August 11, 2013: “What Now?”
So if you actually follow this blog, you’ve probably noticed that it has taken hiatus. The decay in quality was caused by a full time working schedule, which allowed almost no room for photography that I would be interested in. I know that the point of a daily project is to stretch what I am interested in, but when I’m tired from a full day of work it feels too stretched to the point of artificiality. I think as of now it would be better to just post when I have a good day of photography, or really have something to share. Hopefully it will be regular, as my main internship will be coming to a close soon and replaced with job-shadowing this upcoming week. But if not, it was a great endeavor to get through two months of daily posts, which did indeed stretch me to take photos I would never have taken otherwise.
Last night I went to Seattle for the Street Food Fair, the I-District for some Oasis Bubble Tea, and then Seattle Center to watch The Avengers on the lawn with the Space Needle glimmering above the screen. It was all topped off with Dick’s late at night, and a long trip back home. Night photography truly interests me. During the day everybody is at work and the world functions, but at night people come out and are more of themselves, freed from the shackles of occupation. There are laughs, shouts, solemn contemplation, and lights that make photography so much more challenging and rewarding. And having been away from my camera for so long, I was able to see better than I had in months. I was no longer looking for something, but was truly seeing.
I had my eyes back.
August 4, 2013: “Beautiful”
It was one of the best Sundays in many many weeks. I woke up, went into a workout completely energized and ready to do many burpees. After treating myself to the longest shower, I made my way down to Brooklyn Bridge Park. The weather was perfect. I don’t know if anyone else feels this way, but good weather makes me feel very, very high. It’s one of the best natural highs I can ever hope to get—the feeling surpasses all else. Ingredients for this ‘weather high’ include a blazing sun, early summer temperatures sans humidity, and a great, featherlight breeze that cools your forehead as you walk through the streets. I made my way through the crowds at Pier 1 and settled on a grassy patch to suntan for a while. The park was quiet and sprinkled with lone tanners, lovebirds and small gatherings of friends and family. A kid was celebrating her birthday with candy coloured balloons; a pot-bellied man dug into his Wall Street Journal, his forehead full of crinkles. I laid myself down on a towel too small for my body, made angel arms in mid-air and noticed that the grass here smelled like my childhood. My childhood was spent in many of the most beautiful parks in Christchurch. It was full of picnics and barbecues and bike trails, sunsets and sparkling wine and flings with family friends. I lay there for two hours, soaking in everything the moment was bringing upon me. It was the best start to a Sunday that continued to be pretty damn magical.
August 3, 2013: “I’m Tired”
Halfway through July I was so glad I had a routine in place. Work, gym, chill, rinse and repeat. I felt happy in that my work was meaningful, healthy in my trips to the gym, and relaxed in my alone time before sleep. However this routine has now become the antithesis of most of these things. The gym still remains a healthy place, but the joy of work has wilted and the relaxation evaporated. Work feels pointless; my pessimistic outlook only builds on the negatives that range from situations to people. And time at home feels wasted; I realize that there are very few people here I can genuinely hang out with and that makes me sad. And in terms of this project, there’s nothing that exciting I see to take photos of throughout my routine. I can’t see anymore.
Fortunately, a change in routine will arrive soon with the beginning of job shadowing. With that, this upcoming work week is riddled with more exciting events, and slowly but surely I’ll be returning to campus soon. I understand that an optimistic outlook makes everything better, but when I grow weary I begin to lack the strength to keep it up.
August 2, 2013: “Chicago”
Early this morning as I went through my routine of delivering food, I saw a group of geese walking around the parking lot. The excitement of work and making a difference has decreased to the lowest of lows, in parallel with this project. So seeing something new in my routine raised my brow as I was reminded of a place I lived for only one year: Illinois.
As I was only in first grade at the time, the place seems unfamiliar, existent only in writing and memory. During the winter geese flocked over the cloudy sky in a V formation, and seeing them waddle around the park was common. Watching them fly, however, was amazing in that I had not known animals were capable of such perfect form and intelligence. I don’t know why they were in the parking lot, but they remain a symbol of the lost year in my childhood.
August 1, 2013: “Fresh Slate”
I’m behind three posts because for a while there, I stopped caring. I had no desire to post a photo as bad as the one above, and the lack of quality followed throughout the rest of the week. It’s inorganic to try and write these as if it were from the day of, but the thoughts that have been on my mind have remained constant.
