Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Just A Little Further On . . .

.
.
.
It seems hard to fathom that another year has passed, in the blink of an eye. The holidays have gone by and the new year has been amply celebrated, but a more personal day of reckoning is drawing nigh, that date of birth, where one steps back and considers where one has been, what one has become, and where one is going. I'm beyond the point where I'm secretly hoping for presents; a bit of cake will do the trick nicely, and la Grenouille is good at that sort of thing.
.
No, these days it is more a question of wanting to give; to give my daughters a chance for an education worthy of their dreams, to give la Grenouille the company of a smiling toad, to give you the pleasure (if such it may be) of being able to view in these pages the photographs I've been pouring heart and soul into over the years, such as they are.
.
There are some recurring themes in my work, which you know by now if you've looked back at any length into the archives here. I wonder if anyone does ever look back beyond the most recent of posts. Maybe someday. These pages contain already a good part of the history of my days here on earth. One life among 7 billion currently living, and among god only knows how many who went before. (One interesting article here gives a rough estimate of how many humans have ever lived.) I hope to keep going a bit further here, further on down the road.
.
Dream cars have always had a powerful call for me, speaking volumes about our society. This one in southern France seen a few years back was a classic, disappearing under the brambles, and will be going no further, other than going back down into the ground.
.
.

.
.
.
.


.
.
.

Texture is another favorite theme, especially texture in old paint . . .
.
.






































.
.

.
And texture in ancient wood, old rusting metal bits . . .
.
.







































.
.
.

Texture in stone . . .
.
.






































.
.
.
Even texture in bone . . .
.
This grinning skull was in the window of a medical school supplies store in downtown Paris a few years ago, I don't know if it is still there. I photographed it because it brought back memories of other hanging skeletons from a laboratory oft visited in childhood.
.
.






































.
.
.

Came across a funny website recently called "dumpr.net" which lets you play around with your photos. One of the possibilities was to put your work in a museum. So if ever one day any of the work on this blog ever were to get into a museum, here is what it might look like. Keep on dreaming, all the way to eternity.
.
.







































.
.
.
So, hope to see you a little further on up the road . . .
.
.


.
.
.

71 comments:

Catherine said...

I read the first paragraph and before I progressed to the photos, my first thought on your archive was rusty junkyard wrecks - see how well I know your work?? haha
Greetings from mexico - and thanks for another great "rust to rust" series!!

Catherine said...

oh and the second thought was textured stone walls ( and no I do not see dead people haha )

James said...

Happy Birthday!
You're not kidding about the year/years going by at the blink of an eye. I can hardly believe that I'm going to be 44 in less than three weeks. You always seem to come across old cars and bikes good for you and for us! I really like the skeleton photo and it looks right at home in a museum.

Ciao.

Owen said...

Hi Catherine, you get the early bird award today for sure !

And dolls ? What about the dolls ? But yes, rusty junkyard wrecks, that about sums it up.

"Rusty Junkyard Wrecks"... could almost be a good name for a rock band with aging rock stars in it. There are a few of those around these days...

Owen said...

Hey James, yeah, we are not getting any younger, huh ? It's in a couple more days, but many thanks for the bday wishes ! Glad you like the skeleton, everyone has one or two in their closets, right ?
;-)

T. Becque said...

I appreciate your rusty scraps and skeletons and think it will all only get better as we age (cliche but oh I hope it's true!). Anyway, happy birthday!

Stickup Artist said...

Ooooh, Ahhhhh. I love your black and white work! I especially like the statue against the stone wall. It looks like it morphed into existence from the wall. And I can never resist a skull, they always look like they are smiling to me! Lots of texture here to enjoy. Have a Happy Birthday and enjoy your cake!

Mary Ann said...

I find myself taking stock of life and work and hobbies etc. annually too.

Thanks for sharing your images. They're fantastic and I'm glad our blogging paths crossed. Happy Birthday!

The Pliers said...

Bon Anniversaire, Owen, alors que je ne connais pas la date exacte!

I'll be passing through your secteur at CDG come Sunday with a few days in Paris starting Wednesday. Holler at me if your labors in the salt mine are not taking up all of your time!

