Sometimes I do this little trick to myself where when I feel like I’m looking at my phone too much, I’ll invert the screen. I click the lock button on the side of my phone three times and then tap “classic invert”
It’s an accessibility shortcut.
I came across it accidentally.
We were driving to Monterey and it was raining. I was in the backseat of the car looking out the window. I used to love falling asleep in the backseat. Whatever happened to that.
And the rain on the window.
I took out my iPhone and tapped open the camera, zoomed in with my fingers, and took a picture. The flash went off, and the camera focused on the exposure of the flash.
Later I was going through all my photos from the day and felt tired looking at my phone. Sometimes I just hate staring at the screen. While looking through the camera roll, in order to try and get away and put it down, cut myself off, disinterest myself, back to my real life the real material world, I did the invert – that’s when I saw.
The inverted iPhone flash picture of the rain against the window.
The inverse image of the exposed flash.
There it is, suspended.
Like a glowing rock in the sky
a moon or our closest star.
Watchful, hovering but below in my hand.
I put my phone down and looked away.
Sucked in so deeply the world becomes intelligible.
What does it look like, I dunno
To invert the surveillance none of us chose to be in
Is it even possible
and is it possible to picture
Like a new symbol, maybe
Could I have been?
By my own gaze