Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Film February

I remember my first camera: a Mickey-Matic I received for Christmas (above: NOT my Mickey-Matic; that's a Welta I found at my grandpa's farmhouse). It took 110 film and required flashes that attached to the top and were purchased separately. Film was hard to come by for a child who had no money and therefore only obtained film by way of Christmas, Easter, and birthdays. Flashes were even more rare: a flipflash-style set of four flashes that also needed to be purchased (gifted) in order to use a flash. I remember the amount of thought that went into taking a picture. Is this picture worth having one less exposure? And if that answer was yes, is it too dark in here? And if that answer was yes, is this picture worth using a flash?
In the digital age, I never have that conundrum. I can snap away a bazillion pictures and then sort through them later, looking for the “perfect” one. Of course, none of them are ever perfect, so I end up with four similar images, each with its own redeeming quality.
And somewhere along the way, there was this push that came with digital photography to “document life." Did you eat? Document it. Did you play? Document it. Did you smile? Document it. Did you laugh? Document it. Did you cry? Document it. And having a phone attached to our hip all day allows us to snap away at life every time we want to remember a moment.
Now don’t get me wrong - I’m all for documenting. In high school, I ALWAYS had a disposable camera in my backpack just in case something photo-worthy arrived. But with this newfound saturation of picture taking, are our moments being diluted by our sheer number of pictures? How did we used to think about taking pictures? What was our thought process when we couldn’t just snap away all willy nilly. When we couldn’t see the result of our pressing the button until weeks later?

I have dubbed the month of February “Film February.” It’s an exercise in restraint. An experiment with thought. A rewiring of my brain.
My goal for February is to temporarily abandon my digital cameras (phone included) and shoot with film.
We’ll see how this goes - I’m even planning on teaching B about film. I want him to experience the uncertainty and waiting and the excitement when the pictures arrive. And I want to experience that too.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

a sexagenarian

I can't wait to be sixty and dye my hair unnatural red purples and wear whatever I feel like. Muumuus for days and crazy glasses and shoes and hats and jackets and quality pieces and comfort and style. A rocker and boho and sleek and minimal and over the top and crazy. And instead of it looking like a hot mess mom who needs a day off, it will look like style and wisdom and stories and life.

Thank you Kelsey for helping me live out my red-headed senior citizen dream.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

the ritual of sickness

We've spent the past few weeks in varying stages of illness, and two days ago, it finally caught up to me. My Friday was spent lying on the couch falling in and out of sleep whenever my children were gloriously occupied by Frozen.
There are obvious downsides to being sick: the fatigue, the insomnia, the body chills, the pain. But there's also a refreshing shift of priority: survival. Your body quits and leaves you no choice but to tend to it. Drink lots of water. Go to bed early. Keep cozy and warm. Go outside for fresh air and sunshine. Befriend humidifiers and vitamins. See food as fuel to fight this infection and as its nutrients: banana = potassium, rolls = much needed energy, V8 Fusion = vitamin C and fluids. Listen to your body. How do you feel? What do you need? Rest. Relax. Cancel unnecessary plans. Give yourself permission to take care of yourself.
If only I would take a sick day when I'm healthy.