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05 Aug 2008 1,325 views
 
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photoblog image Zyrynology: A Dissenter

Zyrynology: A Dissenter

It was the usual summer afternoon in a small town of Apalachicola: hot, lazy and humid. Natalya and I had lunch in one of those lovely restaurants on the water, when we noticed these birds.

"Look how graphically musical these lines are", said Natalya.

"Yes, but I kind of worry about this dissident bird", I replied.

I went on thinking about what made this fellow to counter itself to the crowd. "It's not an easy path, kid," I worked my fork on the plate, but my thoughts were far away, back in time when I was young and handsome.  The professors of "Political Economy", "Marxist-Leninist Aesthetics", "Scientific Communism" and other pseudo-subjects, which we've been forced to study in college, were furious when the basics of their theories were questioned.

Predictably, the path of the "inconvenient" questioning could lead only to one place, a dark monumental building with wrought-iron latticed windows and a modest sign on the façade that read: Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti (i.e. National Security Agency, which sounds frightfully familiar, doesn't it?). This time the roles were in reverse, it was a mustached officer who asked the questions.

If only this teenage kid knew that it was just the beginning of a "long and winding road" of his oh-so complicated relationship with the Soviet authorities. How would he know that thirty years later he'll be sitting in a restaurant in a cute little seaside town across the world, listening to waves and seagulls, and re-playing in his head a decayed warped film of his first interrogation?

Isn't it amazing how an innocent little thing you notice by the edge of your eye can trigger an avalanche in your memory?

  

Zyrynology: A Dissenter

It was the usual summer afternoon in a small town of Apalachicola: hot, lazy and humid. Natalya and I had lunch in one of those lovely restaurants on the water, when we noticed these birds.

"Look how graphically musical these lines are", said Natalya.

"Yes, but I kind of worry about this dissident bird", I replied.

I went on thinking about what made this fellow to counter itself to the crowd. "It's not an easy path, kid," I worked my fork on the plate, but my thoughts were far away, back in time when I was young and handsome.  The professors of "Political Economy", "Marxist-Leninist Aesthetics", "Scientific Communism" and other pseudo-subjects, which we've been forced to study in college, were furious when the basics of their theories were questioned.

Predictably, the path of the "inconvenient" questioning could lead only to one place, a dark monumental building with wrought-iron latticed windows and a modest sign on the façade that read: Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti (i.e. National Security Agency, which sounds frightfully familiar, doesn't it?). This time the roles were in reverse, it was a mustached officer who asked the questions.

If only this teenage kid knew that it was just the beginning of a "long and winding road" of his oh-so complicated relationship with the Soviet authorities. How would he know that thirty years later he'll be sitting in a restaurant in a cute little seaside town across the world, listening to waves and seagulls, and re-playing in his head a decayed warped film of his first interrogation?

Isn't it amazing how an innocent little thing you notice by the edge of your eye can trigger an avalanche in your memory?

  

comments (27)

Oh that's great VIK - probably the best S/C picture I've had the pleasure of seeing!
vz-nostalgia: well, one of the most minimalist for sure. smile
  • Ada
  • United States
  • 5 Aug 2008, 01:35
I am that lone bird on the last wire......Different from everyone.
I had to take philosophy in college. My proffessor always gave me the "evil look" because I always questioned his beliefs on certain issues. He seemed to be a huge fan of Aristotle and didn't understand why I was so quick to condenm Aristotles theory on class and how society should be classified. It always left a bitter taste in my mouth. He was even more furious about my views on creation.
vz-nostalgia: we all feel like lone birds at times, Ms. Ada, though, some more often than others.
Aristotle wasn't a bad guy after all. Plato chose him as his apprentice, and Alexander the Great adored him as a teacher, and those folks knew a thing or two about life. Take a second look at his teachings, when you have a chance. smile
  • ray
  • Thailand
  • 5 Aug 2008, 02:46
Wonderful image, VZ.

