Posts Tagged ‘observation’

Nine Years

2 July 2009

Dear J-

July marks our anniversar(y/ies — nine years of marriage today, in fact, fourteen years of dating) and what always amazes me, this time of year, is how many years it’s been — I’m going to have to start using my toes to count — for how short it’s felt.  It’s strange how you spend the first ten years of your life marking off in one-year increments that feel incredibly long (how long was a school year, or the interval between Christmases, or birthdays?  How much longer until the next time you get to light off fireworks?) that you resort to six and even one-month chunks;  we’re just now getting over calling figgy twenty-six months old and just saying two, she is two.  Now it feels like time keeps leaping by in great, galloping chunks.

The past fourteen years have been incredible.  Whether it’s being an adult or rigorous training, my memories before twenty seem more like a dream, as though real life didn’t begin until we met.   Syncopated rhythms beat through our daily lives; here punctuated by the occasional soothing of feelings, there learning, always learning the line between funny and gaffe.  We bring each other up; we love, together, collectively, in collaboration.

Back Drop 3756 -sm

We’ve taken the time to figure out who we are and are convinced, each in our own way, that we’ve arrived here alongside the other as peers.  They keep saying that life is a journey; I would assert that time’s tracks pull you ever forward, but it’s no railroad:  no schedule, no stations, no planned stops.  Life is punctuated by moments you remember later, but at the time you never realize what’s going to be particularly memorable.  I remember everything and nothing; nothing that would indicate the passage of nine — or fourteen — or forever years, everything that we’ve become, together.



Thanks All

27 November 2008

Dear J-

The rain has been remarkably considerate this week, staying out of the way of our commute and never coming as a downpour during our times on foot outside.  What amount of human contact with our families can be judged sufficient?  I love seeing everyone — and have looked forward to Thanksgiving for weeks now — but always end up feeling vaguely half-hearted in my effort to come out from hiding behind the viewfinder.

The compound word photojournalism implies storytelling through pictures; plus, of course, there’s the oft-repeated cliche that a picture is worth a thousand words.  My one class in creative writing, I ran into a huge block until the professor calmly told me to write what I know — thus the play, which enjoyed a one-class run, Haircuts of America (I’ll have to transcribe it at some point, if only for the entertainment factor).  Thus the photojournalist’s conflict:  tell the story that you know, but don’t insert yourself into the story at the same time.  There is a lot of truth to being unobtrusive as possible, but it’s impossible to ignore the camera being shoved into your life.

How, then, do you engage and observe simultaneously?  When do you learn to put the camera down, when do you appreciate how much you’re drenching the situation with pictures?  Where do you draw the line between detachment and influence?