Sunday, July 27, 2008



Jess said...

What I wanted to say, before the Dude got in the way, was that your photography demonstrates a surprising element of patience. I was not expecting this; even in our brief shared arc of overlapping social circles I've not left thinking "wow, that mb is a very patient person."

Looking at the escalators, or the dog w/tree stumps, or the bees or the lady looking at the water, I get a sense that you spent long quiet moments absorbing, watching, waiting, just *being* with your subject before the perfect time to push the button presented itself to you, and you snapped the picture.

It adds a very zen element to the mb I know so far.

I like it, so don't break the spell and tell me any different. I think I would like that as much as I like other poets who, when I comment on how much I like their latest work, they respond "Oh, that. I just tossed it off while waiting for my ramen water to boil."

Thanks for inviting me, by the way.

Michael B said...


first of all, thank you for the kind words. you’re being too generous, and I applaud you for that. Too generous is always welcome around here when it’s directed my way. i'm glad that the Dude didn't altogether prevent you from sharing your thoughts.

in response i will say this. when people think of me, they immediately think "zen." and "patience." and let's not forget "mystique." I'm lousy with the mystique.

seriously, i'll meet you half-way. or two ways. or something. you're right on both accounts. i'm not especially patient in most things. And by “not especially” I mean “not at all.” Except, I suppose, for things that involve immediate gratification—I’m extremely patient when I receive immediate gratification.

the two exceptions to my impatience are these, and hope I’m not being completely delusional. 1. I am very patient when people need to talk about something serious and that matters to them. Then the fooling stops and I let people unfold their story as they need to. 2. When I’m taking pictures. Ideally I like to take photos while I’m listening to music, and when I do so it’s as though time stops for me. I can stay at one place—at one flower or tree or whatever—for the longest time. And it’s all just a pleasure. I get frustrated when I’m forced—say, by my children’s needs to “eat dinner”—to hurry the process along. My oldest daughter once asked me what an ideal day would be. I said with little hesitation that for me one kind of ideal day would involve me taking a nice long walk taking photos in an unhurried manner.

So….here’s what I say to you. Kudos for the observations! Impatient and patient, both.