Ready to wear
Shanghai, China, May 2007 [Click to enlarge]
Quick note on yesterday's entry: I woke up this morning with that fuzzy feeling you get the day after something monumental has happened in your life. It was a good-fuzzy, though, the kind of emotion that comes from knowing you've done the right thing for the right reason. I'm off work today. I dropped the kids off at school and gave them a big hug and kiss before they sauntered into the school yard. The sun was shining and I drove home with a smile on my face. Life is good. Now, on with the continuing show from my adventures in China...A visit to the market in Shanghai is an experience not to be missed. As you walk in from the main street, your senses are inundated by sights, smells and sounds that are decidedly different than anything you'd find at home.
As I slowly walk the streets and try to avoid getting lost - tough to do amid choking crowds in the midday heat and humidity - I find myself struggling to commit this place to memory. I wish I could bottle it in some way and take it home so that I wouldn't forget what it's like to be right here, right now. I wish I could somehow explain it better to my family, to give them a glimpse, a sound or a taste of what it's like to stand in this place and feel its pulse.
But all I have is a lens and a writer's memory. And when I pass by this simple rack of women's shirts, I realize that this is the kind of scene I couldn't find anywhere else. I take a few pictures here, and when I'm done I smile to myself for two reasons. First, I'm happy with what I'm seeing on my camera's screen, because it reminds me of our daughter, who appreciates loveliness like this and can spot it from a mile away. Second, I have the answer to that vexing how-to-bring-it-home question: just capture unique and simple images.
It makes eminent sense: Don't try to grab it all, because it's just too big. Zoom in, get close, find the colors, textures, and shapes that define and explain this wondrous place.
Now that I've learned my lesson, I sling my camera over my shoulder and head off to the next wow moment, no longer overwhelmed by a seemingly impossible task.
Your turn: The shapes and colors grabbed my eye as I walked by. Sure, it's a simple rack of clothes. But beauty can be found in all sorts of unexpected nooks and crannies, don't you think?