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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 daughters of time


Truth is the daughter of time, not authority. 
Yes, I thought as I read this. The text is attributed to Francis Bacon, but Mary Tudor before that and truly Cicero before her. It is an old idea, profoundly comforting in this age of un-reason. In time, this will all make sense.

The rooms are dark. I work in silence, bare feet sweeping across the floor to make coffee, to hang the wash to dry. The light is soft and dim in the windows. The snow has come, a sort of relief. A filthy wet blanket, a constant. My hands smell of garlic and ginger. There are great cups of hot black tea, steam climbing to the ceiling.

The little one is triumphant, marching around half-naked with her head flipped all the way back in a great laugh. My wife is half-whirlwind, capable of the impossible before breakfast. My older daughter is a mysterious collection of bones and thoughts, a jumble that aligns itself when I look out of the corner of my eye and then hides again. I have a small pile of new pages, a new book, a plane parked on the runway but at least in the airport. The camera is full of fresh film. There is money in the bank. There is a little ice cream left in the freezer.

Maybe everything will be ok.

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