I’m not sure whether anyone needs to hear this or I just needed to say it. But it’s starting to feel like the spirit of our current time is fear and fear often leads us to build walls around our hearts, to do what we can to protect ourselves. And the thing that was meant to protect us quickly becomes the thing that binds us. Incarcerates our hearts. Makes misers of once generous spirits. Have a good weekend, friends.
I object to lens caps on a metaphorical level. Symbols of our need to protect the fragile parts of ourselves, they’re better at obscuring our vision than they are at keeping the glass intact. Besides, these lenses are more resilient than we believe them to be. So are we.
How many moments do we miss by fumbling for these damn things.How much light do we shut out.
We’re so fucking careful. We could stand to be a little more reckless, to give fewer damns about the water spots and the dust and just really see these moments all the way through before slamming that black plastic back on. Safe. But blind.
My biggest fear is not getting to the end of this Assignment with my lens scarred and dinged, my lens caps long lost or gathering in the bottom of my bag with the dust and sand from that one beach in Thailand, sand that no “real” photographer would let near his cameras but we were too busy savouring life, as Riboud said, at one hundredth of a second, to really care.
No, my biggest fear is finding that I’ve protected myself from the very things that would give depth and passion and meaning to the one photograph I really wanted to make with my life.
Besides, I love the way the little flaws flare out with all the colours of the spectrum when the light hits the front of the lens. And it does hit the front of the lens, more often than not these days, because there’ll be time enough to look shadow-ward. At the end.
I want to look relentlessly, with my eyes always open, my lens uncovered. I want to peer into places that make me uncomfortable. Places that make me dizzy with delight. Places that challenge the way I see the world. I want an unflinching gaze. I want to be that person with the wild look in his eye because he sees something he’s never seen before and it enlarges his heart and his imagination past the point he ever dreamed possible. I want to see it all.
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