I think Natalya's comment is entirely accurate.

The loner on the bottom wire does not look like a "dissident" to me...more like an "entrepreneur" who has laid claim to all the remaining space and is about to cash in on the opportunity by selling parking tickets to the late arrivals...in the true spirit of the entrepreneur, his sales pitch will decline to point out that birds who roost on the low wire are very likely to be in the path of the higher roosting birds' shiite under gravitational influence.

I wonder which made your professors most furious...your questioning, or your youth/handsomeness? I never had to carry the burden of handsomeness...even as a youth!
vz-nostalgia: I must admit Natalya's comments are accurate way too often, Ray. smile
Though, you have quite unusual thinking here, I'm truly glad the concept of money hasn't spread through the feathered kingdom, and without money one can fit only so many worms/crickets in one's beak. smile
Photo 100 - very appropriate!
vz-nostalgia: I see you have trouble sleeping, Ms. Mary. It's 1:20 am on the island. Hope counting the birds helped a bit. smile
  • anniedog
  • United Kingdom
  • 5 Aug 2008, 08:18
Brilliant image - I love that lone bird. He has the courage of his convictions, something which most of us don't.
Ingrid
vz-nostalgia: I think you're onto something here, Ms. Ingrid. smile
  • paul
  • United Kingdom
  • 5 Aug 2008, 08:30
this is a wonderful image. I like everything about it, and you words add even more. A definite likey for me
vz-nostalgia: Though, my take on this image is extremely personal, I'm glad it worked for you as well, Paul.
The picture alone is wonderfully funny. The memory that it provoked is very interesting. It is becoming harder in this country to be the dissident bird. Our freedom is being eroded under the pretence of protecting it.
vz-nostalgia: You kind of puzzled me with your strain of thought, Bill. There is no need to be a dissident, if you have all the freedom you want, don't you think? It is only when freedoms start to erode, people start to revolt in protest.
I'm fightened to watch the path the US government takes (the Patriot Act, the abandonment of Habeas Corpus etc.). This reminds me so much of the Soviet Union.
Wonderful. A likey. This deserves an audience far beyond the frontiers of SC. I enjoyed the autobiographical note too.

I studied philosophy too, but my tutors weren't very interested in Marx. Inconvenient questioning was welcomed!
vz-nostalgia: I guess you had to study Marx on your own, Ian, as I did with Nietzsche. smile
  • Philine
  • Germany
  • 5 Aug 2008, 12:21
I'm fascinated by this pic, never I saw such a beautiful photo (I admire your PP too) , and the impression your Natalya expressed was my first one too: like music tones, and I could imagine to hear some melodies sounding- but your wonderful-impressive reflections afterwards are drawing my thoughts away- they give the first impression of easyness a touch of seriousness and depth...! Your experiences are not strange to me because my parents and I have lived for some years under difficult conditions in the "DDR" before we emigrated to the western part of Germany...! But your way might have been a quite "longer and winding road", more difficult as I presume! It is your best photo and your best text so far I can judge it - very, very impressive and touching!
vz-nostalgia: There was not much post-processing to it, Ms. Philine. The sky was all washed-out blue and the birds were, well, black. I did several exercises in composition, though. Most of them were good in their own way.
I see the image touched you deeply. I'm glad it did. It's so personal, I wasn't sure, if I should post it for the wider world to see.
Nice composition, very well done.
vz-nostalgia: my pleasure, Sesan.
  • Ada
  • United States
  • 5 Aug 2008, 14:34
I am a slightly avid fan of Aristotle VZ...I especially liked his views on Government and his realistic way of looking at things. I know Plato was his teacher, but remember they had their disagreements. What I didn't agree with was his class system....spercifically on people who were meant to be slaves and knowledgable people being more superior to those who weren't much so. His views on the rich and the poor etc.....He had some pretty crude views. He is a great philosopher but some of his views didn't sit to well with me smile. Socrates on the other hand.....top marks in my book!
vz-nostalgia: smile to say "I'm slightly avid" is like to say "I'm slightly pregnant" smile
In terms of Aristotle, I see your point. The time was different, though. There are plenty of passages in the Bible that aprove of slavery and look ridiculous today.
Give me five for Socrates, the teacher of Plato and the father of Logic.
This photograph took my breath away, Viktor. First of all I read your text, and understood the connection and why you would see it the way you do, then I put that to one side and just looked at it through my own eyes.