Steve said...

The world needs more travellers like you, Owen; those who can see beauty everywhere.

Adam said...

Happy birthday Owen! Pause and reflect, but never stop exploring!

The Sagittarian said...

Yup, you sure got photography skills Bro, inspiring to come here. I went out in the puroing rain with my youngest today to take pix at the beach, it was raining so hard I didn't want to even get out of the car! But I digress...
that skeleton hasn't knicked off with our sister's teeth has it???

Lulu Sorcière said...

Joyeux Anniversaire Owen !
Plus on se voit philosopher sur le temps qui passe, mieux on profite du présent et comme tu le dis avec tant de tendresse mieux on partage avec ceux qu'on aime.
J'adore ton regard sur la matière à l'abandon, les voitures sont mes préférées. Celles qu'on fabrique aujourd'hui, qui cassent sans plier, qui n'auront pas le droit de rouiller tranquillement en se laissant enlacer par la verdure, n'ont pas beaucoup d'chance !
Bises !

mythopolis said...

What a wonderfully personal and reflective post. Time flies. Endless summers do end. Dear James at 44, I'm 66. Wanna swap some arthritis stories? As per skeletons, the older you get, the more people you know who are dead. Happy Birthday, Owen. I really appreciate your posts, and your sensibilities. Rock on, Clapton! Best wishes to your daughters and their future. It ain't easy these days. You may feel the ticking of time (I sure do!), but as Dylan penned, "It's not dark yet..." Keep on truckin'.

Eleonora said...

Wonderful post, thank you so much!!

Love the museum trick, I'll visit the website now.

And also thank you for your kind comment over at my food place...

Ciao
E xx

Anonymous said...

Поздравляю вас Старо-Новым годом, желаю вам в новом году успехов и спасибо что вы находите время поддерживать ваш замечательный блог!

shansenn9603q said...

Happy birthday to you! I heard a quote, which I wish I could take credit for, but I can't, it says, "Embrace growing older, it is a privilege denied to many." I think that's a great quote to live by. Happy birthday again, and nice pictures! I love 'em!

Céline said...

Merci pour le plaisir que tu donnes à travers tes photos !! Et je me souviens d'une tempête sur la baie de Morlaix... très impressionnant et d'un reportage sur Suzanne Vega.
Happy Birthday !

Peter said...

There are days when you get nostalgic! (... more often with the age!)

I had noted your birthday for today and thought I would be the first to wish you "Happy Birthday"! I can see that I have been preceded! :-)

...louciao... said...

Hmmm....
Suspiciously quiet in the replies department. Is it because your mouth is full of CAKE???!!!

Did you put ol' Eric up here to show how some things just get better with age?

The many layered textures of a life.

To say nothing of a cake.

Make a wish...and blow...

Blowing you a birthday kiss...

Big Sis
xo

ρομπερτ said...

A MagicLatern entry indeed. Happy Birthday wishes from Athens, Greece; where people like these old cars represent a current now.

If however there should be someone finding a key, and if only through photography to open a door for the Good, it surely belongs to you. Of great joy to see your picture-writing.

Please have you all a wonderful Wednesday.

Lena said...

Today would have been my father's birthday... Funny, huh??
Happiest birthday to you, Owen, may the light always find you on a dreary day! Warmest hugs!

the fly in the web said...

You have opened my eyes..I cannot express my gratitude.

Alberto Oliver said...

Yes Owen!! not for a little but for a long "up" the road for sure. And we all who know you well and have followed you for a while are well acquainted with your curiosity and interest for all those incredible, fantastic, remarkable subjects and follow you in your never ending search of the truth beyond them. All those anonymous stories in every epitaph of every graveyard you visit, and all those "carved" meesages in walls and rusty benches. . .etc
Yes, we go along the road, today and tomorrow, and all the time we might spend on this planet, that i am sure will be so much and a quality one. There are lot of things yet to be discovered. . .
Regards dear friend, follow your search, we will be keen, always, to see what you discover long the road. =)

Alberto Oliver said...

Ohh!! and for your curiosity, that I know is not a little one and always hungry of knowledge =) =)


http://www.khm.uio.no/museumsbutikk/engelsk/0322.html

Nathalie said...

