cover, as related (and shown) in Kathy's piece. Of the next four, there are two that I really like. The last one is the site of my "trespassing."
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