Squirrel
2019


This was a significant moment, it is a place that’s beautiful and spectacular. Or maybe it wasn’t a significant moment. I was unavoidably in the middle of my own context, thinking about what to have for dinner, not to get sunburned, scared of bears as usual, snakes also, wether or not to have children and the impact of choices. I took snapshots of the view and a couple of selfies. I had decided that this was important, taking pictures like that. That I don’t do it enough, and that I’ll regret it. My compromise was that there didn’t have to be smiles, although it’s awkward when some people look at pictures without smiles, like my mother. Still I was thinking about why I am taking pictures like that, what it’s for. I’m wondering why it often is, to a degree, set where our attention should be in a place or a moment. Like a formula, where and how and on what you should have your attention. Some weeks after this I read that pictures are memory stealers, that when you take a picture, it’s the picture you remember, not the actual situation or what you saw with your own eyes. And so I regretted taking all the pictures.

This squirrel was very pretty, with the stripes and details and it’s tiny nature. It was brave, probably because it was relatively used to people and wanted food, but it was also easily startled. It’s exciting with cute animals I think, they’re just so cute. Of course my mind wanted a nice squirrel-portrait of it. I didn’t have a zoom lense and struggled with getting close. The squirrel was moving very fast. I took two pictures, and then decided it was too hard. The lack of effort might have been caused by the heat, at least in part. Jesus Christ, to walk in this heat. Because that’s what I was doing. And I always wear pants in public, or sometimes long skirts. My legs are white, easily becoming red, sometimes blueish, the reason for this might be bad blood-flow, all the same, the legs stay covered. It’s a blurry piece of my dark grey pants on the bottom right of the picture. Another reason for the lack of motivation might have been the crowd, although it wasn’t huge, but I don’t like to give people a reason to look, I get self aware and irritated with even just glances. There was, amongst others, an asian influencer making some video-content, a German couple (I think), and then a younger American who had quit he’s job to travel and hike, mostly national parks it sounded like. And this was he’s last day, which he was pretty romantic about. He was going out with a bang, although I didn’t quite hear how, he was talking to the germans and not me. There was something about «from one end to the other», and «all night».

Maybe this picture is a reference to the view outward, out of the social and self-conscious context sort of. Away from what is of value in our cultural missions and needs. Or maybe it’s the subjectivity in it. Or insignificance of the situation? Maybe it’s about the question of how the rest of the day was for the squirrel, or how it’s doing now. Whether it has a family, if it’s content with having this place as its home; the climate, culture, food supply, neighbors, if the tourists are nice. Or is it the lack of highlighting or idealization in the picture; that surely would have been there with a squirrel-portrait. That it’s more unorganized or incidental, and the question of what the squirrel, the hand, the dirt in itself means, become less important or even irrelevant. And regret also, because there wasn’t any other more desirable or preferred way of anything.


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