The Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living

Socrates

rita shibr

rita shibr
Location
Outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, usa
Birthday
March 28
Company
Always up for some

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Salon.com
APRIL 9, 2011 5:32AM

Life Illuminated

Rate: 45 Flag

                             IMG_2475

 faces in a drawer

gone now to black and white

to found and lost

these eyes and smiles

 

these treasures of a moment

 

glowing towards one who held the camera

 

whoever saw this shining 

 clumsy

 telling

carefree

solemn moment

 

and thought to  capture it

 

for me to find

 

one hundred years of living later

 

a 3am epiphany

 

in this haphazard 

 

sifting,

 

finding  life suspended

condensed

illuminated and sealed 

ever after 

 

 in black and white.

 

 

 

 

(personal photos)

 

 Reprinted from Rita Shibr's author page, at www.fictionique.com


 
 
 
  Time it was oh what a time it was
 a time of innocence
 a time of confidences
 long ago, it must be long ago
 I have a photograph... 
 
Simon & Garfunkel - Bookends Theme .mp3  
 
 

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Black and white photos... so poignant and evocative. Just like these words. Rita, you make me appreciate poetry. ~r
So beautiful and so true. I love looking at old pictures and wondering about the story behind them.....
Oh Rita. Sometimes your words and music and photographs just catch me, wrap me, take me inside. So many pictures here. No one to look with me and tell me who they are. Connected enough once to be here but who are they and how do they fit in all our stories, stories that somehow will stop with mine. Listening to the music I am riding by beaches with my mother and then I look up to see her little Brownie on her bureau. Moments. Thinking of you, Rita.
"finding life suspended" you captured the essence of the photograph with this life. R
The question of who was holding the camera has always intrigued me.
Lovely, Rita. Photos can indeed be mooring "in this haphazard/shifting." I like the little things you do here--the slight defamiliarization of "the found and lost" rather than the usual order of the words, for instance, or the nifty linking of clumsy and solemn. Photos freeze a moment, but they continue to evoke, invoke, provoke, those who gaze at them. An engaging poem, and deftly managed.
there is something
so eerie about the old black and whites
a simpler time
a time of happy smiles
and everything so clean and clear
lovely poem
beautiful words of love
rated with love
I found a box of purses last week and inside was a 50's hand coloured photo. Her story was not a good one but maybe we can make it right.
Loved this Rita.
Rated with hugs
Beautiful. Life is full of 3 am epiphanies - lucky are those who capture them like you have.

♥R
photos are portals, like your poems
Rita, Your words touch my heart and I remember "what a time it was..." This, like the photographs, is poetic treasure.
R
Once a symbol of old-timey technology, black and white photos now evoke far more emotion in me than color. This is perfect, Rita.

Lezlie
I always wonder, when being photographed, who the moment is being captured for? Is it being captured for me? Is it being captured for the photographer? Is it being captured for some nameless, faceless viewer who is not there? When I smile into the camera, at whom, exactly, am I smiling?
A rare find and a forgotten history unfolds as well!
Lovely poem!!
rated
Joanie, that's a great compliment, I take it to heart. Thank you.
We are a good pair, us nostalgics aren't we Patricia, TY
anna1: I worry about that to, my mother is the keeper, of the family history, photos, stories. I am just getting to hear it all. Now when my memory is not great! Thank you anna1. Glad you are with me on the journey. Are we there yet?
Thanks Trudger!
Linnnnnnnn: I always think about the person in the photos expression towards the one holding the camera. You can see in their face what was going on most of the time. Thanks for reading Linnn.
What a lovely post Rita, black and white photos always move me as no others can. rated
Sometimes it is hard to imagine that they breathed the same air, saw the same colors, felt the same texture, felt the same ennui...
You've reengaged my curiosity.....that trunk full of sepia-stung stasis in the attic is calling my name. What you've captured here in language outshines any Polaroid:)
aren't they wonderful? I love photographs for just that reason. nice encapsulating of a feeling Rita!
Thank you. I enjoy your work so much.
Thank you. I enjoy your work so much.
Simply beautiful! A bag from last summer sits not far from my chair, it is filled with sepia and some color, it is memories though I won't open the bag yet. When the estate is settled (very soon) and the bitterness has morphed, then maybe I will travel through the past again. I love your poetry!
You frustrate the heck out of me Rita!