The beginning of a new month, especially when summer is as short as it is, always signals a new beginning. The start of July is when I started going to the gym regularly, which has improved my wellbeing so much it’s hard to believe I’ve only been at it for a month. With the start of August, I hope to finish dwelling and come to some sort of resolution for the upcoming school year. As someone who is driven by goals and expectations, I will have to set these in place with a solid foundation.
August 3, 2013: “Holding onto Friends”
I am the type of person who holds onto her friends tightly. I am pretty particular about those who I socialize with and feel comfortable with, but when I do make friends I make sure that I can become “real” friends, who have genuine conversations and actually care about each other’s lives. I’m usually the one to rekindle near-dead connections and start up a conversation in months, or even years. I write letters to friends in faraway places. When friends visit from afar, I make sure they have a a place to stay and they have at least a decent time while visiting. Friends mean much to me, and I make sure that I keep them close by my side at all times. If you are a friend, and if you are in the area, wanting a conversation, need a shoulder to lean on, or just want some sort of comforting and silent presence beside you, I am always here.
August 1, 2013: “A Place of Comfort”
I was feeling a little burnt out from all the excel sheets I was looking at as well as feeling pretty lonely with the whole studio rent situation (my very ideal living arrangement will be to live in a huge mansion with my closest mates so that we would each have our own space, but would congregate from time to time to hang out and chill. Is this ever possible? Maybe in far out Brooklyn? Or Nowhere New Jersey? But who ever wants to live in either of those places. Anyway, I digress.)
I went up to my friend’s place in upper west side after work last night to meet his beautiful dog and just hang out where I felt comfortable. His dog, a miniature greyhound called Gatsby, was a beautiful, beautiful creature. He had lean limbs, the most beautiful face and a nose that nuzzled up against your face, arms, everywhere. We went for a walk at Central Park where Gatsby had a blast running wild and met new friends everywhere. We came back to his flat and he made me the most delicious pancakes out of the simplest ingredients and a lot of love. I could see that he was exhausted from his day, but he spoiled me with some homegrown cooking anyway. We sat in the little kitchen with a batch of these uneven, unruly pancakes oozing with Lindt chocolate, tearing apart at these pancakes with our bare fingers. It was pure bliss.
It’s so good to have a place of comfort like this. I know I can visit him out of the blue and do whatever and play with Gatsby and he’ll just take me for who I am. There are friends that you have to “try”: you smile, you make conversation, you have to pretend to be bright and chirpy and funny even when you don’t feel like being that way. He’s someone that I can ditch all of that, all of the expectations and social decorum and just be. I am grateful for a sprinkle of these friends that I have around the world. We don’t keep in close contact most of the times, but I know that they’re there. When we meet, it is like nothing ever changed, and we are entirely comfortable enjoying each other’s company with no frills and facades. I am blessed to have these places of comfort.
July 31, 2013: “Waiting”
I snapped this while I was waiting for a friend to arrive to our dinner date. A little boy outside of Whole Foods was crouched under these signs, watching the people go by and waiting for something too. He looked across the road with such concentration in his small brows that I felt compelled to look in the same direction too.
I am at the stage where I am waiting for a lot of things to happen. I am waiting to go back to Amherst so that I can start seriously getting some things done. I am waiting for some friendships to progress. I am waiting for summer to slow down so I can get ready for chillier months. I am waiting for the moment of settling.
After the moment of waiting that seemed to last forever, though in reality it was only a couple of minutes, the boy’s family joined him from across the road. He finally crawled out of his hiding space and flashed a big smile at his parents who beckoned him into their arms.
July 31, 2013: “Cloudy Days”
When my dad first told me that we were moving to Seattle from beautiful sunny California, I distinctly remember not being so disappointed. For a moment, the idea of getting cozy in bed with a good book on a nice, cloudy day was so appealing. It superseded any technicalities, like leaving my friends behind, leaving our house, and starting over. Of course, all of these things crashed down on me a few days later, but the idealized cloudy day still remains in my heart as one of life’s blessings. Though the California sun is amazing, out of the many days lived there I can clearly remember the cloudy days when I would read a couple books in bed and relax, taking a breather from outdoor activities. The cold was nice, and the breeze even nicer.
The novelty of it made it so valuable, and that was what kept me from realizing what I was leaving behind in California. I quickly realized in the winter of moving in that in Washington, cloudy days were not blessings; they quickly grew into a series that dragged on too long, its monotony draining. The sunny days became the blessing, and my evaluation of weather forecasts was completely flipped.
During the summer, however, Washington has the best weather in the country. And because it has been so sunny since I’ve been home, with almost no rain, today’s cloudy weather is a novelty once more.