Looking Glass

Venus' Looking Glass (Triodanis perfoliata)

In college I listened to professors, classmates and myself talk about Sally Mann. Sally Mann is a photographer, very well known, respected, controversial, and skilled in the darkroom (or perhaps her assistants are skilled in the darkroom as it is with many famous artists. Too busy to do the work, you know. Her website doesn't say she loves darkroom work). Last I paid attention, she photographed her children, luminous in black and white. Often the images were oddly and uncomfortably erotic. They were photographs of children after all, her own children.

A couple days ago, I watched my son sit in his little chair beside a lamp and table. A magazine laid across his lap upside down. He turned the pages. I had entered the room quietly. He hadn't noticed me.

I found my camera and began to film his slow page turning. I watched the digital screen and smiled at the small image of my son. I looked away from the screen and directly at his figure, babylike, but sitting like a  small adult.

He placed the book on the floor. Stood on it. He took a few steps and noticed his chest, touched it and began to spin in slow circles.

He looked up at me. He was being watched. It was perhaps the first spell that I broke for my son.