Before July 2020 Disappears
It’s a few hours before another month vanishes, nothing left but memories and an old calendar page (if you are one of the few who still use paper calendars). I hope you have some good memories to take away from July and can scratch off any bad experiences as easily as deleting an old appointment form your calendar (for those of you who have gone digital).
I spent some time this month exploring the topic of vanishing, both literal and metaphor. Some things that vanish impact the individual and others an entire culture. It’s important to take notice of what vanishes whether it be a person, place, or something that we hold dear. We are all recorders of history in one sense or another. Maybe that is what history is, just trying to remember what has vanished.
Five Pieces of Fleeting Advice
• “There was not a moving up into vacated places; there was simply an anachronistic staying on between a vanishing past and an incalculable future.” -F. Scott Fitzgerald-
• “I should like to tidy things up and disappear.” -Virginia Woolf-
• “Leaders should lead as far as they can and then vanish. Their ashes should not choke the fire they have lit.” -H.G. Wells-
• “I do have a sense, and I’ve never not had it, of how easily things can vanish.” -Doris Lessing-
• “Plunder, v. To take the property of another without observing the decent and customary reticences of theft. To wrest the wealth of A from B and leave C lamenting a vanishing opportunity.” -Ambrose Bierce-
The Physical and the Metaphor
Grand entrances and quiet exits. We arrive and we depart through a variety of doors, both the physical and the metaphorical. There is the thrill of walking through a doorway for the first time, and there is the relief of walking through a doorway for the last time. Doorways are a part of our lives.
Life is full of doors. Some doors have welcome signs while others tell us to keep out. There are doors that are closed to you due to who you are or what you’ve done. There are doors opened for you because of who you know. There are doors that open to empty apartments at 3:00 in the morning and doors to cold doctors’ offices. There are also doors to family homes you can always walk through without knocking and doors to friends’ apartments that will gladly open for you at 3:00 in the morning (sometimes with the disapproving frown of a spouse). Some of these doors are real to the touch an others are ideas.
Whether they are physical doors or doors as metaphor we pass through many of them in our lives. This month is about those doors, and more importantly, what is beyond those doorways.
More than Numbers on a Clock
March has rolled around again. Some consider it foreshadowing for spring (there’s that old saying about lions and lambs). Others look forward to St. Patrick’s Day with all its green beer glory. March means another birthday for me. I’ve never put much thought into birthdays, but there have been a few happenings of late that have me thinking about the passage of time.
How do we mark the passage of time? Is it marked by the number of drinks and smokes we put down in one sitting (I’ve put in some time tonight)? Is it marked by how much effort we put into planning? Is it marked by how long we wait for just the right moment to occur before we act? Is it marked by journal entries and social media posts? Is time marked by what we gain in life or by what we lose (maybe both)?
I’ve got a birthday coming up, and recent events have me thinking about time. This month I’m going look into the idea of time and try to gain a little perspective on the topic. I’d like to hear what you think about time and how we mark its passing.
or The Satisfaction of Shooting in the Snow
Snow is part of life in the Midwest. We expect snow. We get snow. But the snow often comes when it isn’t expected, and it’s seldom that we get the amount that was in the forecast. It’s this unpredictable element that makes shooting in the snow a satisfying experience.
There is a wonderful quiet that comes with a snowy night. Streets empty and the general background noise of the city fades away. The snow changes the landscape. Prospective subjects present new perspectives when covered with snow. The forecast may not call for snow but it’s important to be ready for it. When the snow starts to fall it’s time to get the camera ready (my go to winter camera is a Mamiya 645), lace up a pair of warm boots, and wait for it to get so quiet you can almost hear the cold.
Snow in the Midwest is a given (it just not always predictable). This means there are always going to be opportunities to get out and shoot in the snow if you are prepared. Snowy nights can make for some great photographs if you are ready and willing to get a little cold.