Thursday, May 15, 2014

Three Beautiful Things 05/14/14: Business, The Art of Vivian Maier, Neighborly Gratitude

1.  While selling this house, I spend a certain amount of time each day perusing documents, filling out documents, signing documents, anticipating phone calls, going to the bank -- in short, taking care of business.  Today was no different.

2.  I went to the Bijou Metro this afternoon and my interest in the movie "Finding Vivian Maier" centered on Maier's pictures and so my favorite passages in the movie let me see her photographs, what she saw in the world, the variety in her style, the subject matter she pursued as a photographer, and her openness as a photographer to taking pictures of everything from landscapes in the French Alps to dignified street portraits to items in trash cans to pictures of social outcasts on the streets.  With a cassette machine, she tape recorded interviews with people at a Jewel supermarket.  She took home movies.  For example, she took one of the children under her charge as a nanny to a stockyard in Chicago where sheep were being marched to slaughter.  Her pictures and home movies are often touching, often startling, often macabre, and consistently fascinating.  The parts of the movie devoted to trying to figure out the biography and the psychology of this reclusive, eccentric nanny interested me less.  During these parts of the movie, a voice inside me kept urging the movie to get back to her work, the pictures, movies, and recordings she made. 

3. Over the twenty-one years I've lived in this house, I've had a peaceful, cooperative, congenial relationship with our neighbors over the fence.  We've had one or two things to work out together and we did it well.  Today, I had a wonderful conversation with Susan about our move and we exchanged words of appreciation for each other as good neighbors, even though we never became friends.  It was a good moment. 

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