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When A Camera Lens Shows You Your True Self (Or How To Use Photography To Unravel A Maze)
I don't know about you but I always find the facets of ourselves which we show to other people interesting.  The only thing I find more interesting is trying to work out why we show the ones we do - as in how we choose.

Forget the "Professional" personas we have to put on in order to survive our jobs (or which we have to put on in order to survive our interactions with "Professional" people).  I am talking about the "Private" personas which we put on in our own time.

I had a rather fun experience a couple of days ago.  Someone asked me for (and got) a full-strength dose of "Ink-logic".  Admittedly, he didn't start off asking for a full-strength dose but he refused to let me back off when I knew he was in danger of getting one.  The frightening thing was he thanked me for it afterwards and told me that what I had said had been useful.

For those of you who have never had the experience of "Ink-logic" in person - this usually occurs when my mind has been processing information and has decided to send a print out of its conclusion to my mouth for verbal broadcast.  The information has somehow managed to bypass the "Human Logic" software and (sometimes) the Grammar and Syntax software.

Put it this way - it can take some time to translate what I say into what I mean when it comes to full-strength "Ink-logic".

"Ink-logic" is not to be confused with bluntness.  In most cases "Ink-logic" is used when I don't want to be blunt even though the situation may call for it (I may not know the audience well enough to feel I can speak my mind without offending them - and when I say "blunt" I mean I pull no punches and say exactly what I think).

To give you a bit of background to this conversation.  He and I had been discussing his idea for a photographic project.  The concept had originally been nice enough but I hadn't been able to join the dots of it in my mind.  When he started to go into the mechanics of what he wanted to do I am afraid my brain just switched off.

I am not a Mechanical person.  If I want to do something I have to admit the mechanics of what I want to do are the last items on my list of things to consider.  (Admittedly because the mechanics usually involve my sight in one way or another.  I have been socially trained to avoid thinking about that unless I absolutely have to.)  The first two questions are usually "Why?" and "How much is it going to cost me in energy, emotion, etc?".

The other two things I am not are any kind of photographer (although I sometimes wish I could take photos of what I see with my eyes alone - trust me some of those photos would be interesting) or any kind of Psychologist (I just like unravelling complex people in my spare time).

My brain became transfixed by the prop he wanted to use (an apple).  Then my brain worked around that apple - slowly stripping away the symbolism he had attached to the apple, including how he wanted to show said apple - and put him around it.  More to the point, I put what he had told me about his backstory around the apple (along with the warnings he had given me about himself both verbally and non-verbally).

(The other bit of his original idea you need to know is that it involved a woman holding the apple.)

This called for the full-strength dose of "Ink-logic" I told you about.

My next sentence was "You want to be her!".  Maybe not the wisest thing to say to an ex-army guy who is 6 inches taller than you and a lot heavier than you who you have not known for more than two months (and not spent that much time with) - at least it got him thinking long enough for me to explain.  At least that was after he asked me if I was seriously suggesting he wanted to physically be a woman.

I explained that my logic was based on the fact that - whilst he didn't want to physically be a woman - he wanted to get some of the characteristics of the female personality back or at least rediscover them in himself.

Then I completely blew his mind by politely telling him to forget part of his symbolism for the apple (think Genesis) and concentrate on the "Knowledge" bit.  I went on to explain what I had heard him telling me.  At the end of my monologue I finished by telling him I thought it would be better with a man and a woman.  The man angry and defensive in black and white, and the woman open and vulnerable in colour.

He agreed!  This was frightening for me.  I am not used to people agreeing with me when it comes to arty stuff - especially when they can blind me with science about their chosen artform (and could probably find 50 ways to kill me).

Later that evening he told me that I am a puzzle wrapped in a conundrum wrapped in an enigma.  He was not surprised to hear me say the same thing about him.

What did surprise me was when he told me that he had tried everything he could think of to push me away.  Bad news for him was the fact at least three things he had tried just made me want to know more about him.  If he had really thought about it he could have scared me off quite easily by using the first peice of information he gave me about himself combined with his height and size.  What he ended up doing was making himself seem cuddly and protective with a steel cold streak.  A nice puzzle.

In a funny way - he reminded me of the first time I saw one of my other friends.  I can still remember how I felt when someone (whose photography and writing I later became a fan of - as well as considering him to be someone I can trust more than most people I know) walked into the room I was in as though he owned the building, looked straight through me, shook someone else by the hand and sat down.  Then I made the mistake of asking what he did for a living.  I nearly left never to return.

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