Why can't I write and emote as you do???

Jealousin' over here in KC
Thanks rosycheeks, I always appreciate your photos in your series on your life.
Jerry, I enjoy your commentary, when someone notices the turns and choices, its gratifying indeed. TY
Disco: Ha!
RM: I think we want to believe it was simpler then but I really feel it was just as tough.. thank you for always weighing in with your beautiful poems.
Oh Linda, isn't that sad? someone lost them or no one cares who they are anymore. I am so sentimental about that stuff. Thanks for reading.
Isn't it Fusun, you never know when one is going to pop up.. appreciate you coming by, always.
Portal, I really like that word Damon. I have to going over and see what is going on at The Complex. Listen to some of your finely chosen tunes. Thank you.
I KNOW I commented here last night, maybe it was my imagination (couldn't be OS) so came back to say I loved it.
i have to come over Damon not going or whatever my caffeine fingers typed.
Gorgeous and so true. Makes me think of the old photos I see at antiques markets here. Sometimes I buy them, when those faces move me. Thanks for a wonderful, evocative reading experience.
Junk1, glad to know it touches somewhere, appreciate your comments.
Lez how things have changed. At one time the apex of tech now found abandoned in a drawer. Now our albums are all online. TY
Monsieur C : good thought, who exactly? many times you can see in the eyes of the photographed the why and the how. Thank you for coming by, nice to see you here.
Susie, wish it was a rare find, my parent's house is packed with photos. I know something about some things and nothing about some others. Thank you Susie (I like your name, it's very pleasing to say)
OB: I feel the same, I try to put myself in there with them.
SCJ ! Hello there! haven't seen you around the OS halls lately. With thanks for stopping in. Plan to spend a few hours, as these photos can't be tossed of easily. TY
Jules: you always "get" me.. thanks Jules.
Andrea: I need to come by and see your blog, I think you changed your name. Nice to see you here, I appreciate your taking the time to read and comment.
PastVoices, not an easy thing to open the Pandora's box of the past. Thank you for coming over.
Thanks Tril. I am sure you did. I hate finding all the typos I am making re typing comments a few times.
Thanks Alysa, I used to buy old photos too, now I am in possession of so many of my own, I fear where they will go as so many could care less about them.
You're sweet JD. However I told you last week, the affair is over, it's not you it's me. I like you but I don't like you like you.
smile : )
Photographing the contents of drawers--the kind of drawers in a dresser, not the underwear kind--is becoming an art form. Your poem illustrates why.
Rita, Your words create for us a trove of treasures that measure larger than the images might. With images, the subjects are like strangers. Unformed canvasses in our minds, but the words ring so true, painting our mind pictures in soft light...
Photos..the mark of someone being, the remembrance of a place and time. Photos taken with asking and sharing that moment. I have a box of black and white faces, I have albums and albums..what to do with them and who would want them?
Yup. Some of us, such as I, feel annoyed when people with cameras ask us to pose, to hold it like that, smile, and all of the little things that make a good picture. But eons afterward, in a drawer such as yours, we find out why it would have been nicer to have smiled naturally.
Sí, rita
even your font
reinforces the poem. Are memories in color, even if the photos are in black and white... here the word paints a more colorful picture than memory's camara can at times, perhaps?
What a perfect poem in so many ways. I love 3am epiphanies. -R-
SteveDos i am not sure if you are being ironic about a new form of art but anything putting me in alignment with art is fine with me, more than fine, thank you friend.
ah Gary, spoken like the light artist you are. what a great way to think about words, exactly the opposite in which most think of them. you always manage to make me see things differently. thanks for that.
Cindy good questions. there will always be someone like me and perhaps you who value history and time. I am hoping. thanks for reading.
Matt is it getting older that makes us do that? I never seemed to mind before I disliked what came out of the other side. Glad to see you, TY.
Christine: good I can use the 300am time that the insomnia grabs me for something huh? Thank you for your kinds words and visiting.
II forgot you up there. interesting premise and I am not surprised you and Gary and on the same wavelength with that posit. Do we dream in color? I guess we do. I had very vivid dreams after writing this piece about someone who was on my mind all evening, it was def in color. most words don't survive us or do they? thank you II always enjoy your comments.
you are one of the first people i wanted to read as i emerge from an os hiatus...lovely piece
Every time I look at old photos I feel this way.
Over? You think it's over?
Guess again. Our poetry brings us together!
This is poignant and moving, Rita...I see photographs of myself as a child in black and white...and things were very black and white for me...when I was in the fourth grade, I had a teacher color a black and white photo in for me with pastel pencils...I always think of that when things seem too one way or another...xox
There is an odd awe-inspiring emotion that always
overcomes me when I get up the courage to look
at old photos: certainly there must be something
special about this
moment,
something momentous,
which fate or destiny or the BIG PLAN
has chosen to suspend, condense,
illuminate & seal into the human noosphere
so that it can be pulled out of the time flux and given to me
to fill this new moment, maybe 100 years later...

