27 April 2015
'roid week, polaroid week, week of the polaroid (all titles accepted, all titles apply) was last week. I will admit to struggling with it just a little bit this go round, lest ye think every polaroid week is one big fat happy polaroid pony ride. it took a few days for general enthusiasm to set in, for my head to catch up with everyone else in the group. the SX-70 jammed and spit out frame after frame. I had less film than I thought I did and all the ideas felt stupid et cetera et cetera et cetera. but then, ava with the curtain and the light and the majestic diner on the way home and I was reminded: the extra work is worth it. the magic ones are there. you just have to dig a little. sometimes, a lot.
coincidentally, I just wrote this very thing-- this value in the working and the digging thing-- like, three weeks ago. I wrote a little piece for the fine folks over at instantly framed-- a guide to instant photography (which you can read here) and apparently, I do not practice what I preach. rather, I am slow to practice what I preach.
but when I really want to give up on instant photography all together, I go here and I think, holy crap what would the world be without instant film? I mean, really? I don't want to know.
30 March 2015
ten years ago today, I started this blog.
exactly 1,185 posts later, here I am. and I didn't know what I was doing, didn't know how long this thing would last or where it might take me but I didn't care. I didn't know and I didn't care. I just wanted the space, I needed the space.
ten years ago today, ava was four, ezra was a baby and I was in the trenches of motherhood. knee deep in the place where you weep with exhaustion one minute, are swallowed up with love the next. when you feel at once like you are both drowning and flying, when you are consumed with love, absolutely transformed by it but also sometimes find yourself on all fours beneath the dining room table, scraping peas off a dirty floor at three in the morning. you live for sleep, for freedom but you want them to stay little forever. you can't imagine them any other way, are sick to your stomach at the very thought but dream of the day they become completely self-sufficient beings so you can go on living your normal life, whatever that is. and if you are a creative, you struggle to find where your creative self begins and motherhood ends. or, where motherhood begins and your creative self ends. the truth is this: there is no beginning or end. instead, the two things co-exist in a way you previously thought impossible. they run from the same faucet, folks-- from slow trickle to gush, depending on the day, the hour, the minute.
and so I was deep in the trenches of motherhood, grappling with said things when I found my way to the blog world. no rules, no schedules, just show up, write, share work. so I did. and almost instantly, I fell in love. it was the one thing in my life at that moment that didn't expect a thing from me. it was just there, exactly when I needed it and not a minute sooner, when maybe a minute was all I had, when I was nursing ezra with one arm and typing with the other, when all I could manage with my free arm was a hunt and peck lowercase situation. no rules, it didn't matter.
and if no one cared, if no one read, that didn't matter either. the having of the space was enough for me. however, ten years and 17,959 comments (really, 17, 959!) later and I would be remiss if I did not properly acknowledge just how profound the interaction here has been for me. that people even read, take time to comment, this still surprises me, humbles me. if this is you, has ever been you, thank you. a hundred times over, thank you.
I wish I had the numbers, I wish I'd done the work. number of words written, hours put in here. number of photographs shared, polaroids, photobooth frames. creative projects started, finished, not finished. number of lists posted, number of collaborations. times I've been right, times I've been wrong. number of shamelessly maudlin posts, number of times I used all caps to yell at the internet, times I've been forced to both explain and defend my lowercase habit. number of posts that mean something to me, number of posts I'd love to delete. number of actual real world jobs landed via this weird little place, number of experiences, adventures, people I would not know in real life were it not for the blog. of all things, the blog. people I absolutely cannot imagine my life without.
in the ten years I've been here, my children have practically grown up. ava's a teenager, for pete's sake. ezra is poised at the very edge of it. we moved to the opposite end of the country, found our way out to the great pacific northwest, to portland, oregon, and then seven years later, found our way back home to the old south again. somewhere along the way, an old polaroid SX-70 camera cracked my personal work wide open. my words and photographs have been published in both books and magazines. teaching happened, workshops happened. ward turned forty, I turned forty, our marriage turned twenty years-old. and my mom. I lost my mom.
and still, the blog was here, is here. through everything, here. the landscape is changing and I am probably not unlike the stubborn little house in the city, dwarfed by high-rise buildings and skyscrapers, the one sorely out of place. she is also the one who refuses to give up her little plot of land no matter how drastically things continue to change around her. after about a year of blogging I can so clearly remember thinking, how long can this thing go on? I mean, really? how long can we keep this blogging thing up? five years? ten years? surely not. surely we will not all still be blogging ten years from now. I mean. what would that even look like?
well, this is what it looks like. at least, one little piece of it. and I still don't know what I'm doing, not really, but I like it here. and I think I'll stick around. probably not for another ten years but you never know. you never really know. so, here's to the ever-changing fantastically lovely, fantastically goofy blog world. here's to ten years of the unknown, the unchartered. and here's to the future of this crazy place, whatever it may look like a decade from now.
19 March 2015
the internet never stops and sometimes I don't know what I'm doing here.
it's an ocean of voices and ideas and sometimes it feels like the most beautiful place in the world. turn your back on it for a second, though, lose sight of things for even one second and it will yank you by your ankles and pull you under. before you even know what is happening. isn't this what it feels like? the internet? sometimes, maybe all of the time.
but whenever I go through the thing where I question why I'm still here, I come back to this: I like sharing the photographs and the stories. I really, really do. inevitably, the online landscape will change again and again but for me, it will always come down to this one very simple, basic idea.
I am not alone in this thinking. there are more of you out there, I know this. we are all still navigating the infinite, voices small but mostly steady, clear and true. the internet never stops but neither do we. and for this, I am thankful.
04 March 2015
last week's blues: skylights (a la fellini's), forty-fives (for playing), benefits (of living in the south again), nola dreaming (always nola dreaming), polaroid blues (nothing like polaroid blues), glass half full (er, shutter half open), sky full of hope (so much hope), september throwback (when I stood with color//colour lover co-conspirator on blue cotton picnic blankets in a park in providence, RI).
and now, a letter.
congratulations. you (single-handedly) got me through another stretch of winter. I am, of course, forever grateful.
p.s. my friend xanthe is fairly grateful too. just look at what she made.
p.p.s. further proof of our gratitude here, should you need it.
25 February 2015
last week's orange: new eyes over new landscapes (with thanks to mr. proust), emergency tulips, favorite diner, absolute favorite, essie in fear or desire (or a shade I like to call I'M TRYING FEBRUARY, I REALLY REALLY AM), fraction of a favorite mural and just off ponce, a sky half full of orange.
(now swimming in blue, last of the last of the color//colours)
(as always, more color//colour here and here)
19 February 2015
last week's green: new orleans throwback, green grass reading (the best kind of reading), a bridge I miss so much it hurts, succulents gone wild, the last of ezra's class valentines (no fancy red hearts, nary a one) and an unexpectedly perfect wall.
(currently knee deep in orange)
(as always, more color//colour here and here)
10 February 2015
last week's pink: a dream-worthy front stoop, an old neighborhood favorite, an excuse to eat cupcakes, an argument for the unexpected, a door to walk through again and again and again.
as always, more color//colour here and here and I'll tell you, this place is my new happy place times one thousand.
05 February 2015
last week's yellow: parking lot concrete, gallery salutations, lovely mission details, sunshine box collection, the most perfect yellow that ever did exist, saguaro dreaming, a road sign for everyone.
knee deep in pink at the moment-- more color//colour lovers with xanthe here, follow along/play along over on instagram if you like.