30 March 2015
ten years ago today
ten years ago today, I started this blog.
exactly 1,185 posts later and here I am. I didn't know what I was doing, I 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 a normal life, whatever that is. 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 into 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. but 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 fridays. 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, people I absolutely cannot imagine my life without. from the blog, of all places, the blog.
in the ten years I've been here, my children have nearly 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 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.
still, the blog was here, is here, through everything, here. undeniably, the landscape is changing and I am probably not unlike the stubborn little house in the city, dwarfed by high-rise buildings and skyscrapers, sorely out of place. 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 going? 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, I guess this is what it looks like. at least, one little piece of it. 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, undeniably goofy blog world. here's to ten years of the unknown, the unchartered and here's to the future of this here 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 and sometimes, the ugliest. turn your back on it for a second, 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 here, I come back to this: I like sharing the photographs and the stories. I 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
b l u e
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 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.
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