Swiftly Superstitious

Taylor Swift is like pizza. When she is good, she is really good, and when she is bad, she is an enjoyable cheesy mess. She creates a happy ending for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. On the other hand, most of her actual romantic relationships become topics for sad songs. She feels numbers (22) and sings about musicians (Tim McGraw) as metaphors.

So while many people were scared of Friday the 13th yesterday, Taylor Swift was celebrating her birthday. Now she can feel 24.

 (bryan farley)If I were not a father of a nine year old girl, I might not be a Taylor Swift fan, but I am a father. When I thought that my daughter was ready to listen to popular music, I chose a Taylor Swift CD. I bought Fearless. When my wife and I thought my daughter was ready for her first concert, we took her to see the Fearless Tour. Many of my shared musical experiences with my daughter started with Taylor Swift. If I had chosen Hannah Montana, our experience would have gone in a different direction. Fortunately, as they say, “the writing was on the wall.”

 (bryan farley)What do you consider superstitious? I do not consider myself superstitious, but I have routines that others might view as superstitious. This Friday the 13th, I played Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” for my students and listened closer to the lyrics, because it was Friday the 13th. I wondered about the “writings on the wall” and searched through my photography archive and memory. When I saw the photo above from San Diego earlier this year, I actually read the writing on the chalk board and saw that someone wrote:

Before I die… I want to be FEARLESS.

(For more on the Before I Die project, please read the blog. I saw my first Before I Die wall in Reno in 2012; the one above is from San Diego  2013)

 (bryan farley)

Friday November 15, 2013 JEA Photo Critique

Writing on the wall is vague. When I was jogging in Boston last month, Superstition played on my Pandora station. I remembered other writings, including those about a museum exhibition for The Maya. Though I am not superstitious, I realize I am unusual. I see and hear differently. My experiences differ. I see Maya and I wonder if it is an illusion or an allusion to Maya Angelo and the caged birds who sign because they have a song. I hear Stevie Wonder sing”You don’t want to save me, sad is my song,” and I wonder if I am the only person who responds to sad songs.

In this post’s featured photo, you can read the writing on the tour truck’s walls. Swift writes positive messages and advises people to “remember it, capture it.” I appreciate her sentimentality, but I do not need someone to urge me to capture memories. My mind works differently than most; I remember.

I photograph, not because I must capture a happy memory. I photograph, because I have a song to share.

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