Skip to main content

Featured

there is always something (why I shoot film)

There are maybe ten shots left on the roll. Outside the metro, a collection of pigeons sit on minuscule ledges above two old men. They talk as all old men do, with operatic waves of their hands, sour expressions, belly laughs, eventually scratching their chins as they stare off at nothing in particular. I am pretending to take pictures of something near them, then swing across when they are not looking to shoot a few frames. At one point I surrender to the afternoon and move on.

And now, the courtyard that leads to the film lab. A great old building rests here, a school of architecture where students mill around dressed in black sucking on cigarettes with giant portfolios tucked under their arms. A young man approaches me. I am ready to tell him I have no idea what he is saying, but he wants to know where the film lab is. I jut my chin, telling him the door is just beyond a few bushes. He nods his thanks.

There are screens set up in a jagged line, sheathed in filthy white plastic to …

the faucet (drawing a line in the sand is not as easy as I thought it would be)

The walls seem to step back a few inches. All of those wishful thoughts, the daily bowl of optimism, the hesitated checking - they are shoved aside. I am a week into my first crowdfunding project, and all I can think about are the number of people killed last night in Baghdad. More than 140, the news says. Not soldiers, just innocent people. And in Turkey a few days ago, more of the same. It seems like such an awkward act, this waking up to send thoughtful notes, asking for help. They are grieving in Florida still. The twist inside, it never really unknots. 

Back across the ocean, I imagine people are standing around backyard grills, cold drinks in hand. There are pies. There are children laughing, playing in tall grass. Maybe there is a good breeze, maybe old friends not seen for a long time are there. There are grandparents, aunts, uncles, corn on the cob as yellow as the sun, great red tomatoes bursting with green seeds that pop in your mouth. I remember it all. I took all of that magical, everyday wonder for granted, never imagining I would be here for more than a month let alone years. 

This is our modern dilemma. Knowing all we know, at any moment we could be grieving or joking, smiling or sighing. It happens all at once, flashing wild and furious from that one big faucet. There are days when I can wrap my arms all the way around it, and days that I can't. 

Stories came to me long ago, about the people left behind, the survivors of tragedies. They have seen too much, and they want to do good, something worthwhile but there is no clear path. They care for their children, feeling damn lucky to be alive, still standing. They want to look at themselves in the mirror at the end of the day and not lower their eyes. The characters develop over time. One is having a birthday, in some empty mess of a city. Another is reluctant to admit they can still find joy in such a broken place. Their acts are mostly random ones. It feels like the very universe is just pulling at straws sometimes. This is what I want to make, with the help of friends and strangers. This is where I have drawn a line in the sand and said "help". 

E is wandering over to me, her face pale, her hair a blunt mess. She asks if I can take her temperature and sure enough, she has one. 

So the walls take one more step back, and the day is going to be about a giant bowl ready for her to throw up in, should it come to that. Another pot of chicken broth to make from the frozen bones I keep. More towels run under cold water to squeeze before resting on her forehead. More quiet walking around the rooms, listening to hear the sound of her sleeping without disturbing her.

















Comments

Popular Posts

best personal blogs
best personal blogs