Another Year By
So much of my practice is influenced by daily interactions. Shared moments among those I hold space with have always interested me and it’s what much of my work aims at preserving. The encounters can be uncomfortable or awkward, but more often they’re enjoyable. They make me laugh.
When things began to change last March, I struggled with the new social climate. I began to feel the weight of our cumulative emotions and soon felt lost as to how my photos might reflect this. I’ve always loved walking through a crowded city, feeling the energy of people going about their day; I often felt like I could slip by undetected while a buzzing progression moved around me. These feelings have vanished.
Having also, like so many others, lost my main source of income this past year, I have grappled with my own rollercoaster of emotions. I began to spiral and I’m not sure that I’m done. As I wander the streets nowadays it’s hard for me to not feel as though the landscape itself has undertaken the same level of anxiety that so many of us are now feeling. Tired, confused, at times desperate. There is an uncomfortable stillness to a city that once felt overcrowded, and now feels abandoned. A stillness that I find isn’t necessarily calm.
Where did everyone go? With shelter-in-place orders in full swing this winter, I am in a state of frantic isolation once again — it is surprisingly less comfortable the second time around.
I find myself revisiting places with the hope of encountering a familiar occurrence, driven by a longing for past experiences. Yet these familiar places have begun to feel foreign. At times I feel stretched, pushing too hard to make photographs in spaces once filled with so much promise. This feeling has become more frequent and leaves me in a state of uncertainty: I catch myself questioning my motivation to continue this work. As I sort through it all, I keep telling myself the feeling will pass.
Looking around, I know I’m not the only person struggling to make sense of each day. I keep trying to find humor in the uncomfortable like I used to, and I think it helps me deal with the tough realities within my own life. I’m beginning to take pleasure once again in the connections that remain — even if that sometimes means more compromise than I’d like. I feel like I’m learning all over again how to see, how to interact, and in some sense, just how to live.