Daily Archives: November 16, 2017


This is the sixth chapter of my month-long fiction, album, made of word pictures.

blur. noun. An area of visual indistinctness, blending, smear, or similar confusion and lack of sharp contrasts or boundaries in a picture or on a document. verb. Make a blur. The source of this word is unclear: possibly a sound-symbolic coinage; possibly related to blear; first seen in print in the 1500s.


How many Zen masters does it take to change a lightbulb? Two: one to change it and one not to change it.

Jacob likes that old joke. He has his own version: How many people do you need to make a good picture? Two: one to be in focus and one to be out of focus.

It’s not really as simple as that, of course, and he knows it; you can have good photos with zero, one, two, or more people, and as many as all of them can be in focus (though it’s a rare photo that can look good with people in it who are all out of focus). But if you have two people in a photo and one is sharp and one is blurry, you have an essential tension that’s at least a starting point. Continue reading