Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Behind the Wheel
There's the Capitol dome behind the trees. Cool, eh?
Sometimes when I'm driving my Zipcar back and forth from Whole Foods, I stick my camera out the window (while keeping my eye on the road) and take shots randomly. Sometimes I turn on the zoom, sometimes not. Sometimes I take a sequence of pictures, sometimes just one or two.
This practice helps soothe me while I wait for traffic to clear or the light to change. You see, I really hate driving. Likewise, I hate being in cars even when I'm not driving. It's quite unAmerican of me, indeed. Anything I can do to make the time more pleasant helps.
You might be thinking it's just because I live in Washington DC that I hate the whole automobile thing so much, and you might be on to something. DC, Virginia and Maryland drivers are by far the worst I have ever encountered. Everyone needs to be important in DC, which means there's a feng shui on the streets that feels suspiciously like sharks in the midst of a feeding frenzy. It's pretty scary.
I'm not saying San Francisco drivers are the best, but as I remember, they are at least in the habit of looking for pedestrians, for instance. In DC, if drivers bother to look for pedestrians, (something that only happens intermittently) they actually speed up, as if angered to see a vulnerable human body in the crosswalk.
Strangely, I become just as evil behind the wheel as people who drive every day even though I do not own a car and rarely drive. I find it puzzling and frankly humiliating to admit this. I lean on the horn if someone in front of me should dare to make a left turn, I become frantic if I have to stop for a red light, I deeply resent the people who want to cross the street. Why? I'm never in a hurry on my way back and forth from the grocery store. Why do I get so possessed?? Driving does NOT bring out the best in me! Yikes.
Equally puzzling and definitely humiliating is the fact that the pics I take randomly while driving always seem to be so interesting. These random pics always have such cool angles and fabulous compositions. Dang, man.
What I really wanted to write about today is the nature of art, which I'm now thinking of as series of odes to instinct. But my thoughts around this are not yet speech ripe (spruchreif in German - thanks, Angela). Hence my sad confessions about driving and photography. Oh well.