Fog, dawn, a plan
First dawn of 2019. Subtle, foggy, pearlescent, damp. The calendar is an illusion we choose to share, like so many others.
Thank you for your thunderous response to my 2000th, for your words and gifts, for what you said and didn’t say, for your time and attention.
I have a plan. Tomorrow JoAnn Hardesty will be sworn in as our next City Commissioner. I started photographing light falling on her face before her journey to city government began. I imagine being her Pete Souza. So I will make photographs tomorrow to document her achievement. Then I need to send my camera off to Fujifilm USA, in New Jersey, to have a bent door and a loose grip repaired. I only have one camera, one lens. So I’m going to take a break from photography for a few weeks, going to quit documenting the Resistance, commenting on other Blip journals, and fiddling around on Facebook while the camera is gone. Instead I will focus on writing the story of the African journey. Will concentration help?
I haven’t worked on that story since September 27, and Sue wisely advises me that I should get on with it while I still can, since at our age we are on borrowed time. My aging brain retrieves, ever more slowly, a smaller pool of images and words than I once took for granted. Last month’s images disappear forever, but those of twenty or so years ago are surprisingly vivid. Writing, which used to flow from me like breath, now stutters and heaves like my first car, a cranky Morris Minor I bought for $200 in 1964 (see, I remember odd details from the distant past; perhaps your grandmother did too). I wonder about the affect of internet distraction on my brain. What if I suspend that habit? The camera will be gone for three to six weeks, I’m told, and I’m curious to see what will happen if I push Pause on my daily social media habit. Can I re-live and write a few more episodes of the story that unfolded for me in southern Africa and changed my life forever? No one else can tell it. Is it still there to tell? Will I be able to use hours of time that I normally spend gazing at a screen? I don’t know. It’s an experiment.
If I manage to write a few more episodes, I will post them as I finish them in my Blip journal, with some kind of photo, either from the phone or a borrowed camera, but I’ll turn comments off so I am not tempted to respond to them (I say I’ll just write a quick response and two hours later I’m still commenting on “just one more”). I’m going to try a self-imposed retreat from the internet as I turn to story-making. Maybe it won’t work. Maybe I need the distraction, the variety. Maybe this is ridiculously all-or-nothing (so like me). Maybe without on-line community I will dry up and blow away, or lose interest in writing, or discover that I no longer want to write that story. Don’t know. Only one way to find out. Here goes.