There wasn't anything momentous about this slightest slice
of human experience, was there? No...but yes...
yes there was, for it somehow made it to the top
of the heap of moments of experience...
it won the evolutionary struggle of
the fittest to arrive here,
now,
at 3 am,
and deliver an epiphany, which
inspired a poem, which elicited comments
in a permanent interactive medium...

and so this poem and these comments
will last forever, too....to be found
somehow in another 100 years,
similarly haphazardly?

Makes one shocked and awed by the haphazardness
of Meaning in the Universe.
Some mighty Will must
certainly be at work...
but what can it all mean?

When my parents died I inherited 55 yrs of photos.
I threw em all in a huge box, helter skelter, and put em
in a storage unit. Hundreds and hundreds of moments
eagerly awaiting resurrection in my mind.
There is an odd awe-inspiring emotion that always
overcomes me when I get up the courage to look
at old photos: certainly there must be something
special about this
moment,
something momentous,
which fate or destiny or the BIG PLAN
has chosen to suspend, condense,
illuminate & seal into the human noosphere
so that it can be pulled out of the time flux and given to me
to fill this new moment, maybe 100 years later...

There wasn't anything momentous about this slightest slice
of human experience, was there? No...but yes...
yes there was, for it somehow made it to the top
of the heap of moments of experience...
it won the evolutionary struggle of
the fittest to arrive here,
now,
at 3 am,
and deliver an epiphany, which
inspired a poem, which elicited comments
in a permanent interactive medium...

and so this poem and these comments
will last forever, too....to be found
somehow in another 100 years,
similarly haphazardly?

Makes one shocked and awed by the haphazardness
of Meaning in the Universe.
Some mighty Will must
certainly be at work...
but what can it all mean?

When my parents died I inherited 55 yrs of photos.
I threw em all in a huge box, helter skelter, and put em
in a storage unit. Hundreds and hundreds of moments
eagerly awaiting resurrection in my mind.
read to 'red square', CoH

note : see "& NOW FOR A SHORT DIGRETION INTO POLITICORELIGEOUS HISTORY" on this site; au:?
for great lead in to this post here

,
got it
au: = rod hillen

here is why:
author speaks like a b&w

few humans do

,
"in this haphazard
sifting," this describes my life.r
wavelength

tsunamis from tremors
of the gentle kind

i dream in colour too

we all do, isn't it
your photo drawer is lined
with your mother's or a sibling's

orange & yellow flowers
for example
which i know because i saw the same drawer yesterday

the people in the photos
or the backgrounds weren't the same but
they could have been