Listening to Further up the road now - nice!

A slightly belated Happy birthday to you Owen!

Let's have a sip of virtual champagne to celebrate - hoping that there will be a real-life chance to meet again in the not too distant future.

Yes your choice of photos was somewhat predictable :-))
however I was surprised not to find a derelict cottage among the lot.

I love dumpr.

Dee Newman said...

Owen, thanks for allowing us to rejoice with you as you capture the utter fragility of life and allow us to see the textures in the reflections of your eyes’ . . .

Ernest Becker wrote in the Denial of Death:

The artist disguises the incongruity that is the pulse-beat of madness but he is aware of it. What would the average man do with a full consciousness of
absurdity? He has fashioned his character for the precise purpose of putting it between himself and the facts of life; it is his special tour-de-force that allows him to ignore incongruities, to nourish himself on impossibilities, to thrive on blindness. He accomplishes thereby a peculiarly human victory: the ability to be smug about terror. Sartre has called man a "useless passion" because he is so hopelessly bungled, so deluded about his true condition. He wants to be a god with only the equipment of an animal, and so he thrives on fantasies.

So, Owen, I give to you (or is it to myself) the words of Dylan Thomas:

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on that sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Nevine said...

Well, Happy Birthday to you, Owen! Yes, we do get to a point in our lives where gifts don't matter anymore... at least material gifts. The true gifts in life are found in the company of those we love. And no matter what it is you photograph, Owen... whether it's texture in wood or metal or stone... or bone, for that matter... or old cars or falling apart hovels... I will come here to share and stare because... I like to dream, and your photos always take me places. So, can I just say, thank you?

May your days always be filled with joy and celebration! A Happy Birthday to you... and also to yours! They will be celebrating their lives with yours!

Nevine

Pastelle said...

Heureux anniversaire.
Ben quoi, c'est rien du tout, un jour de retard !
De tout coeur, c'est ce qui compte.
Alors heureux anniversaire de tout coeur et des baisers en forme de gâteaux et de bougies.
Et oui, je suis de celles qui regardent en arrière.
Même si ici c'est un peu compliqué et que je ne suis pas sûre de tout comprendre...
Mais il parait que l'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux. :)

Pastelle said...

Oh !
Je suis dans tes liens !
Je n'avais pas vu...
Terriblement émue et touchée.
Merci. Pourtant ce n'est pas Mon anniversaire... :)

The Sagittarian said...

Oh and by the way, if you scoff too much cake you won'r be able to wiggle your waggler. Just thought I'd mention it.

Owen said...

Oh... you good people...

I will be back here shortly to reply, but as guessed above, my mouth's been full of cake.

Or was it because I was at work ???

In any case, now I'm off to bed, but I shall return, to quote someone who was going to return somewhere...

In the meanwhile, thanks to each and every one of you...

Looking for Siddhartha said...

Dear Owen,

what beautiful reflections! I like your writings as much as you pictures.
You speak about "dream" cars!? Yes, that's it! I did wonder why your "broken" things are so special and unique - You give them value. They look like museum pieces!
Have a nice day and a nice week, Owen!
Renée

Nathalie said...

Tu dois être parti te coucher à l'heure qu'il est (8h44 du matin).

Sleep well - sweet dreams !

Deborah said...

Texture is, in fact, what I like so much about you, Owen. I hope you get your birthday wishes.
Love,
Deborah

pRiyA said...

Naturally I am drawn to the photo of the grinning skull hanging by a thingie from its head. There are a couple of annoying people I'd like to do that to...and then I'd take a picture and hang it in a museum.

Owen said...

Hi T. Becque,
Of course we get better as we age !!! Just like wine... well, some wine, anyway... other wine just goes sour, turns to vinegar. I guess some people too... let's try to avoid that path !
:-)

Many thanks, and I loved your visit to Boot Hill, would be happy to see more from there, never went... What a legendary place...

Owen said...

