Sunday, May 04, 2008
I spent the day today at Books In Bloom, our local literary festival on the grounds and amidst the gardens of our historic Crescent Hotel. It was my job to take photos and video of authors and the crowds of book buyers. The author lectures and readings were interesting, but as photographer, I watched more than listened. Most were very demonstrative with gestures adding depth and breadth to their presentations. I found myself in a variety of conversations having to do with my favorite subject, the hands. Many people in America are noticing that we have arrived in the future having forgotten to bring with us that which has been most important about ourselves.
I guess you can notice from the poll at right, that most of my readers and probably most of those who have an interest in their hands in learning are well past the age of 30, and this is one of those things. If you don't become engaged in learning through your hands at the right time in normal development, it just may never happen for you to the full depth and breadth of hands-on human experience.
One of my conversations was with a defense department consultant who has been working to raise awareness about the strategic implications of our non-localized food supply. I mentioned to him the strategic concerns that we should be having about our growing incapacity to make things with our hands. American dexterity and creative capacity won the victory of Fascism, and may be needed again in the "war on terror." The hands are at the exact center of the human experience, from the unconscious movements that reinforce our use of language, to the holding of a book, to the making of all things, and to their use in expressing love for each other. Even now, I shake mine and rub them together in complete exasperation at the stupidity of our present state.
Books in Bloom is the annual event that my wife and her co-chair plan for months, and with perfect weather and great attendance, it is pleasing now to just relax.