Childhood.

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http://www.ryanmcginley.com/photographs

Been posting a lot of pretty pictures lately. It suits my summertime anti-intellectualism. My urges are more towards meat, fire, sun-worship and lake-swimming than essay-writing. For the moment. I know everyone who’s going to love Ryan McGinley already does, but this particular piece resonated so strongly with a particular childhood memory that I decided to put it up.

Once, I was away at summer camp, on an island, in the woods, and we played a game. Like hide and go seek. But with wilderness skills. You go into the forest at night, no flashlights, and someone counts while all the other children find hiding places and stay as still and undetectable as possible. As they get found, they become members of the search team. No one explained how to win. I assumed that the winner never got found – she was the one who slipped away, into the underbrush, who never had to return to school or shoes or hair-combing again. I won, that night. I hid so well, and dove so deeply into a hyper-aware stillness, like mediation, that I could feel the trees exhaling around me, but my own breath did not disturb a spider’s web. I hid, and waited, and listened, and waited. They never found me. I didn’t come out. The camp administration eventually called my mother and started searching in earnest. They had given up before I crept out of my hidey-hole and back to my cabin, to be roundly chastised in the morning. But despite the scolding, or maybe because of it, I knew I was the winner.

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