Hi Stickup,
I think that statue did morph out of the wall... it may have been the soul of the wall... Looks like the wall is trying to assimilate her, or maybe it's her who has been camouflaging herself to look like the wall, like a chameleon? I wonder what happened to her missing arm though, and what position it was in, I can't quite picture it. And as for skulls grinning, well, they are... no worries at all, they have taken their place among the eternal.
:-)

Owen said...

Hey Mary Ann,
Many thanks, and I'm glad our blogging paths crossed too, I couldn't very well ignore a blog with a name like Beirut Pursuit... I really like your vision in regards to old buildings and people there, like the woman fishing the other day...

Am keeping my fingers crossed that all will be well there, we're on the edge of our seats. My sister in law was just here in France, but she went back to Beirut last week.

Take care, be safe...

Owen said...

Hi Pliers ! Well, I wouldn't want to be giving out too much free information about myself on the internet, but you can safely assume that my bday is in this general vicinity.

It would be lovely to see you and your frencher half if you happen to be in the area just north of Paris in relation to your trip this weekend... I'll try to call... The straightjacket factory has been keeping me very busy of late, I'm working Saturday, but will be off Sunday and Monday... la Grenouille has some after the fact birthday celebrations to smother me in, but hopefully we can find a way...
:-)

Owen said...

Hey Steve,
Actually, I don't know if the world needs more of me... if I ran into myself out snooping around abandoned houses and peering into old rusty junkyard cars, I'd probably be wondering who the lunatic was...
:-)

...louciao... said...

I'm so sorry to hear that you're being kept hopping overtime with all those darn post-Christmas straightjacket returns--the ones that don't fit tightly enough, aren't the right colour, are too easy to escape from...And next thing you know, the mad shopping for the perfect Valentine's Day version will be in full swing!

Owen said...

Hi Adam,
Thanks so much... I think the only thing that would stop me from getting out to go exploring will be getting to be like the person in the last two photos here...
:-)

Owen said...

Dear Saj, not easy to take photos in the pouring rain, but not impossible either. Having a sturdy bumbershoot is a start... Having someone to hold the umbrella for you is a help too... Then just hum a few bars of "Singing in the Rain", and get to work !

As for this teethy fellow you referred to, most certainly, that's why he's grinning, because he made off with her teeth !!! Yep, he's positively wiggling and waggling with pleasure !!!

Owen said...

Chère Lulu Gentille Sorcière,
100% d'accord, pas de bol pour les pauvres voitures d'aujourd'hui qui n'auront que rarement la possibilité d'aller finir leurs jours tranquilement au fond d'un tas de broussailles dans un champ perdu. Non, de nos jours, elles ont l'infame destin d'être déshabillées à fond de toutes pièces, puis écrasées en petits cubes compactés, avant d'être renvoyées ignominieusement vers des fonderies en Asie ou l'Europe de l'Est, où elles seront fondues et revendues comme des vulgaires chargeurs d'arme à feu, pour alimenter des guerres en Afrique... Pas très gaie comme topo... je préfère de loin le mien !

Merci infiniment Lulu...
:-)

Owen said...

Dear Sir Mythopolis, your company on this blogging adventure is pure pleasure, I sense a rare and vibrant intelligence behind your every word, and am most highly pleased if these photos, such as they are, are procuring some moments of reflection and contemplation in return. Yeah, keep on trucking ! Age is an attitude toward life, and not a crude, banal, number.

Owen said...

Hi Lola !
Thanks so much... I maybe shouldn't reveal one of my birthday wishes, but nevertheless, I hope someday, one day, to be able to partake at least just once of some of your mouth-watering culinary preparations in a fine setting with good company...

Not so much to hope for, eh ? Who knows, every once in a while dreams come true in this mad world of ours...

Owen said...

Dear Anonymous reader from Russia or other Russian speaking place...

I thank you for your kind words here, which translate into English as :

I congratulate you on the Old-New Year, I wish you every success in the new year and thank you that you find time to keep your wonderful blog!

Thanks very much ! Spacibo !!!

Owen said...

Hi Shansenn,
Many many thanks, and too true, each passing day is a privilege denied to many. One of my favorite quotes comes from the movie "Breaker Morant", to the effect of, "You should live each day as though it were your last, for one day, you are bound to be right".