First of all it spoke to me of isolation and loneliness. The white space around the solitary bird spoke of overwhelming emptiness.

But the longer I looked at it, the open space became more appealing and made me think of the pleasure of having room to breathe. The bird can fly - he has chosen his spot, away from the flock, confidently enjoying the solitude. Maybe he is a `leader` rather than a `follower`, a `thinker` not an `automaton`. Maybe the rest will soon join him, or perhaps he will fly over there and re-join the flock. Either way, this little `free thinker` will benefit from his moment of splendid isolation.
vz-nostalgia: It looks like the image has an impact on people who had experienced something similar themselves- the loneliness, the isolation, the solitude... or a quest for space, for individuality, for "free-thinking"...
Others might look at it as just another birds shot. smile
AHAHAH ! EXTRAORDINARY image Viktor. Funny. Graphic. CLEVER !
vz-nostalgia: Glad you had such good time looking at it, Ms. Flo. Hope it made you think as well. smile
  • Philine
  • Germany
  • 5 Aug 2008, 20:13
Viktor, I have forgotten to say that your picture/text has a litarary quality indeed - a very thoughtful-sensitive parallel connection of a natural phenomenon and a learning process which has deserved this term (oh, I' m not sure if this is correctly said in English)!
vz-nostalgia: Well, I can't objectively judge my own writing, Ms. Philine. I'll leave it to you, the professionals, to dissect/evaluate/analyze. You do it for a living every day. smile
Love the minimalism, the graphical feel. Likeyed.
I like the debate you have created, and I know what you mean by an avalanche of thoughts, it often stops me from being productive at work...
vz-nostalgia: to be productive again, you got to ask that young blond lady to relocate to the back of the office, Nig. smile
  • Richa
  • United States
  • 6 Aug 2008, 15:30
Nice shot Viktor. Guess you used manual camera for this one. So the white sky is due to camera settings pr post processing?
vz-nostalgia: A bit of both, Ms. Richa. I overexposed the sky in camera and converted the image to b&w, reframed it to 2x1, and cranked the contrast a bit in Photoshop.
  • Fotografa
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 6 Aug 2008, 21:27
This has certainly triggered childhood memories. Late evenings with a catapult, taking pot shots at birds in the distance perching on electric lines.

Lovely composition well captured.
vz-nostalgia: I guess you talk about a slingshot, fotografa. smile I truly hope no birds were harmed.
  • Kathryn
  • Germany
  • 7 Aug 2008, 07:14
I think there are so many of us that can related so well with both your image and the thoughts in your writing---those of being the "dissident bird."

Some years ago I ran into the following, which was an ad created by Apple Computer. Every time I read the text, it still resonates with me and inspires me. Your photograph and writing does the same.

"Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo.

You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them, disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them.

Because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal.They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward.

Maybe they have to be crazy. How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? Or sit in silence and hear a song that's never been written?
Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?

