Blinking and Staring

Sylvester Walker's Granddaughter Playing Basketball in the Back Yard, Spivey's Corner, North Carolina 1989

I love it when photographs both stare and blink.

When they look intently, with time spent in the seeing.

Revealing detail as only a photograph can.

The background and backboard.

Chickens frolicking with tires.

Piled-up stuff you know has been there for awhile,

And will likely be there a while longer.

A freezer on the porch - so Southern.

Staring is like that – it offers us the particulars.


But there is nothing like the blink of an eye.

The instant the crux is revealed.

The Decisive Moment, the master Henri called it.

To trust eye and hand, and mostly instinct.

Knowing to push the button right Now.

With ball poised between hand and ground.

The foot in ballerina pose, anticipating the next movement.

A shoelace, attached to the shoe, but seeking its own direction.

Blinking is like that – it lets the breath of life invade our stillness.