Back in the old days when I used to wander around in the desert many of us would don (web)vests for a night out. Back then our pouches bulged with all kinds of ‘stuff and our steps were light. We were (literally) dressed to kill. But the thrill faded quickly and the first thing we did when we finished the night was to unceremoniously drop our vests and collapse for a few winks. But sometimes in the right light and mood I could look at my vest and its jumble of pouches and straps and see it not only for what it was but as an object quite beautiful and unexpected: A still-life, a mini- landscape of hills and valleys.
As I was glancing through an old sketchbook, I came across some little ball-point pen drawings that I had made of my vest all those years ago. Strangely enough I apparently drew it with all the pouches empty making it look shrunken and flimsy. It occurred to me that if I had actually worn the vest as I drawn it (with its empty pouches), it would have been like getting dressed up for a war and then forgetting to pack the bullets.