Monday, February 23


Most times when I run into someone I know from college, they'll ask me if I'm still writing. When I say, "No, not really" I may feel a pang of resentment (towards my self, my job), but I'm okay with it.
But last week, when I was in Miami - gloriously sunny and ocean-breezy and starry-skied Miami - I ended up seeing a few folks from high school, teachers and classmates, and nearly everyone asked me if I was still taking photos. Because photos and poems were all I did. During high school, as well as in my year "off" from New York. Tell them no felt horrible. Like I'd neglected a true love long just long enough for it to finally walk away from me. Like Susan Maguire and Peggy Nolan (to whom I owe endless thanks) wasted their energy and enthusiasm on me. Or like my mama saving up for photo paper and lenses and attachments was all in vain. Mostly because I know how much I love photography.

I need to stop using the excuse that my most of my shit vanished. I really need to grab my Pentax K-1000, my baby, and hit the road.

Me and digital cameras will never get along.
Darkroom space in the city is still affordable.
The "We Shoot Film" community on flickr inspires me and brings back tons of memories.
Nothing else gives me a greater feeling of balance and serenity than spending a day in a darkroom.
It may save me.

sage advice from Kesha Bruce:
Instead, move to a small to medium sized city where cost of living is low. Rent a 2 bedroom apartment and use one room for your studio. Get a completely non-art-related job (save your creative energy for yourself!)to pay the bills and cover your health insurance.

Couldn't be a more appropriate time for me to read this. What's more is that K has been preaching this to me for months now, but I hadn't been able to appreciate it.

My closest friend is in the same predicament as I, and while we're pretty upset the teaching dream ain't working out for either us, it's nice to know we can plan our escape route together.

Better news? What doesn't happen for me on paper or on film is popping off in the kitchen lately - and this is SO okay with me.
While I was in Miami, I was cooking alongside my aunt Gloria, who was visiting my parents. She is easily one of the best cooks in my family and in Barbados (yeah, I said it). I could die happy every time she fixes me a plate.She was gently placing all the Bajan, Grenadian, Jamaican, Welsh and French cooking secrets she knows into my memory. So I'm feeling even more eager to plan my next dinner party.
I'm glad K's around to try everything I'm making. He and I eat a lot. I cook on the weekends and we go out a few times during the week. We can (and have) spent hours talking about what we've eaten or what we wanna eat. We made a reservation at a very nice little spot by the water for Brooklyn Restaurant Week. I'm looking forward to a finally being able to eat a formal restaurant. It's one of those New York City things I always wanted to do.

Until then, I'm on a mission to get out, see more, spend nothing. Later this week, K and I are going to the Jack Shainman Gallery to see the Hank Willis Thomas exhibit. Then on Sunday I'm booking it back to the Studio Museum to see the permanent collection. Last time, I was transfixed by the Barkley Hendricks portraits and forgot about everything else.


GirlGriot said...

Hola, Miss B. I love the idea of having a studio in your house. It's one of the things I thought about when I started thinking of the possibilities with taking over my aunt's old house. It's a tiny two-bedroom place, and there's just me ...

I still use my lovely Nikon FM, but I've moved into digital land. I have to say, I'm ok with it. I don't think I'll ever stop shooting film (I, too, love working in the dark room), but I'm having a lot of fun with the digital. Getting to make books on Blurb has been the real thrill with that camera.

I'm always meaning to make artist's dates with myself to go out and take pictures. I see 100 things a day that I want to photograph. I need to be a little braver about pulling out my camera, and more generous about making time for myself.

Ok, now I'm rambling. I loved this post. It really made me think, and really made me think about you.

I hope you take out your camera sooner rather than later. There's so much to photograph in our neighborhood!

ahnka said...

Hello Lady!

I'm taking my camera out today. Today has been interesting, so I came in to grab my camera before I head back out. You're right about getting brave enough to do it.

I'm glad you enjoyed this post. It's been hard for me to write here lately.