The Garret Tree
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
  Words: "Let's see what develops"
I heard the phrase "let's see what develops" recently, as two people, on a date, were discussing the early stages of what might be a relationship or perhaps a friendship or perhaps the cliche of two ships that pass in the night.

And that got me wondering about how words are born, live and die.

As a photographer who did a little, but not much, dark room work, I remember the magic of how the image on a print slowly emerged in the developing tray, grey blurs morphing into distinct, clear black and white images.

Today, with ten years of experience with PhotoShop, begun when I first became a web producer, all my work is digital. The image is there on the screen immediately. It can be morphed, but no longer are there those moments when something evolves from a blank pale piece of paper into what may be a stunning work of photographic art or just a mugshot.

So if two digital age people meet today, they might use the term "let's see what develops" but it won't have the meaning it had even fifteen years ago. And that wonderful phrase for a take it slow and let's see relationship will begin to fade just as another phrase about "holding a candle" to something is seldom heard any more.

And as I wrote this I thought "two ships that pass in the night" is also a phrase that is dying, a phrase from the era of the great ocean liners where one could sit in a deck chair and see the lights of another distant ship going in the opposite direction, a scene from the era of great black and white motion pictures.

I remember flying into San Francisco from Singapore and Hong Kong a few years ago and looking out the window in the late afternoon. The sun, setting back the way we had come, was illuminating the contrail of another aircraft high above us, flying south along the California coast, bound for Mexico or South America. Different technology, different image and for some reason not as romantic either.
Too bad.

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I write in a renovated garret in my house in a part of Toronto, Canada, called "The Pocket." The blog is named for a tree can be seen outside the window of my garret.

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Name: Robin Rowland
Location: Toronto, Canada

I'm a Toronto-based writer, photographer, web producer, television producer, journalist and teacher. I'm author of five books, the latest A River Kwai Story: The Sonkrai Tribunal. The Garret tree is my blog on the writing life including my progress on my next book (which will be announced here some time in the coming months) My second blog, the Wampo, Nieke and Sonkrai follows the slow progress of my freelanced model railway based on my research on the Burma Thailand Railway (which is why it isn't updated that often) The Creative Guide to Research, based on my book published in 2000 is basically an archive of news, information and hints for both the online and the shoe-leather" researcher. (Google has taken over everything but there are still good hints there)

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