...or tries to...

Thursday, October 28, 2010


I used to upload pictures of my home to Flickr and see them as something separate from the house I lived in, another place that existed free from the grubby everyday. It must be the same way someone well-known looks at a published photo of themselves and sees that person as someone different than who they know themselves to be. Except that my little apartment wasn't famous or particularly special. But making it part of the internet-maybe not just part of the internet-just making it into something different than a space I lived in and arranged my stuff around, turning it into a series of chosen and composed images, it created this little fiction. I was isolating small moments there: the pattern of a shadow, the slant of sinking sunlight, and pulling them away from the noise my neighbors were making upstairs, the slamming, the pounding, the screaming. I still managed to love the way things looked despite the noises and the anger and the helplessness that accompanied them, but in real life they were so tangled up that they became inseparable. And that's real life on Earth, isn't it.

I left my home three months ago, but pictures of it still drift by on my screen saver. And now, when I come into this new room and glance at the computer, I finally see them as photos of something that really doesn't exist anymore. They're allowed to be the biographical fiction they were meant to be. The day to day experience of living there is fading fast, and with it all the difficulties of being there. I let myself see the glowing red reflection, the ghosts of afternoon sunshine on a door, and find it romantically beautiful. It's not real in any way anymore, it no longer exists. So the pictures I made from it can be just what they were meant to be.

Monday, October 18, 2010


I grew up in the Northeast, and even after eleven years in South Florida, I'm not quite used to the idea that winter coming on means opening the windows. Summer is heavy with hurricane dread, blinding white sunlight, skin-broiling car seats. It's too humid to move with any kind of conviction, though you try, and you find yourself attaching a little too much to the insides of malls and chain stores. But in October the air actually moves and the gardens start to burst, and you get to see again all the strange things that grow here, float down, curl and twist on sidewalks and coral pavers.