“Threatening? No, you’re reading me all wrong. I’m harmless. Fragile, even. You know what they say; never judge a book by its cover.”
She called herself a paper tiger but I didn’t get it. So she broke it down for me and then it all made sense. I wanted to show you both sides and how they fit together; the hard exterior and the delicate layers underneath.
For a while now I’ve been dreaming of owning a Mamiya 645. I’ve never even picked up a Mamiya let alone shot with one so when my good friend Ky mentioned he owned an RB67 I smiled sweetly and asked if I could take it for a spin.
My goodness, what a beautiful beast. I held it like a newborn and I’m sure it weighed just as much, if not more. There was so much to think about before I pressed the shutter button but I liked the way it forced me to slow down and consider my shots. I’m not super proud of the attempts above – my focussing leaves a lot to be desired and somehow I managed an accidental double exposure – but it’s a camera and a format that I’m keen to spend more time getting to know. So, Ky…
I used to buy many, many magazines each month but eventually it all became too overwhelming. I was confronted with far too may images, products and ways of living. I stopped appreciating them but at the same time I constantly craved the next and the newest issue.
These days I stick to a few choice publications – Kinfolk, GUP, NO and hobo magazine. They’re all quarterlies or biannuals, even annuals, and I’m careful to take my time to absorb them thoroughly. I picked up hobo magazine last July in Brooklyn and promptly lost myself within its pages. I was reading about topics I’d never taken an interest in before, learning about remarkable artists and musicians, underlining words and phrases and generally having my mind opened and horizons broadened. In the last year I’ve turned the pages of issue 13 over and over as I waited patiently for the next offering. Now it’s here and I find myself just as engrossed and enthralled.
Update: I have a feeling I’ll soon be adding new biannual Synonym to my list of ‘choice publications’. I just ordered issue 1…will report back.
“We talked and laughed and were nervous together, but this is how it starts, is it not? We got to know each other carefully, over good meals on frigid days and long walks home through the snow. The mess of everyday life faded quickly when we were together, one hour here, another there. We stole every moment we could get. And so we have our dates and our history and our love. We take care of those things because they are who we are.” – M.F. Miller ‘Revisiting Our Temples’.
Her birth was most anticipated; first child, grandchild, niece. An instant rush of love as soon as I got the call. Then a desperate need to see her and hold her tiny hand. An overwhelming desire to protect her and treasure her; to show her the world and every remotely beautiful thing in it. A solemn vow to do anything for her and an unconditional promise to run to her side the minute she needed me. I met the little one when she was a week old but already, I’d loved her so long. Happy 6th birthday, Oak.
It’s shaping up to be a proper summer here in Grafton. The kind we had when I was growing up. The kind I haven’t experienced in years. Slow motion days in a dry, sunny haze. Smoke from a distant bushfire filling lungs and hanging heavy on the horizon. Still, quiet streets. Empty yards and deserted playgrounds. Long stretches of nothing. Hours spent alone on our property; locked inside my head. It always left me with a sense of foreboding and an aching emptiness. And so I filled the spaces with friends and music and swimming training and drama classes and youth group and my part time job. As long as I kept doing things, kept moving and making noise, didn’t think too hard about the acres and acres of land beyond the back fence and didn’t stare too long into the flames as I sat around a Friday night fire with my brothers, then I could keep the feeling at bay. But it was always there, especially in the summertime, ready to tie me up with terror and a deep, confusing sadness.