So, where does one start? With a broom, of course. Sweep the old stuff under the rug and find a way through the mess to a reasonable conclusion. Or not!
We'll start with this.
My camera is an instrument of record. It remembers what I see, more in the clarity of detail than my personal memory. The camera has become an extention of my skills that include writing (poorly and desperately), speaking (somewhat coherently), listening (less so as I grow older). The camera holds no special powers. Nor does it maintains a unique place in my life. Photography isn't something I depend on or need for my existence. Sometimes it helps me concentrate on a particular object or scene, to find the elements that go together and complete the story. Other times photography gives my thoughts a place to go, to solve a problem or to translate what I think into something literal. Photography also provides me with something to do when I'm idle. Some people do cross words or run or read a book or paint. I take pictures.
But the story is never 'complete'. There is always more - or less. The photograph can be deceptive in its completeness. Not only do we exclude and include at will, we put our own emphasis on what we see.
Photography is a cultural expression. The photographer can only record what he sees while he is alive. The photrographs then carry that culture to the next generation. Modern cultural history is enhansed by the ability for us all to record as a photograph, what is happening to each of us right now.
At this moment I was here, as seen in the photograph. So was the man in the rug. We met for a moment. He has become part of my life. It could be that he and I start from this point. This is our beginning.
The magical thing here is that I only exist in his memory, which diminishes with time. He exists in my photographic memory, that is, as a fading memory jogged and jolted by the visualness of the photograph.
I don't know if me taking the man's photo changed his life in any way. I do know it has changed mine.
Who knows where it will take me?