Today I spent part of the day at the Route 66 State Park, a park dedicated to the heritage and history of the famous coast-to-coast Route 66 highway.
I met my first deer of the season, and was able to get relatively close for a photo, stopping when they started getting concerned. I am more than a little partial to this photo, and feel the photo/poem is one of my best pairings yet.
As soon as I took the second photo, the Gershwin song “Someone to Watch over Me”, started playing in my mind, and I used this song as the ‘poem’ for the picture. After I posted it tonight, I was struck how both the photo and the song can have two different interpretations.
The first interpretation, the more traditional one, is that the person saying the words of the song wants to find someone to love and be loved in return. There’s lonliness in the song, reflected in the picture of the solitary bike rider, and in the words I’m a little lamb who’s lost in the woods. The photographer’s perspective then becomes one of the watcher – the person the protagonist wants to meet, to love. The mood is melancholy, but expectant.
However, in the second interpretation of both song and photo, the view is much darker, better reflected in a B & W version of the picture. In this view, the protagonist is afraid, lost, wanting to be protected as much as loved. With the lines Won’t you tell him please to put on some speed? Follow my lead, oh how I need Someone to watch over me!, does the singer want the person to hurry up because they want to find true love? Or because they’re afraid something else is out there, something frightening, intimidating, and unknown. In this case, the perspective of the photographer could either represent the person who protects, or the thing to be protected from.
(I’m also adding writing to these posts that reflects some of my inner deliberations when finding the poem to go with the photograph.)