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a brother to Buford

It was early on in my blogging adventure when I wrote what is probably still my favorite post to date. I had come across a gentleman who caused my mind to race with delight. And though I am no closer to knowing him now than I was then, I continue to think of his many names. Yesterday I came across what may be his long-lost Shy Brother, Danté.

In the film The Five Heartbeats Robert Townsend’s character, Duck, and Leon’s JT play a game on two women they meet in a restaurant, Shy Brother. The idea being that the more gregarious of the two talks up the ladies about his brother, who smiles coyly from afar, with the intention of later making an introduction. The second time they use the technique in the film, Leon’s character conveniently forgets the gameplan midway through the routine and ends up winning the affections of the woman in question for himself. It is a moment when we begin to see that the group’s time together may be limited, for while we blame JT for double-crossing his brother, we know in our hearts that if Duck really wanted to talk to her, he should have approached her himself.

In the case of our canine, Christoph, the only affections at stake are those of the lens. And it is a toss-up whether the original provocateur, or this gentleman has captured a bigger slice of the camera’s heart.

Alfonse (or was it Hippolito?) was so shy, that the nearer I got to the ground — and the closer to him — the further he turned his head from the camera. Poetically, perhaps, he is out of focus in the only shots where he faces the camera. Yet it is only through many shots that we can begin to understand him. Have a look.

These days, I shoot almost everything for the blog with a “real” camera instead of on the “celly,” and I rarely write as often or as well as I did when I was just having fun. Maybe it’s that process and repetition changes one’s goals — just as Duck and JT learned in the film. And if that’s true, Maurice, the shy brother who would hardly look at the camera, reminds us that creativity is something to be learned again and again, like morning light, and the names of unremarkable people.

update: of course, it was pointed out to me after posting that this dog is a shy sister.

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