Monday, June 23, 2008

You Just Had to Be There

I have confirmed that I am a little bit crazy. Today I noticed little puffs of pollen coming from tall grass with little yellow flowers. It is amazing how much pollen comes from one grass plant.
Something came over me when I looked out over the fields. I thought of herds of Buffalo on the great plains. I thought of the Harvey Dunn paintings of the prairies. I thought of pioneers in covered wagons in grass as high as a horses back. I thought of sod houses. I thought of a fourteen year old pioneer boy and his mother in southwestern Minnesota. The mother made the boy plow furrows around their home on the prairie because she could see smoke in the distance. They barely survived a prarie fire.
I didn't think about the fact that I'm off the charts for grass allergies. I thought I would make a video of pollen coming off the grass. After the close-up of little puffs coming from the tiny yellow grass flowers I would raise the camera from the delicate individual plant and pan across the vast waving fields of grass to demonstrate the scale of it all.
I went to the field with my camera and shook several grass stalks and the pollen issued forth. I went into the field with grass up to my neck and shot video of the grass at all angles. I squatted down and got shots of the the grass contrasted against the blue sky. I panned across the field, lingering on patches of bright purple or yellow flowers, subtle in the distance.
Having had allergies for some time I had some idea I may be uncomfortable later, so I held my breath as long as possible. But I couldn't do that for an entire hour.I have confirmed it is grass that I am allergic to. A video camera in the hands of someone such as myself can't begin to capture the colors and textures in a field of grass. The video is quite dull - just shots of green fields with no obvious subject. Individual stalks of grass being roughly shaken by a disembodied hand. The audio of my little shoot had some very nice bird and bug sounds in between my amazingly loud sniffles of my best allergy attack of the year.

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