We make tools for these kinds of people. While some see them as the crazy ones,
we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do."
vz-nostalgia: Whoever wrote this ad for Apple hit a bull's eye. It really touches the nerve. The difference between this ad and my post is a motivation, as I'm not trying to sell anything, I'm just sharing my thoughts. smile
  • terry
  • Nepal
  • 7 Aug 2008, 10:11
when i set my eyes on this picture, i was struck by an inexplicable wave of deja’ vu. after a few minutes of wondering, i gave up trying to decipher where or why and let my thoughts subside in the depth of the text. your experience enthralled me. in parts and as a whole. i visualized the scenes. the restaurant. its ambience. close-up and mid shots of the conversation. with a lingering fork on food shot. all while the story unfolded from a calm voice that spoke of wisdom and strength. cut to a close-up of the protagonist’s eyes and the flashback overwhelms you. echoes from across long hallway. classrooms. lectures in progress. and the dissident unleashing sharp questions and i witness as a sense of insecurity grips the questioned. close up of the eyes, the hands and then a spurt of uneasy fast cuts which fade to a solo bird on a wire. pull out slow to reveal the whole picture - a violin solo drifting in. and the deja’ vu somehow doesn’t matter anymore.

thanks for sharing, Vik. loved every bit of it.
vz-nostalgia: When a seed of a word (a photograph) falls onto a fertile soil of our mind, a comment like yours gets born, Terry.
  • Ginnie
  • Atlanta, GA, United States
  • 7 Aug 2008, 14:55
I think you have a book inside of you waiting to be written, Viktor, that would take us all by surprise. I'm quite sure the little cozy restaurant is eons of worlds separated from that one moment in time when you were first interrogated!
vz-nostalgia: The book could wait, Ms. Ginnie. There are more important things in life than putting another book on the shelve to collect dust at "Barnes & Noble". smile
  • PhotoSam
  • United Kingdom
  • 7 Aug 2008, 16:37
absolutely and utterly incredible...
vz-nostalgia: ...if you say so, Sam. I would not argue even if I disagree. smile
  • makoto
  • Japan
  • 8 Aug 2008, 05:38
The score with four lines seems to be very complicated music. Excellent work.
vz-nostalgia: no more complicated than life itself, Makoto. smile
  • Roland
  • France
  • 8 Aug 2008, 07:25
Fantastic shot !
vz-nostalgia: my pleasure, Roland.
  • Lee
  • United States
  • 8 Aug 2008, 22:03
Had I not read your title for the photograph first I might have called it "The Soloist".

I guess that speaks volumes about our differing life stories though. We are the product of our experiences and do not always choose what happens to us and therefore cannot completely create the lens we see the world through.

I wonder if the lone bird is not being shunned but instead being 'featured'.
vz-nostalgia: That's the beauty of it, Lee, that we all see and interpret art through our own experiences, otherwise the whole thing will be too damn boring.
I just love it, when folks have different take on my photographs. smile
  • LUIS
  • Chile
  • 8 Aug 2008, 23:56
Beautiful image.
It also remind me of our country recent history when thinking different was something of a outrage to the system.
Fortunately the world continues moving and now we can speak our minds freely.
So today that bird is - for me - more a independent thinker and need space to be alone and imagine new worlds (bird`s worlds).
vz-nostalgia: Appreciate your take on this photograph, Luis, which definitely reflects your own experience.
Welcome to Nostalgia.
  • Astrid
  • Netherlands
  • 11 Aug 2008, 05:17
'I went on thinking about what made this fellow to counter itself to the crowd. "It's not an easy path, kid," I worked my fork on the plate, but my thoughts were far away, back in time when I was young and handsome'.......
It is sometimes amazing how things trigger our deepest inner.
Great picture and I understand the avalanche, they taught us in school the history of Europe, Russia, the WW I & II and with a big imagination as big as mine.....no more words have to be spoiled.
That ...young and handsome...part gave me a smile....tongue
vz-nostalgia: smile It gave you a smile, because you can't imagine me as being young and handsome, I would guess. smile
  • tim
  • some were in Armley, Leeds:)
  • 12 Aug 2008, 10:49
lost for words, well stunning might just do it justice i hope Victor.
vz-nostalgia: stun·ning (st¾n“¹ng) adj. 1. Causing or capable of causing emotional shock or loss of consciousness.
I hope your emotional shock didn't last long and you're okay by now, Tim. smile
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