a few years ago i went through all the thousands of photographs taken for the previous three to four decades. they were not neatly in photo albums, which would have made it much simpler. instead, with a mere few albums capturing the earliest of years, they were in envelopes in boxes, envelopes in drawers, envelopes in bins, envelopes, envelopes, envelopes. it was a gigantic task with the dining room dedicated to boxes marked with years and headings like “christmas”, “birthdays”, “summer fun”, “trips”, “visitors”, “losing teeth”… an opportunity to re-live all of it, the heart of life lived.
one thing i noticed in my goingthroughgoingthroughgoingthrough and sortingsortingsorting was that it was really obvious that i had most often been the one taking the pictures. through my lens, my focus, my read of the moment, the wisp, the instant the aperture closed, my blink.
there is always the picture-taker, a designated recorder, the secretary of the emotions, the faces, the light and shadow, the view, the action, the moment-in-time. i grab my camera all the time. it’s second nature for me. and now that it’s the same device as my phone, it is incredibly easy to always have it at-the-ready. i just told a friend that i am difficult on a hike – always stopping to take pictures on the trail. it’s not because i’m so much a collector of things-to-have. it’s because i am a collector of things not-to-forget. each photograph, each image reminds me not-to-forget a certain time, a certain place, a certain interaction, a certain story, a certain feeling.
so when i walked into the basement in july and i saw the wisp of me on the easel, it moved me. that wisp is now gone and in its place, paint-over-paint, is this whispered iteration, on its way as d says. a moment snapped of my time, a moment of his. but this one, this wisp, this color-put-to-canvas photograph, is one i didn’t take and, my heart gently points out, one he clearly didn’t want to forget.
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©️ 2020 david robinson