I know: not a true double.

But think about it a minute: how rarely do we ever really see exact repetitions?

Near repetitions are much more common occurrences. And they’re more memorable for seeming more natural. Exact repetitions, when they do appear, often come off seeming forced or strange; manufactured, and thus unnatural.


In truth, I did manufacture this shot a little by sliding the gesture dummy over to stand between the two jars. The dummy usually lives a bit closer to the corner, and generally remains posed in an arms-up stance which reads to me as jubilant.

My wife uses the dummy as a ring stand to keep wedding and engagement rings from collecting grit and grime while she cuts veg or mashes or spreads.

We’ve both played a bit at posing the dummy. I’ve attempted to make him run. My wife has turned him loose on a crazy jig — arms jangling, legs whacked crookedly.

As I alter her pose, she in turn revises my vision; often I notice remnants of my runner’s pose linger in her jangly dancer’s pose: the right-angle bend to one knee; the severe inward crook of one of the dummy’s hands.

This little play between us, this game we make of the dummy-posing: even here we’re sending messages to each other, engaging each other’s imagination. Subtly doubling, tripling, quadrupling the strength of our love.


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Miriam says:

    Beautiful, Patrick. Made me smile at images of you and your wife changing his poses.

    1. Funny you should say that, Miriam. I had taken several shots of the canisters, chosen the one featured above, and then started into the opening paragraph before it occurred to me to write about the dummy and my wife’s and my game of making him run and dance. Writing that proved the most invigorating part of this post for me, and I had to rediscover it through the act of writing. I’m always amazed when writing does this — that is, when writing leads me to see something I’d forgotten about or had overlooked.

      I’m glad it made you smile. It had a similar effect on me.

      I wonder, in the future, if I ask others to comment on the plays they perform with loved ones, what sorts of stories might emerge?

      1. Miriam says:

        So glad you enjoyed writing this post, I could tell. As for the plays performed and commenting, it would definitely be an interesting exercise Patrick.

  2. Joseph Kane says:

    Going further, man. I like it. I think that we’re all the dummy, in a sense. In relationships, we’re always playing the pose game. Sometimes that pose is to impress those around us — show them we’re witty, or intelligent, or worthy. Sometimes that pose is a projection of ourselves, to ourselves, but in a way that we invite the outside world to observe. Maybe the whole message of the dummy’s limbs is only decipherable to the poser. Maybe it’s like poetry in that way. Well, done, Faller.

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