Friday, July 2, 2010

Alter Ego

I wonder if the founding fathers had alter egos -- inner personas that didn't believe in tea parties and freedom?

This January,, in Chile, I started to sketch out an alter ego for myself -- the famously reclusive Chilean photographer Soledad Franco. She was named for our tour guide (Soledad) and our driver (Franco).

Given that I speak no Spanish, it made sense that she would be reclusive. As the trip progressed, she became Soledad Franco the famously reclusive Chilean photograph who lived on Easter Island. Her photos were treasured by regular people and priced accordingly. She had an assistant -- oddly named Nancy -- who spoke only broken English and who would show tourists the grounds of her simple studio when asked to do so.

Soledad's photos would be found in the local craft markets in Rapa Nui as well as in several smaller galleries in that delightfully arty little city by the sea -- Valparaiso. They were a steady source of income that supported her simple needs on Easter Island. So is Soledad an alter ego or is she just a fun little way to imagine a different life for myself?

I suppose it doesn't really matter. I often think about how my life would be if I chose a more creative path -- be it photography or writing. It is all the more fun to imagine doing that and living on an island surrounded by warm and gracious people and the deep blue sea.

I can actually imagine that life without having the photos or the writing make money for me. Just to have time to wake up in the morning, take a deep breath, and work on something that inspires my soul. Now that would be grand. Having a name like Soledad Franco would be icing on the cake.

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