Photography And Half-Thoughts By Mitchell Hegman

...because some of it is pretty and some of it is not.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


If the right to keep and bear arms is the first defense against tyranny in government, the right to organize unions and collectively bargain is the first defense against all manner of autocratic employers and unjust work conditions.

--Mitchell Hegman

Sunday, February 20, 2011

George Drummond Bell (and Dallas), 1980


After purchasing my first 35mm, SLR camera, I began toying with black and white photography. I took this picture one Saturday afternoon when I stopped by to see my grandparents. I have since taken hundreds of thousands of pictures. This still remains my favorite picture of all. You can see how Grandfather wears his generosity and honesty on the outside. He and my grandmother took us kids into their house and raised us, instead of settling into a comfortable retirement, following the ugly demise of our own family life. I would give nearly anything to be standing there with him again. They are long gone and I will never be able to thank them enough.

--Mitchell Hegman

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Generous Man

Early this morning, I watched a somewhat emotionally heavy movie about a fatherless boy and his mother, who struggled mightily to make ends meet and find happiness. Partway through the movie, a heroic figure (handsome man) stepped forth and lifted everyone with his generosity and love. He filled the void where the boy's father should have been. He helped the mother better her financial state. As I watched, I considered how wonderful I might feel if I helped people. In fact, I could give up most of my earthly belongings and spend all of my time doing just that. Maybe I could move to some struggling third-world country (or perhaps someplace near Big Sur, California, because that place is awesome) where I might teach the locals vital skills that would lift everyone from poverty. I could sort-out which vital skills might be required to remove the veil of poverty upon arrival to my chosen place. Maybe, to ease the logistics, I could volunteer at the local food bank and do whatever they wanted me to do.

Or, perhaps, I was merely hungry.

Hungry. That made more sense. While the handsome man in the movie took the fatherless boy to a park to play, I went and made myself some toast.

Mitch Hegman: saving the world one gap-toothed man at a time.

--Mitchell Hegman

Sunday, February 6, 2011

My Mother's Black Bedroom

My mother painted the walls of her bedroom flat black and closed the curtains so not the thinnest sliver of light might slice against the bed or dressers or walls. My father, late one evening, tried to suicide himself in that same black room. Drunk to the point of appearing liquefied, my father aimed the rifle at his own head, wobbled there for a second or two and pulled the trigger. The jacketed round barely grazed his forehead and then ripped through the ceiling and roof of our house before escaping into the starry night.

I dream of fish now—not this instant—but in general. When I remember a dream, when I crash awake from one, almost always, fishes of some kind have been there with me. I recall one dream in which fish swam back and forth under by bedding as I lay there. I first noticed them as bumps graphing delicately arcs under the blankets all around my feet and legs. When lifted my bedding and peered down there, I saw five sleek, neon rainbow trout swirling about. And when I came awake, folded into my blankets exactly as I had been in my dream, I felt cheated that the trout were not really there. Now—this instant—I am very much awake. The bullet my father fired through the ceiling, the trout in my bed, my mother: from these I have awakened. I am surrounded by a February winter and I am older than I ever imagined I could be.

--Mitchell Hegman