Sunday, June 12, 2011

Training the Eyes, Mind, and Body

Occasionally I see something particular or peculiar that may not make a great photograph and may not inspire a sculpture or a painting, but it does stir some thoughts. This occurred recently while out on my daily walk. In this case, I passed by a collection of exercise equipment in front of a house. It is rare to see such equipment (equivalent in quantity to that of a fitness center) out in front of a home. The objects were positioned in such away to form a jumbled overlapping unity.

Although the equipment looks like it is in disrepair, it is unclear if the machinery is headed for disposal. The equipment appears in limbo between the garage and curbside trash pickup. Not only is it a compelling menagerie of devices that seem to address every exercise craze and every part of the body, it also seems to beg to tell a story. Had the owner given up on exercise and banished the equipment? Is there a new device to replace all of the old equipment? Was the equipment bought on impulse, based on the allure of infomercials, and then left unused? Without knowing the owner of the equipment these questions can not be known. However, in a neighborhood where one residence usually merges with the next revealing only the smallest differences, this unique collection is a jolt and a reminder of our own (perhaps less visible) idiosyncrasies.

By taking a break from practical concerns and getting my own dose of exercise I was able to move beyond passive observation and to consider what I was seeing. The eyes, the mind, and the body were in concert thanks to the exercise equipment.