Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Here are some more incredibly altered photos along with a bit 'o journaling that I did while sitting downtown this past Saturday. Warning: I have been listening to a book on CD in my car the past week or so "Rilla of Ingleside" by LM Montgomery--it's about Anne & Gilbert Blithe's daughter, so that's my excuse for the flowery writing.

There’s something both selfish & giddy about being in myself. I’d like to invite you in, but would you be able to? And if you were, would you understand? Is the same thing that is sublime to me, equally stirring to you?

For instance, if you were to somehow be in my heart & soul right now would you feel, as I do, that there is simultaneously too much & not enough emotion for this moment? Could you listen to the young Asian sisters masterfully playing their cello & violins, watch the delighted & surprised faces of down-towners passing by, feel the gently forceful zephyr of summer lift & toss your hair as carefully, nonchalantly & courageously as that time last summer when an old friend surprised you with a dance that still steals your breath with every remembrance, and not feel that this is, in itself, decadence?

The kind of bittersweet decadence—like the darkest of chocolates—that makes you want to either cry with deepest sorrow or sigh, like after a great thrill that, once over, leaves you breathless. These are the moments when you feel you could die and be perfectly satisfied. And where you want to die because you’ve just glimpsed something so divinely bigger than everyday life that you could no longer bear to live one more breath of terrestrial existence.

That is the excess and lacking hole of emotion in your chest, or gut, or wherever you most strongly feel life. There’s so much more than you’ve ever experienced (or you’ve forgotten how it felt the last time, even if the last time was a mere 24 hours ago—how quickly we forget!). But feeling that “much more” is like opening a door, lighting a match, seeing for a fleeting moment exquisite things & then feeling the vast darkness around it that hints at the possibility of perhaps infinite more of it where that came from. Thus a deep emptiness in your bosom that greedily longs for more of what is already flooding over the banks of your heart in it’s excess.

Guilt is also a part of this pleasure. Could you bear to keep this to yourself & not share it somehow with someone else? Someone special who won’t trample it as invaluable? But we’re back to the main question: how on God’s green earth can I possibly translate the pages of my soul that I myself so little understand in any form that another could read? Oh! But it’s just so much! I think it must hurt so much more in the inability to share it.

My wine colored polka dot ballet flats & jeans with a tiny whole where a spark leapt onto me at a fire-pit party late one night augment the moment. They are doing their darndest to share this with me. But I suppose a shoe, no matter how perfectly polka-dotted, can never really commiserate like a real person.

My mind gathers around it Jo March & Elisabeth Bennett & Anne Shirley—I don’t care if they aren’t real, if you were to smash the first & last together in a divine explosion, you’d actually get me, Joann Renee Whittaker. Certainly they understood moments like these and shared them in their worlds as they could: pen & paper, quill & parchment, exuberance in life, contagious wonder.


Dad said...

A combination of Jo March and Anne Shirley . . . hmmmm . . . guess I can see it, though you don't ramble on like Anne nor have the explosive temper of Jo. You combine the wonder of Anne and the passion of Jo - good things!

farmgirl beth said...


karleeanne said...

Nnaoj...I love the black&white/color photo of downtown. You are an amazing photographer, and a great writer at that. I find your blog quite entertaining. I am beginning to see more and more why you are the igliest. Love ya!