Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Photographs of Time.

Photographs run along my wall like little elements on a timeline, story tellers of the epic narrative that has become my life. The silent memories softly soar through my mind as time esculates further and further away from those moments I try to recall. Aimless in wonder, my eyes look over the expressions of everyone staring back at me.

Were we really so happy on those nights or during those endless days or in those captured seconds?

It’s always amazed me how quickly one can place a smile upon one’s face. In a shoebox of photographs- there lie a thousand different expressions, a hundred different people, a number of different places and only a few wholly truthful depictions. The smiles and poses that are imprinted on the slightly faded glossy paper are seemingly so genuine, so perfect, so honest in what they are saying…

Take a look at a picture of a bride on her wedding day…she’s laughing, smiling, dancing. The picture depicts everything one would expect to see on such an occasion. However- the picture doesn’t tell you that she almost didn’t walk down the aisle, or that her mother and father in the background are contemplating their recent separation, or that the groom to her left is wondering if he really does want to be tied down. Granted this is a Hollywood-style demise but in the end- no matter what the example, the point is still going to be scripted in the exact same way. It is still going to be said that the photograph does everything to represent the obvious but does little to show the reality of the time, of the moment.

That said - I cannot remain a critic of photographs. I love almost everything about them...from the red-eye and the self-timed sprints to stupid poses you later regret making. Roadtrips, parties, multi-shots and random moments- I love what each of my photographs say- each with a story of its own.

Granted that my captured smiles, poses and completely idiotic moments are not all haloed with dreams, goals and all things peachy but what is a memory without a photo you can look back at, laugh and say “Wow, I was fucked.”

It’s not always our finer moments in life that make us the happiest…perhaps sometimes we need to fake a smile or stick our tongue out in order for us to realize that life isn’t all that bad.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Uncontrolled Living.

I have always wondered why everyone walks around believing that being in control is the epitome of being. Of course, our very first mistake is believing that we have any more control than the minuscule amount that the universe grants us at the very beginning of our life.

We all like to think that if we have a “10 year plan” or if we have a day-to-day checklist that somehow the journey that is life is going to be a lot less bumpy.

The truth is- unremittingly making yourself more organized is simply like putting shocks on a bicycle…it’s a hell of a lot more comfortable but nothing is ever going to prepare you for that hidden thorn, that unforeseen loose sand or that annoying tree stump on the single track that inevitably lands you face-first in a bush.

We can tell ourselves that we are going to be more successful, more powerful, more recognized, more revered - if only we can stick to our goals. However, at the end of the day, none of us ever leave a gap in our list of ambitions for everything that falls under that neglected heading that reads something like “Here’s the unexpected stuff that’s going to knock you back a few steps. Here's the shit you're going to go through that may change the way you see yourself or where you want to be in ten years time.”

I would only fail to guess why we all like to avoid thinking about things that could go wrong in life. I am not saying that we need to live with a discontented attitude towards being but perhaps being a little less conceded about the realities of life will help us to live more balanced lives.

How are we even able to live when we are so focused on trying to achieve some sort of equilibrium whilst we walk on a tight rope of dreams?

Certainly, with all things considered: it may be credulous of me to think that trying to recognize the cornucopia of irrepressible factors and unforeseen demises that we will experience throughout life will make us any more prepared for the lemons that the universe will inevitably throw at us.

Perhaps we do not have to make the choice as to whether we stand there with a handful of lemons or whether we make lemonade. Maybe, just maybe, there is a way for us to live somewhere in between…somewhere that is less ignorant, less idealistic.