I was watching oak leaves fall by the basketful yesterday and got to thinking about words. Like the leaves, too many to count. A couple came to mind for no apparent reason.
Fall was first, perhaps because of what I was seeing, but my mental movie then skipped to a forever hapless character in pursuit of his ever-elusive target, and that got me to thinking about todays’ time change, which (as I explained to the cats as they waited impatiently for breakfast) is remembered as fall back.
Hot on the heels of fall was jump. I’ve got a tune by Van Halen on my iPod, so David Lee Roth came at me in mid-air, but I was able to move quickly and avoid him, and go on instead to the noted photographer Philippe Halsman, also a master of suspension. Halsman’s subjects were many and famous, and the photographer employed what he came to call jumpology during portrait sessions. “When you ask a person to jump, his attention is mostly directed toward the act of jumping and the mask falls so that the real person appears.” Out of that practice came Philippe Halsman’s Jump Book in 1959, featuring (among others) a spry-looking Richard Nixon.