Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Sunday, June 9, 2013
I been lying in the bright light
See my shadow from below
Never wanted from another man
Never wanted for my own
Drowning in the rising tide
At my father's door
Through a window to the last mile
My living picture on a wall
From the banks of the far side
I see the lights come ashore
Racing from the rising tide
To my father's door
- Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Saturday, June 8, 2013
In the process of remodeling my website, I sorted through some archives. I've been thinking of Athens lately, maybe feeling too fixed in the life I have here in Chicago, which in turn makes me feel a little old and a little sad. I've been graduated for three years this week, which is totally mind-blowing in the way that it feels like so much longer.
My grandma is moving out of her house this weekend -- the house where she lived for 45 years. My dad grew up there, and because my parents were either both working or just generally unavailable and ill-equipped most of the time, I grew up there, too. And without me even getting to say goodbye in person, it's all gone, and not on happy terms. Growing up for me has meant gradually witnessing all the fixtures of my childhood slipping away into the deep and dark distance where I can't get to them. The bank foreclosed on my childhood home right after I graduated high school, and for four years of college I returned to my hometown and slept in a big, cold house that never needed to be home. Right after college my parents were forced to move again. I haven't been back to my hometown many times since. There's no place for my things -- no bedroom and no bed for a bedroom, even. Just random and lost relics of my youth, shoved in crates and boxes and stacked on the front porch.
It seems like we're always trying to go back to the places we've been. It's important to feel like the places are still intact, patiently waiting for us when we're ready to confront them. Maybe we're looking for comfort or resolution. Maybe we always feel estranged from the love we had and the time we let waste away feeling like we had all the time we needed. Or maybe we're always running away to start over and stake our claim on a life that never feels any different.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
I saw Black Rebel Motorcycle Club last last weekend at the Newport Music Hall in Columbus, just like old times. They've been one of my absolute favorite bands (I have a top ten list, as you might expect) for over ten years now, and I've seen them live four times (three times at the Newport, actually). I didn't have a proper camera with me, as you're usually not allowed to have them at these sorts of places, but wouldn't ya know? They didn't even search bags at the door. I'm probably better off -- though, with some force, I did make my way to the very front -- because it was extremely hot and cramped and rambunctious, as concert crowds tend to be. I'm also not fond of bringing my camera with me to most places, actually (and am perpetually looking for a smaller digital alternative for occasions like this). In any case, the concert was incredible, and I am still reeling from all the emotions, so many days later.
Saturday, May 18, 2013
I went on a quickie road trip to DC last month with my friend Susannah. I needed the time away from my city, from my relentless day job, from my emotionally desolate winter. I spent too much money on food and did a lot of walking and saw all of mandatory museums, but didn't really take any photos. In general, I should probably get better at documenting my life post-college... it feels like I have so little to show for three years on my own, but maybe that's the wrong perspective to have. In any case, the time away from Chicago allowed me to experience the first days of spring, and consequently I got hopeful for all the change I seek. I think that every season is valuable. I cannot stand feeling the same way for too long.
In consolidating all the visual randomness that I have on the web, I've decided to officially, and more regularly, curate some of my mobile photos here on my "proper" photo blog and nix my random Tumblr that houses everything I've snapped in passing for the last two years (along with lots of other nonsense that doesn't belong anywhere). I don't know if that makes any sense to you, but it does to me, at least until I come up with a better solution. I am trying to purge the inspirational clutter of my life and start over in some ways.
I also spent all day going through this blog of mine, deciding whether or not I should just get rid of it too -- and start completely over with something new (by the way, does anyone still use Blogger anymore?), but I could not bring myself to do it. There just isn't a reason for it. I even went all the way back to my first entry here and read all of the entries proceeding it in chronological order. And yes, it was a lot of personal and painful and petty and pretty (and not so pretty, really) things to take in at once. In the end though, I'm proud of the work and the honesty I've shared here. So, here is my designated parking space for photos of all sorts. And then my Tumblr will become just a place for other nonphotography matters. Not that anyone is really caring too much.
