Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I had to ask Jessica's permission before I posted this photo of her sweet kitchen. It just feels so private in there, cozy and secret and warm. She gave me permission and then for two days I let the photo sit, having no idea what the post was about. All I have is the photo. 

That's still all I have. The photo itself, the negative, is too faint to really get a good print in the color darkroom. You can tell that by the haze over the digital scan above. I still don't have a light meter other than the ones in my other cameras, so when I use the Bronica, I kind of eyeball it. Some of the negatives are dense and beautiful, others barely color the film enough for me to tell the difference between frames. Next week I have to turn in a final project for my Intro to Color class, and I'm at a loss. Not enough final prints, and the ones I have don't hang together as a set, to me. Some are medium format, some are 35mm. I wish I had done more portraits with the Bronica, wish I had gotten some good shots of the big curtain-like structures that hang over the berry fields on T Loop, can't quite bear to spend time on a print of that broken down old home I got chewed out for photographing. 

It hasn't been the best week here, really. It's headache season, and that's leaving me melancholy most days. I finished reading A River Runs Through It the other day, and that was a book that matched my mood, quiet and lovely, somewhat plain. It had a calmness to it that I needed, and a mournfulness that fit.  In the car, I've been trying to listen to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and sometimes that's just right, so clever and funny, but more often than not I find my mind wandering a bit, and end up just flipping back to an NPR station. I go through three of them on the ride home, sometimes clinging to the Seattle-based station that broadcasts Selected Shorts and This American Life longer than the reception really merits. 

Last Saturday Tom and I found a little bookstore we liked in Burlington, lured in by a copy of The Great International Airplane Book on the sidewalk shelf, marked just $2. I bought it, and a copy of This Is Washington and Tom bought The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The next day he read it to me as we drove through the valley, and then at the dinner table, another paragraph or two, and to the end of the chapter Monday before bed. Huckleberry Finn keeps my full attention with Tom delivering it. 

So I guess that's what this post is about. Just, where I am. In the car, in the color darkroom, at the dinner table with Tom, off with Huckleberry Finn, Some of the nicest times lately are in Jessica's and James' kitchen. James makes tea and I drink it whether I want tea just then or not, because I like it so much when he makes it. Jessica and James came home with a whole basket full of sweet blackberries the other night, and Jess and I sat in the store talking while the boys were in the kitchen, dishing up big plates of shortcake from the Bread Farm, berries from the basket, vanilla ice cream from our house. I have no idea where the headache was that night. I wouldn't remember it even if it had been there, that's how nice it was. 

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