Admittedly, sometimes a photo strikes one’s eyes before you even come up with a story. These are two of that kind, and I found them on the sites of two of my German Facebook friends, who are friends of each other, as well, and like to take photos of the same motives from different angles. I have no idea what they thought when they came upon this scene – not arranged by them, mind you – and I didn’t ask them either. Besides being kind of a strange idea at first sight, it’s also obviously very aesthetic.
As a story-teller, the stakes are high for me to keep you entertained when giving you my angle on this. And I’m afraid that today it’ll be more philosophical than funny. Bear with me, please.
I don’t think that whoever rammed the German roll and the two apples onto the wrought iron gate of what is presumably a manorial pasture because the person used the gate as a lost and found. You do this with lost hats and gloves, not with perfectly edible food. Also, the food looks pretty fresh. But, of course, that is only a presumption. For I cannot see any blemishes such as bird pecks or animal bites. Horses eat apples … only, I should hope that none of them will bite into the spike beneath. That would be horrific. So, let’s simply assume that somebody had way too much in a picnic rucksack and wasted it on an iron gate. Crows love to feed on almost anything. So, let’s assume the apples and roll were left for them to tide them over.
Now let’s look at the different angles of the photo. In Joerg’s photo the food is at the center of attention – beautiful in detail and against an almost impressionist backdrop of a green meadow and a blurry strip of forest. It shows a bizarre food situation almost like a parody of the ancient master painters’ fruit still-lives. Sandra’s photo tells us that we are standing outside a gate rather than inside, that there is a manor somewhere in the back between the trees, and sunbeams almost shape a perfect triangle with the fiery ball of the sun itself – a geometrical play of Nature with humanly arranged objects. Same motif, different way of transportation, different vibe.
It makes me think how often we find ourselves in the same situation with other people. But because we are smaller or taller, we are happier or sadder, we are stressed out or totally relaxed, we are looking to the left or the right, we are wrapped up in our own thoughts or interacting with our surroundings, the same situation is entirely different for each of us. Just think of a line in the supermarket. The person who is being helped with the small change at the cash register will be relieved about the cashier’s support, whereas – I’m sure! – somebody farther back will mutter about people always holding up the line, and others might be chatting with each other, while somebody is spontaneously stuffing an item from the shelf next to them into the shopping cart.
Let me drift off some more. Only recently I heard of a Tacoma Hilltop man who had done similar as the person who staked the food on a fence. Only with a real purpose and not involving a fence but a tree. He hung coats and scarves for the taking. A giving tree. Not a wishing tree as we know from organizations such as the military or churches. A private initiative. For the homeless in his part of the city. Apparently, he had come across a newspaper article or other documentation about something similar in Europe and adopted the idea.
See how a mind can wander from one point to another?! Where are the staked apples and roll now? Nowhere in the picture anymore. Ah, for the wonders of a human mind! And this is only me. I wonder what Joe’s and your thoughts are on the photos!
Care to read Boyle’s Double Take? Click here.
Joe Boyle, author of the Suburban Times’ column “Westside Story”, and Susanne Bacon, novelist and author of the Suburban Times’ column “Across the Fence”, are sharing their thoughts about a variety of topics in their joint project of double features called “Double Take”. Comments are more than welcome, as they know that the world has more than their two angles – the more the merrier.