And so, to play catch-up and to preserve (before the Tumblr abandonment) some images that I've liked from the past five months, the next few posts are all from my telephone, starting with four photos of Dan in my living room, in my kitchen, and on my porch from his visits to Chicago in the winter and spring.
Sunday, March 24, 2013
Sunday is full of empty rituals, but now, as a single woman living alone in the big city, mine include drinking endless cups of coffee and succumbing to exhausting bouts of soul searching while fulfilling a variety of standard domestic activities. I’ll do some laundry and wash some dishes and sit in the silence of my third floor apartment and feel no shame. There’s no one to watch over me or out for me. There’s no one to tell me that I’m wrong, that they know better, that I’ve made my choices and now I have to sit with them and wait until everything feels better and different.
When I was younger, my dad always said he had eyes in the back of his head. And I reluctantly believed him. Just like I believed that shaking a gallon of milk before pouring it made it taste better. Just like I believed that Courtney Love killed Kurt Cobain. Just like I believed that brunettes were more attractive than blondes and that a woman’s long, straight hair was her best asset. Just like I believed that mom was never ever right or any fun at all — she was always five fucking hundred million miles away. My dad would sit in front of the TV on Sunday afternoons and loudly support his losing football team while also knowing, without looking, when Shannon and I were acting recklessly on the front porch behind him. Sitting on the wobbly banister or chipping away at the old paint with our fingernails. Or fraternizing with the boys and girls across the street. He didn’t need to see it to know that we were wrong and he was right. When learning that I had concocted an elaborate lie to tell my second grade teacher in order to avoid lunch-time detention, he scolded me quietly, sitting up in his blue recliner, his sad brown eyes fixed in utter disappointment that his perfect straight-A daughter was, in fact, deceptive — an ornery little sneak, just like him. And despite the hours of scrubbing to erase my clumsy mistake, he yelled to the top of his smoke-filled lungs after me when a bottle of my red nail polish spilled over into the cream-colored bath tub at age nine. I should’ve never tried painting my nails in the house because he hated the toxic smell and the idea of me trying to grow up too quickly. He saw behind closed doors and threw tantrums when I started dating boys with long curly rock-and-roll hair. He hated when I wore my dark blue eyeshadow and looked so utterly depressive, whoreish, and typical. He hated when I stopped eating meat, and when I cut my long hair shorter and shorter and totally abandoned my best asset. He fumed and fussed about when I wanted to drive his old car to school for an ounce more of independence. He hated how I stole his old CDs and tucked them away, not so secretly, into my own collection, like an ornery little sneak. He didn’t listen to them anymore and he had too many CDs. He hated that, as I grew older, I always had to be right and fought him to the bloody and bitter end to prove the pettiest points — because he was always right. And he had eyes in the back of his head.
Saturday, February 16, 2013
I've been in a bit of a rut, but maybe I too often come here to confess that. I won't describe the rut in detail -- the causes or the effects. Essentially, I have longed -- in every sense -- to do something truly meaningful since I moved to Chicago. It's been (almost) three years since I left the cozy confines of college and family behind in Ohio. We all measure success differently (whatever success is) and I guess I have felt, to a large extent, unsuccessful as a photographer and fairly clueless as a human being. Love has sort of come and gone my way, and maybe, with relentless force, I willed it to come and then waited secretly, in quiet reluctance, to see it go. I've worked hard, yeah, but I really don't think I've worked hard enough in any one particular arena. I've spent too much money trying to establish my safety and secure my dignity. With that, I will be honest, here. I'm lonely. I'm tired. I'd like you to see me as this brazen, capable, highly-motivated and independent young woman. I'd like you to see me without giant footprints on my back, without daddy issues at every corner, without the baggage of a heart broken and re-broken, without the constant longing for connection and reinforcement. But I probably came here to write this because I want you to see all of those things too, and realize that what you see isn't really what you get.