Great reporting you did there on the abandonned airport. It is amazing that such places are just left to disintegrate. Cool that your Dad is willing to go with you to such places... pretty decent Dad to have...

Owen said...

Bonjour Céline, c'est un plus grand plaisir si ces photos sont source de plaisir pour qui que ce soit... c'est étrange, mais j'ai l'impression de t'avoir déjà lu quelque part, mais je me trompe, certainement. Merci mille fois pour ce petit mot sympa, et si tu te souviens de l'orage sur la Baie de Morlaix, je suis d'autant plus touché, c'était un moment intense et inoubliable. Le concert de Suzanne aussi, bien que plus récent. Mille fois merci ! A bientôt et bises !

Owen said...

Hi Peter ! Ah, nostalgia is sometimes a good thing, but a little bit goes a long way. I shall try to refrain from any more until next January comes around. And indeed, there were some earlier birds than you, and I am even later in answering, but here I am at last, to thank you deeply for your birthday wishes here...

Hoping we will be able to catch up soon, maybe to catch the expo Adam was talking about ???

Owen said...

Dearest Lynne, I've been slow in the replies department because I've had not only my mouth, but also my fingers, my toes, my wiggles and waggles, my elbows and my nose all full of lovely CAKE and candles and wine and song and lots of love from all around, not to mention that it is not just replies but also customer service and order filling and shipping and manufacturing and purchasing and sales negotiations that all have to be handled adroitly and efficiently in order to keep the whole machine running on time, not a minute to spare !!! The straightjackets must move !

So, kisses being blown right and left, even the skeleton is grinning not only because he stole someone's teeth, but because a kiss just landed smack where his lips should be, he's blushing too, but because the photo is in black and white, you can't really tell.

With all these kisses being blown, now I finally understand why you said winter blows !

:-)

And with that, my goodness, it is already time for bed again, and I'm not even done with the replies department work, and I'll have to run right back down to the shipping dock when I get up ! No rest for the weary...

Owen said...

Tag Robert,
I will treasure your most kind words here. We most hope that there are still keys to be found to unleash Good in this world... and sorry to hear there are a lot of wrecks of people in Athens to be seen, but I guess this phenomenon of people becoming ruins of their former selves is rather widespread, many visible in Paris too. When our throw-away society includes people and animals in that merciless equation, then we are in trouble I fear. Be well...

Owen said...

Hola Lena ! Many thanks for birthday hugs, one can never get enough of those !
:-)
So your father and I have birthdays very close in the calendar... small world... although, I remember a statistics professor once discussing the odds of two people having the same birthday. If you take a town of ten thousand people, and divide that by 365, you have about 27 people probably born on each day of the year. If you take the world population of close to 7 billion people, a little over 19 million people are likely to have the same birthday each day of the year... That may be more info than you needed or wanted, but hugs to you too... I figured with your PhD you would probably want more info as opposed to less info...
:-)

Owen said...

Dear Fly, you just have !!!

Owen said...

Hei Alberto... you are a good man my friend, a pleasure to have your company on this voyage, I do hope our paths will cross one day, perhaps along a fjord somewhere, or in a parisian café... yes, for sure, discoveries must continue, and shall, as long as there is a breath in my body...
:-)

Owen said...

Hi Nathalie...
Oh rats, you mean you guessed there might be a dream car in the lot ? I'm slipping, I'm slipping, the challenge is to stay unpredictable, but that gets harder as time goes by I think. Bob Dylan was a master at it, morphing through different musical styles and themes over the years.

Cheers, here's a raised glass in the general direction of Avignon, to you, yes, indeed, hope our paths can cross again before too long, do give a shout if heading for Paris...

In the meanwhile, I'm heading out to go look for that dream cottage...
:-)

Owen said...

Dee,
You have thoroughly floored me with that one !

The quote from Becker is giant, a truly dense and provocative paragraph, I can see I'm going to have to re-read it several times and mull it over some more, it is fraught with nuance. And then the words from Dylan Thomas... again giant ! Yes, good sir, rage on, rage on, rail and rage against the flagrant ignorance of our age. We may not have the means, being only animals, to fully comprehend the situation we find ourselves in, but perhaps we can see far enough to realize that things are deeply and disturbingly wrong, far wrong. But where do we go from here, the question was posed, "How Should We Then Live"... will rage take us where we secretly know we want to go ?

