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Where are the words, where are the words, where are the words? - TR

I've had a hard time putting things into words. You can see by the pace of things around here: the images stacking up like a barricade. That's because it's where I feel most comfortable, lately. Safe.

I've fallen in love with film all over again. I know it's trite and cliché and hipsterish and possibly pretentious to be one of those "I only shoot film" types — somewhere between "I don't own a television" and "I'm really into Hall & Oates" — but I think it's my only way forward. There is a warmth in film, a slowed-down nature that has me hooked.* (Digital photography, instead, feels as if it's speeding up time. And we can't be having that.) In film, there is a longer pause.

The pause is what is most important to me now. One moment you look at the clock and it says 11:01. The next moment: 11:28. Nothing we can do. But where we find pause, for a moment...

Life continues to perplex. Just when I think I have it all figured out, I have the wind kicked out of me by a baby's laugh, something my dad says, a song I can't stop playing, the realization that I'm no longer on the edge of seventeen, but instead closer to the edge of thirty-seven. And in that moment, when my breath stops, I reconsider who I am and why I am here.

How briefly we're all here.

In the pause, I try to see things clearly. In the pause, I stand in the shower, washing away a night of joyous bourbon drinking, and quote Lewis Carroll: Ever drifting down the stream, lingering in the golden gleam, life what is it but a dream?** In the pause, I wonder as ever if life is nothing but fiction. How can this be real?

And in that pause, that moment, I start to live again.

*Thanks also to Bill Cunningham's New York for provoking me into buying a 35mm film camera I didn't think I needed, but now can't imagine living without.
**Quoting Lewis Carroll in the shower is way more pretentious than being into Hall & Oates. I can claim both.

(Previously: The Moment, Snap)

© Zan McQuade. All rights reserved.

Reader Comments (3)

Really lovely shots. I'm looking forward to this new phase.

November 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

This is a beautiful post. Challenging yourself to shoot film and embrace it's nature is wonderful.

November 20, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbrandon baker

Thank you guys for the encouragement! I've gone back to my digital camera a few times recently out of convenience, but every single time I've been slightly disappointed with the shots. And I'm always amazed that even though there are only 24 shots on a roll of film, I'm almost always universally satisfied. Challenged, but satisfied.

December 12, 2011 | Registered CommenterZan McQuade

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