i love it when you're up
at 3 am
mr comedy, hello, welcome back that I am one of your first reads, HEY there! glad to see you. thanks.
Nana: you and I are almost always on board together arent' we. Hey pass the life preserver.
JD we will always have our 3am moments. and the fact you found me first. loyalty. Thanks JD
Hello Robin, my photos are colored by then, with that strange tint and all our heads were cut off (dad was a horrible photographer) thank you for reading.
Oh James. what oh what do I do with you my self professed crazy yet sanest friend ...
James I wish I knew what the BIG PLAN was..helter skelter those photos those memories. when you open that vault maybe I'll make a road trip and we'll make up stories about all the faces.
i don't think these ponderings will survive the way the photos have.
Hugs (what a great name) I love when people pick some line and make it their own. thanks so much.. sifting yes.
Rita : I DId "find you first," but you'd have been found by another...I assure you.
We have a friendship because we share a love of poetry...and because we care about one another as people.
Peace to you my friend.
Kim someone on your favorite word post brought up serendipity. The rough draft of this poem included three lines about the paper under the photos, cornflower or delft blue flowers I eventually let go of.
Wavelength indeed, our photos and memories, roles as keepers and caretakers.
tremors in a gentle way.
ume: speaking in black and white, I hope I do sometimes. As esoteric as I can be sometimes I am having a bit of trouble with your comments.
forgive please.
JD you are one of the most beautiful people I have encountered here in the universe.. thanks friend.
I like your poem, the simplicity of it, the economy of your language, where nothing is wasted.
the light at 3am, turned towards black and white, to some sort of merging, stories spinning even when and until there's no one to tell anymore...the way you get from suspended and condensed to open and flowing is such a great pleasure, rita. thanks.
Thank you Lucy, I appreciate your thoughts always.
Catch22: Strange these 3am, since I work less days more hours per day instead of 5days the insomnia is less stressful, just sleep a little more the next day.. so creeping around in the early hours does offer some nostalgia. Thank you noticing the words in the last stanza as I re did that a few times, not sure why I wanted to say what I did. Thank you always for your time and commentary, my poet friends here.
There is just something about black and white - the starkness of the contrast captures truth like no other medium. That's what your words have captured here for me. I really like the idea of "haphazard sifting".
You rock Rita. All the way 'round dear!!
well, rita , you are wrong in assuming your comments
will not last...
they have been read
and reacted to
and taken up into the psyche
of whoever read them,
leaving a small, medium or large impression
upon their eternal souls, these souls manifested to
soak it up & send it out...

photography is a fine science, but you have made
a mistake in thinking that the product of any
human science has more longevity
than the thoughts & reactions &
errant impressions
of human be-ings.

the thing we got over the sciences and the geniuses
and all the stuff much 'BETTER' said than
anything we can say
is that we are alive,
here & now.

all the accumulated photos & films & recordings
& other absurd human ways to stave off inevitable death
cannot shine a candle the next word or thought
you type....so keep typing!...give us stuff off the top
of a living head...

by the way, the only reason i self-profess myself as a nutcase
is that it draws the crowd...it is a mighty fine
crutch which i have not f-ing compunction
in using to smack you hard in your silly bone.

i am no insaner than anyone.
tis someone i play on os.

in "real life", oh yeah, i got diagnoses & problematics & whatnot..

but in my right mind i shout existential exacerbations
out into my earthly environment
and expect it to
extend to
esoteric
star systems way out there..
James: exactly the way I like it.
Thanks mission and Angel, appreciate your time and reading.
Thanks Sparking, I missed you up there, good to see you again. Haphazard shifting, just opening and closing drawers, peering in old closets, creeping around at 3am...
This escaped me till now.Sorry. It's all been said so beautifully in the great comments here. Excellent and evocative poetry.
What an exact explanation of the wonder of the photograph. rated
Hi Ferns, thank you for the kinds words, and for coming by ..
Catherine, thank you for reading and taking the time..
Wow, I wonder what's going to become of the thousands of digital photos that we take without a thought these days. Wonder if my grandkids will find them online or in a zip file a hundred years from now.
That's it. I had a photographer friend who said that every time she snaps the shutter it's saying "goodbye." I cried when she said that. When I take a photograph, I'm loving that someone will, later, say Hello. As you've done. I love this.
Pranay, I want to print out some of my digitals although not as snap happy as your generation as such (my kids are about your age I am guessing) I worry no one will ever see them. Hold them in their hands. Thank you for coming by.
STC: glad you enjoyed, welcome here, poet friend...
Loved this poem; I have been in this situation, too, and you captured it beautifully.
Really captures that disembodied feeling I get when looking at old photographs. You caught the whole bittersweet imagination.
/R
Thank you ASH, disembodied, now that you mention it, good thought for me subconcious.
Welcome KPOW.. glad you enjoyed the poem.