Tuesday 21 March 2006

I almost believe that the pictures are all I can feel...

Blog of the Week #9 - Lisa Whiteman

"Hi, I'm Lisa. I live in Brooklyn, New York, and I do web production work for an environmental nonprofit organization. Also, I'm a freelance photographer."

I've just rediscovered this. I used to read it religiously a few years ago, when it was a constant source of inspiration to me. I absolutely love the way that Lisa writes; it is so beautifully descriptive of the people and places that she passes through that it is just like seeing the world through her eyes. Each post is a little vignette of her life, and a little snapshot into the life of someone else. Here's a post that I first read in October 2004, but has stayed with me ever since (I'm going to quote the whole thing - although you can also find it here):


"Nothing was coming, so I walked diagonally through the quiet intersection. A man from a utility company (I didn't notice which one) was walking toward me, carrying an orange cone to place on the road. I paused for a second to put in my headphones and then half-smiled at him, though I don't know if he saw me. He mumbled something back at me.

Did he say, "C'mon, miss"? Was he annoyed with me? There was nothing revealing about his tone. Did I get in his way? I hope not. I didn't stop for very long, but maybe it was long enough to piss him off. Could he have really said, "C'mon, miss"? That doesn't seem very likely. Oh, wait. No. He said, "Good morning." Oh no. Now it's too late to reciprocate. I'm glad he didn't say what I originally thought he said, but this might be worse, because now I'm at fault, because I didn't respond. He must think I'm rude. Maybe he'll assume I didn't hear him. I hope he knows I didn't hear him. He's probably not even thinking about it. Why am I still preoccupied with it?

I thought about it for ten more minutes. Agonizing over nothing, essentially. I do it all the time."


I wish I could write half so evocatively.

This feeling that you are peering in on someone else's life is reinforced by the wonderful photos Lisa takes (there are plenty of them on her blog - like this one of a scene she stumbled across in the street when out for a walk - but do also go and see her Flickr stream). These pictures always remind me of the Harvey Keitel character in the film "Smoke" who takes a photo from the same spot on the street in Brooklyn at 8am every morning. He has over 4,000 of them, and although the street in each picture is exactly the same, each is subtly different.

There are no comments here either, and it allows us to hear Lisa's voice entirely uninterrupted.

It's a lovely site, and I urge you to immerse yourselves.

Blog of the week.

[Previous blogs of the week: Delrico Bandito, I have ordinary addictions, Girl With A One-Track Mind, Ditch Monkey, Skinny Legs and All, Wandering Scribe, Sarah, MC Hammer]

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