In any case, your two vast quotes here are a fabulous gift for this birthday guy, and I thank your for that... sincerely...

Owen said...

Nevine,
You may, and I thank you. Your company along this trail through the mountains is the finest gift I could wish for, a rainbow through the stormclouds, gleaming...

Be well, be well as your studies get underway, I will be rooting for you the whole way through, until the day I can write :

Dear Dr. Nevine, ...

Owen said...

Chère Pastelle, je suis très touché par ce petit mot, merci plus que mille fois... Et quant à ce n'est pas ton anniversaire ? Mais si, tu ne savais pas que dans le royaume des blogs, tous les jours pourraient être ton anniversaire ??? En tout cas, c'est un peu l'impression que j'ai, quand des personnes jusqu'ici inconnues peuvent venir ici et laisser un message chaleureux, je trouve ces messages les meilleurs cadeaux du jour... et petit à petit, si l'échange continue, on commence lentement à s'apprivoiser. <> est un mot que j'ai appris en lisant le Petit Prince. J'adore ce chapitre avec le renard...

Merci à toi Pastelle...

Owen said...

Dear Saj, what on earth is all this wiggling and waggling you are going on about ??? I think I'll get back to the cake now !!! Anything that could prevent one for concentrating on the cake cannot be a good thing !
;-)

Owen said...

Hi Renée,
Dream cars and dream houses are part of what make my world go round, that's where my dreams come true... where daydreams happen.

So, are you still looking for Siddhartha ? My goodness, it's been a long time since I read Siddhartha, I may have to go back and refresh my memory. It's funny, with some books I remember more a mood, and more where I was when I read them, than the actual specifics. And I recall exactly where I read Siddhartha, though it was over 25 years ago...

Tchuss :-)

Owen said...

Ah Nathalie, effectivement, à 08h00 je suis déjà loin dans les reves...
:-)

Owen said...

Hi Deborah,
I'm keeping my fingers crossed (for the birthday wishes), in the meanwhile I'll be out looking for real, true, honest textures...

Owen said...

Priya ! Oh dear, you must know some people who've done you wrong... hopefully that will all recede into the past and leave you floating peacefully. But if you can get a few of them into the museum before it's your turn, well, I guess that can be smiled about...
:-)

Owen said...

Lynne, How did you know ??? I've just started working on a new design, a straightjacket with lots of red hearts all over it, and pink laces and buckles, and chocolate épaulettes which can be nibbled by those with limber necks... Should be ready by Valenties day... let me know if you know anyone who will be needing one...
;-)

Karine A. said...

J'arrive un peu tard, ( j'étais en voyage) mais je t'adresse des voeux d'anniversaire spéciaux:
Tout zébrés !
Auguri !!

Mimi said...

Lol at the skeleton in the museum, it's brilliant!
Love the pics of the old car, which make me wish I had the ability to restore it. Imagine being able to bring that wreck back to life, painted pink, soaring down the highway??!
And Happy Birthday!

Roxana said...

oh dear Owen!!! i am sorry i was away exactly on your birthday, so now belatedly i come here, with flowers and tea and cakes and smiles and the best warmest dreamiest wishes of the world, all just for you!!!
i hope, no, i am very sure you had the most wonderful celebration with your dearest ones, could we at least get a secret glimpse at the birthday cake? :-)

Lydia said...

Please forgive me for just now reading this and, therefore, for leaving my most sincere belated birthday wishes. Was it the 18th? Or 19th? Mine was earlier this month, and I loved your musings about what a birthday means when we are beyond wishing for gifts. Many blessings for a great year, Owen.

TechnoBabe said...

Awesome video. Bonamassa plays in the Clapton style. Hubby stopped what he was doing to watch the video with me.
dumpr.net sounds like a fun link, will be checking that out now.
The wood and metal bits is a great photo. I do so like that look and am always looking for old wood and/or metal.