Pointing past the frame

by Yule Heibel on September 7, 2004

Back in harness. (Not that I really recall getting out of it in the first place….) School is in session again, meetings with advisors upcoming, and a pile of extracurricular classes starting next week. Somehow it was easier when my children barely ate, but now they scarf up the food as quickly as I can get it into the cupboards or on the table. Hence there’s a low-level anxiety on my part that we’ll either be late for our next appointment (a class, a meeting, a rehearsal, whatever) or run out of food. Very strange, but as one learns very quickly when they’re babies, not permanent: children change rapidly, as they grow, and just when you’ve gotten used to one rhythm, they start tapping out a different beat yet again.

Their work today revolved around explicating a quote by Jean-Jacques Rousseau: “Man is born free, but is everywhere in shackles.” Ha. Poor old J-J, …born free, as if. Just now I wanted to use my scanner to post a picture of me when I was about 26 months old. In the picture, I appear to have recently woken up from some kind of nap; I am dressed as Pagliacci — perhaps I slept in the clown suit, although someone must have just put the pom-pom’ed hat on my head seconds before the camera shutter opened. I’m standing on a table, and to either side of me stand two of my teenaged sisters. They are looking at me, obviously engaged in taking care of me, while at the same time they’re holding in their hands pieces of traditional Carneval “doughnuts” (actually, even though they’re baked like doughnuts, there’s no hole in the middle and instead the thing is filled with jam). The camera has caught them both in the act of chewing, although their gazes are intently fixed on me. I’m not looking at them, however, but rather at something off-camera, and I can only deduce that it’s the plate with the remaining bakery treats. I want what they have, all of what they have — their youthful vitality, their teenaged energy, their nubileness, their sweets — and my left hand is pointing, my gaze is fixed, staring past them, off-camera, at a very invisible object of desire, mistakenly assumed to have turned into deepfried dough dusted with icing sugar.

But I didn’t post the picture because I couldn’t do so without having it take up the whole page. I can’t seem to size pictures (make them smaller, etc.) when I use the ‘Pictures’ function on this blog. Hey-ho, doesn’t matter really.

With any luck I’ll get around to responding to recent comments tomorrow. For now, just remember: ceci n’est pas une “doughnut.” ~~~~~~~~~~~~
Update, Sept. 9/04: I realised that I could export my scanned pictures to iPhoto, which, when I export again from that application, allows me to scale the images down. Resolution is lost this way (exporting twice), but it’s an adequate work-around. Hence, here’s the picture:

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