…persimmons. This is precision.
Ripe ones are soft and brown-spotted.
Sniff the bottoms. The sweet one
will be fragrant. How to eat:
put the knife away, lay down newspaper.
Peel the skin tenderly, not to tear the meat.
Chew the skin, suck it,
and swallow. Now, eat
the meat of the fruit,
all of it, to the heart…
From Li Young Lee and Persimmons
Today, Juliette had a volleyball game at a Catholic school on the southside of Oklahoma City. Between games I walked outside and noticed a Vietnamese man and his children picking persimmons from a tree in the parish courtyard. He gracioulsy let me take pictures of them picking persimmons.
Despite Persimmon Hill, I have never before seen a persimmon tree growing in Oklahoma.
The man told me that in 1976 his aunt planted the tree along with two others, which have since been cut down. He told me back then most of the families at Sacred Heart were Vietnamese, but that today, only two Vietnamese families attend the church. The majority of parishioners at Sacred Heart today are Hispanic. He said a new Vietnamese Catholic church was under construction around SW 59th and May Avenue.
The camera lens is so generous. It shuts out all the things that threaten to dilute my curiosity. When I am peering through it I am aware of only my subject and the colors and the light that surrounds it or him. I can be completely surrounded by noise and people, but in that moment when I am gathering the light and color and curiosity into my shot, I am holding tight to the intimacy of the moment. Once I’ve taken the picture, I am no longer in relationship with my subject. These separations are never lost on me. For a moment, it feels like I hold their lives in my hands. But, of course, I don’t, it’s only my lens.