I’ll never forget that day. It was cold and rainy outside. A very melancholy feeling, but I did not let that stop me from paying the old guy a visit. I didn’t know if I’ll ever see him again. I had to!
As I entered the garden, the cold and dark feeling of the outdoors slowly dissipated by the beauty that surrounded me. The garden was so full of life. It was colorful, yet simple. It looked like a maze, yet felt well organized. The Portland Japanese Garden was definitely a fresh new experience for me.
Having said that, I almost ignored the entire garden, racing through the paths, looking for that old guy I was so eager to finally meet and share my time with. I didn’t really know what to expect of him. I wasn’t sure I could tell his story and keep it unique to those who met him or seen him in the past.
As doubts and other thoughts raced through my mind, I finally came to a stop. “Is that you?” I thought to myself. As Peggy Lee once sang, “is that all there is?”. Thoughts still running through my mind, I stepped closer and closer, wishing that the old guy has a real story to tell.
It wasn’t until I stood a few inches away from him, when sparks of hope ignited my spirit. I put my equipment down on the ground in front of him and went down on both knees. Wow!
My previous thoughts instantly disappeared as I gazed at the old guy’s soul, as if I looked straight into his eyes, if he had any. His old age did not harm his beauty at all! Breathtakingly handsome, if you will. He’s maybe in his 80s but he doesn’t look a year over 30. That marvelous Japanese Maple Tree opened himself up and revealed his most precious secrets to me and my camera. He definitely inspired me to tell stories no other photographer had told before.
In one of my stories he shows me his whole history through his branches and leaves. I tell that story by sharing a portrait of him that I captured and named it Ancient Veins (the one above).
That portrait was printed, signed, numbered and framed and sat on the carpet of my living room, leaning on the wall, for far too long. Not because I didn’t want to hang it or had no wall space, on the contrary, I did and I had. I just dreaded the act of hanging it on the wall. It felt like an annoying chore I wasn’t willing to do. It was staring at me every single day. It was pretty much screaming, “just hang me already!”
You see, to hang that picture I had a few options:
- Run a wire from side to side, on the back of the frame and hang it with a screw in the wall (drywall). For that I had to measure where the screw was going to be in order for the picture to sit where I wanted it. I also had to get a driller, screw, plastic anchor, ruler, level etc. Too much work!
- Buy a few large adhesive type hangers that go on the frame and the wall. Since it’s a big picture I had to get a at least four of them. The problem with these guys is that they required the help of another person if wanted the picture to be leveled, or somehow balance a level on the frame while making sure I wouldn’t drop and break the picture. If I messed up I had to remove the strips, put new ones and start all over. Again, too much work!
- Use saw tooth picture hangers. Screw a couple of them on the frame then start measuring where the screws would go on the wall… Already too much work.
There are more ways, but guess what. Yeah. Too much work!
At that point I did what every person (who is me) would do. Find a solution to my problem.
I set down and started brainstorming ideas for a new hanger. I wrote and sketched a bunch of my ideas and finally… Eureka! I came up with the winning picture hanger. I sketched it, computerized it using illustrator had my brother make a 3D model and actually printed prototypes of it.
Guess what? It freakin’ works! Like magic 😉
Finally, I could hang Ancient Veins on my wall in just a few seconds. No tools. No help. No damage. No worries!
Now, I have to be done writing and go hang the other photos that scream JUST HANG ME ALREADY!