Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Plague Of Paparazzi Parents

Today Jasper, I and the girls went out to visit some friends who had rented a house in the Choriner Schorfheide. The Choriner Schorfheide is an rural area in the former East German state of Brandenburg. When you drive through the area you come across village after village, some of them picturesque, most of them depressing, the locals (if you even see them because they seem to stay in doors) often making neanderthals look overly civilized. Still, the nature there is truly beautiful and the area is well worth a visit, especially from city slickers like ourselves. We met our friends at this lake. It was a beautiful late summer day with just a dash of Herbst in the air, so all was well.
When we later drove to the woods, Miss Mia got a little spooked out. We've experienced this before when we rented a place in the same area a few months ago. Ten minutes into our hike she said she was scared and wanted to go back to the nice apartment. What can I say? I'm raising city kids. She was ok at the lake, though I suppose that's probably because it at least had a parking lot.
At some point I took her to this little shed up on the hill to take some photographs. She's used to this since both Jasper and I are hobby photographers. A little to the right. No, a little to the left. Now hold still. She knows better than to give us an overly posed smile.
Part of me thinks this is great. We have so many beautiful photographs of the girls and it's always the perfect opportunity to practice a little portrait photography. Still, the other part of me has to wonder, Jesus, are we warping them? From the very beginning we've both been constantly shoving these lenses in their faces, the plague of the paparazzi parents.
A while ago, I saw a documentary about the Japanese photographer Nobuyoshi Araki.
He takes photographs of everything, including the death of his wife, including his many adventures with prostitutes. Although he has sometimes been criticized for this, he said his impulse has always been to document everything. I think I can understand him.

For example, shortly after I took this photograph I confiscated Little Li's pacifier because I wanted to take better photographs. But the photographs I ended up taking were mainly of her protesting, her arms outstretched, screaming for her pacifier. Sometimes I've taken photographs of the girls crying instead of comforting them. But then, I think such photos are important. These are the times we spend together and I want to capture them.
But, getting away from my thoughts and back to the day, Little Li and I took a nice walk in the woods, me in only my bikini, she in only her diaper. We climbed together for a while on these fallen logs and, of course, I took more photographs.
Someday, in her early teenage years, Little Li is probably going to want to have a killer tan but look at how white this arm is. A pale complexion and red hair. Sorry Little Li, god or whoever might be up there will say, it ain't gonna happen!
Here is a little self-portrait of my foot. I'm sure it's not hard to imagine that I have never ever in my life had a pedicure....
Later our friends went into the forest and collected some Steinpilze (I don't know what the English translation is, but big-ass mushrooms would suffice I think.)
We all went back to the house they had rented where they started slicing up the mushrooms for a pasta sauce or a soup or to lay out on a loaf of bread. Who knows? But we had to be heading back as the babies were getting mighty grumpy (and grumpy babies forced to stay up often means grumpy babies for a couple of days=not worth the risk!!)
On the way back we passed by this eerie swamp. The water was completely covered in duck weed and all the trees were dead (drowned I suppose, though it seems strange that a tree could drown.) Every once in a while you could see a ripple under the duck weed or an occasional abrupt leap from a frog. Creepy to say the least....
Good night, freaky swamp in the Choriner Schorfheide. Good night friends who have now most likely fallen into a gorged-with-Steinpilze-slumber. Good night babies, your paparazzi parents will greet you in the morning. Good night, anyone who reads this blog, oh yeah, and thanks for reading. :)


petoskystone said...

your pinkie toe looks just like mine! & little li & i have the same skin tone. :) a trait i have passe on to my daughter & granddaughter. assuredly a creepy swamp. my daughter is the same with her camera--no such thing as too many photos. as yet, i don't have a camera (one of those few who are strictly averse to having my photo taken), but i will probably give in this winter....

Karen/Small Earth Vintage said...

Mmmmm, mushrooms! I think it's great you're taking pictures of everything, even the fits. And I love the portraits--gorgeous!

That's hilarious that the lake was not scary because it had a parking lot. I wish I'd been raised a city baby!

Schaufensterbabe said...

Yeah, later we will be happy to have the photographs and they will too I'm sure. My mom also hates having her photograph taken. She also always looks so weird in photos, but I guess it's because she can't relax. Karen, I also wished I had been a city kid. Living it through them now I guess. :)


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