I, black sheep. Standing in snow

I, black sheep. Standing in snow


My tiny hand reaching up to steal a roll of mixed flavor Lifesavers from a 1956 drugstore shelf. From tiptoes, the acrylic presentation case of Lifesavers was backlit like a tray of devotional candles. I found-decision making to be unsuited to my temperament.


I received a BB gun for my eighth birthday. The first thing I did was go out hunting. I spotted a chipmunk, lined up the sights, pulled the trigger. The shot hit the chipmunk in the nose. He dashed through the leaves on the ground in three noisy frantic circles, then lay still. Suddenly feeling remorseful, I pulled together a bed of leaves for him, brought a slice of bread and a plate of water from home. But the chipmunk was dead and did not resurrect. My new career as a great hunter ended there. I also ended thoughts of becoming a healer. I began to speculate that cave artists painted bison because they felt a spiritual connection for needing to kill them for food.


Many photographers claim their passion for image making began after receiving a camera from their father when they were young. I was young when one day I set off through the forest to blaze an untried shortcut to town. Before long, I heard my father's voice calling me. I stopped and went back. As punishment for wandering off, he pulled down my pants and whipped me with a birch branch in front of my friends. After that, I questioned whether I really needed to become a great explorer. But later as I crouched in my room reading novels night after night . . . hey! I noticed that my power of fantasizing had gotten much stronger.

And anyway, I reasoned, who needs a camera when memories never fade?