These are just portraits. At a time when taking photos seemed like a strenuous exercise, I turned to the people I see every day -- my staff at my job -- and asked if they could sit for a photograph. I can find some meaning there or I can choose to feel like I haven't mattered in anyone's life. I'll choose the former today, for the sake of several things. I'd like to think inspiration is cyclical -- that you can inspire me by just being present, and quiet, and wholly yourself. And that I can just be me and inspire you, too.
There are more of these to come. Thanks to Emily, Jacob, Joe, Aaron, Edward, Logan, Diana, Tanner, Brad, and Rachel for helping me "break my eye open."
Friday, February 8, 2013
I’d pack my suitcase with myself
But I’m already gone
Cleanse myself with vitamin health
But I’m already gone
I saw it risin’ through the horizon
And I saw it fall
A Jesus fevers flowin’ all over
Believers and lovers
In a black hole I found a broken skull
Now I’m already gone
You can write my whole life down in a little book
When I’m already gone
I started shaking and my heart breaking
And my belly crawled
A Jesus fevers flowin’ all over
Believers and lovers
When I am a ghost, I’ll see no reason to run
When I’m already gone
If it wasn’t taped, you could escape this song
But I’m already gone
- Kurt Vile
Saturday, January 26, 2013
Saturday, January 5, 2013
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
I've lived on the lake (well, two blocks away and alongside) for two years, but this past Saturday, for the first time, I made my way slightly south to the water (flat tire + sleepy eyes and all) to see the sunrise. Seems appropriate for a lot of reasons, but I'll let the photos speak this time.
Saturday, September 15, 2012
Many thanks to KayCee, my beautiful and resilient subject who allowed me to dust off my lonely lens and (for once, begin to) fulfill self-made promises. I know that these photos are all fairly similar-ish and, consequently, this is a considerably big edit but. I am posting most all the frames that I liked, variety set aside. The light was just too gorgeous.
Saturday, September 8, 2012
Summer's nearly gone.
I started off writing a really depressing blog to go along with these photos, but I thought better of it. I've been a very neglectful photographer, and I've felt really aimless. I am only just now taking the difficult though much-needed baby steps toward remerging myself in some sort of creative community so that I can rediscover some inspiration and then, maybe some time in the far off future, I will take more photographs. It's not that I don't care or that I don't want to try. I am exhausted and, to put it vaguely, really struggling with the larger mysteries of life. No, in the end, I don't really know what I want to be when I grow up. I graduated with a passion and a direction, of some sort, in photography, and I moved to this beautiful big city to fully realize the possibilities. But I kept jumping up and down and all around and couldn't get anyone's attention. I didn't know what to do. I had no savings and no job and no plan so I had to start working -- and I mean really working -- long and hard hours at a restaurant so that I could live here. For awhile my photography and my work in the food industry coexisted somewhat. I shot some weddings, some freelance bits here and there, and I even had an exhibit (though somewhat amateur-ly and haphazardly organized on my part) at my favorite little coffee shop this past spring.
Since April, though, I have almost solely focused on being what I hope is the perfect general manager (at previously mentioned restaurant) for my staff. I should be proud that I have stability and that I do my job fairly well. I should be optimistic about the future and my options. I should be grateful that I was promoted and greatly supported (by the owner, operating managers, and a slew of other professionals who know what they are doing in this crazy and, at times, discouraging industry -- not like me) though I'm young, inexperienced, and, well, just generally emotional about life. I have a lot of reasons to feel like I've done a good job, but I don't feel like that. I feel confused and anxious. I feel like I have something inside of me that I've pushed away and totally neglected. It isn't that I don't love my job or the people in my life because of it, but I don't nurture the part of me that has something to say, something beautiful to show. I never thought I was the most creative photographer, but I do have a point of view. Or I did. Maybe I've lost it, or maybe it's just so deeply buried that it feels completely gone.
I am not sure what I am committing to in this blog post, but I want to be held accountable for the simple things that I'm not doing. I don't blame anyone or anything for the overall lack of passion all around me. And so, at the moment, I don't really have much more than these little snaps from my phone from the past few months of summer. It's a feeble statement, but at least I am still half-awake and trying to pay attention.