It’s a very hot, muggy Saturday, he wants to drive to Assateague Island and I want to stay home and read a book. There is, shall I say, a moment of mild tension. But we go our separate ways.
When we are asked about the creative process of working as a couple, people want to know which comes first, the image or the words.
The answer is: it works both ways. Sometimes a photograph inspires my words, and other times, what I am writing or thinking about writing, or creating with objects around the house, inspires a photograph.
And sometimes it works in a completely different way.
Sometimes what worked the last time isn’t working now. What was there one minute is gone in the next.
While he is there, I call to ask him to stop for seafood on the way home, and, by the way, take some pictures of wildflowers. I am reading Thoreau’s journal entries on wildflowers at that moment. I’d love some pictures of Queen Anne’s lace, I say, and I try to describe them to him.
He comes home with the seafood, the photographs, and lots of bug bites from trying to get the images he wanted and thought I wanted. I can picture him in the weeds that I am calling flowers.
Now, when I look at these photographs I think they say something about art and beauty and the creative process that is not usually discussed: it comes with tension and perhaps a touch of wildness, and out of that comes something fragile and ephemeral, and imperfectly lovely.