When Pictures Say A Thousand Words

What does this one say to me?  I know that when I made it I embarrassed my son, who periodically stated to me as he stood waiting for me to finish that I was looking weird, that people were staring, and that I needed to hustle.  I know that I was just off the Rue Rivoli in Paris, and that it was a cool and cloudy August day.  I also remember that I thought to myself that fortunately I work out regularly because the leg positions that I had to assume as I photographed this little pigeon from various angles wore me out.  But the picture is really about what goes unnoticed in our lives, what we don’t see when we are out living our daily lives….the minutiae that we are oblivious to….Life Underfoot, the title of this portrait.  I feel that I’m like this bird sometimes….I walk between the raindrops and wonder if anybody sees me.  And then I realize that I’m not really seeing the person standing next to me most times either.  I don’t really see anybody with much depth much of the time, with these few exceptions:  I see the gypsies, the homeless, the beggars and the thieves….fruit sellers, operating illegally, and strung out Asian prostitutes at metro Belleville.  I see the groups of men, mostly Arabic, enjoying tea and coffee and each other’s company in cafes, basking in the late afternoon sunlight.  I see little kids, forced to live lives of misery, begging for money….I see them being used on the street and I see well educated Parisians blowing past these little tragedies without a second look.  And….I see myself sometimes doing the same.  This is of course only a partial list…but what it leaves out to a great degree are the people and creatures that to me represent complacency.  The people that I feel the most energy from, and who motivate me the most are far from complacent and predictable.  The others?  They will forever be excluded.  This little bird was ill, and, with the cigarette butts and street grime and bird shit, creates a little postcard from way down below the radar.

Author: suzannesteinphoto


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