Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Mojo

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It all started with a paycheck spent on ten rolls of Kodak Professional T-MAX black & white film. ASA/ISO 400. The first "food" for my Canon "New F-1" Professional 35mm Camera. The first attempts. The first go. The start of the journey.

Ten rolls of T-MAX in the hands of a 17 year old boy who thought he was a representation of what happens when Robert Smith, Jim Morrison, Jack Kerouac, Robert Mapplethorpe and Keith Haring meet in one big creative clash.

Ten rolls of T-MAX...

360 clicks of the shutter - give or take a few (that's the funny thing about film... you pay for 36 exposures... and might get 37... or 35... or more... or less... or none at all, depending on how you look at things)

360 clicks of the shutter...

A hundred or so blinding flashes of a monstrous Canon 577G off-camera flash...

The hum of an AE Power-winder...

Ten rolls of T-MAX... roaming around Danbury, Connecticut... roaming around the East Village... roaming through cemeteries... roaming through the magic of a girlfriend's house...

Ten rolls of T-MAX... and a "need" to create...

a "need" to live.

Those were the days before "digital". When "taking photographs" meant "film". Expensive film. Wonderful film. Film that had to be loaded into the camera without accidentally wasting an exposure. Film that had to be advanced, or else the risk of double-exposure. Film that had to be wound, before the camera back could be opened. Film... that came in little canisters. Film rolls... that had to be pried open in darkness... to access the dreams within...

leaving you with a roll of sweet-smelling silver...

and an empty film case...

and a black ring that used to keep hold on the possibilities.

Ten rolls of T-MAX...

Ten black film roll rings...

The first ten - I ever took...

And when the film was developed... the rings remained to be strung on a chain and handed to me as a sacred object...

My creative mojo...

A jingling reminder to wear...

A jingling reminder of my creativity...

of possibilities...

of my ability...

of my choices...

of my right to choose to live the life...

or not.

Ten film rings from the first ten rolls of T-MAX film...

dangling on a chain...

along with a subway token left over from a September '96 trip to see "The Cure" at Radio City Music Hall...

a NYC subway token... to remind me that I always had a way to move...

a way to get from here to there...

a way to go places that scare me...

my creativity.


And now... 15 years later... those first ten rolls worth of photos no longer matter. Of those first 360 photos (give or take a few) - only a handful remain. The photos themselves were not important... only the journey. The Canon "New F-1" rests quietly at the top of a closet. It's 577G and AE Winder, sold... along with a dozen of its lenses. No more T-MAX. No more film. No more canisters. No more rings. My hands hold a Canon EOS 40D now. 10.1-megapixels and the capability of taking thousands of photos before needing to download them to my computer. Color to black & white with the click of a button. Filters and screen changes with the turn of a dial.

No more film...

Yet those first ten rings remain...

Constant reminders of possibilities...

Jingling from my belt with every step...

Calling me to listen...

to create...

to live...

... again ...

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Thankful...

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Today I am thankful for...



Getting away...


For the feeling of being on the road...


The whistle of air moving across a car window that is only open a crack...


The droning hum of 65mph wheels on wet highway...


That first glimpse of the Philadelphia skyline through a misty fog...


Comfortable hotel rooms with amazing beds...


Hot tubs...


Leaving the food journal at home...


Amazing sex...


Getting away from the tourists...


Driving through town...


South St. on a Friday night...


An amazing crystal ball...


Pearl Paint...


Taking the locals advice and going to Jim's Steaks instead of "Pat's" or "Geno's"...


Waiting in line for almost an hour...


Downing three from Jim's... and still wanting more...


"Cheez Whiz"...


Cans of Yoo-Hoo...


Parking tickets...


The "awesome-ness" of my camera...


It's weight in my hands...


487 clicks of the shutter in two days...


Close-ups of Rodin...


Base-up-shots of the Comcast Center building...


Finally replacing the pair of black & white Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars that melted in the fire almost five years ago...


Convincing Holly to get a pair of dark green ones...


The perfect Djembe - calling out to us from the doorway of a Reggae shop...


Knowing that THAT Djembe is now here with us... and that Holly finally has a drum she loves!


Fourth-row-center seats at The Cure concert...


Robert Smith being less than 15 feet away for three hours...


Robert Smith being "ours" for three hours...


Robert Smith singing "Lovesong" to US...


Robert Smith's eyes, looking to the side...


Robert Smith's hair, wild... catching the light from behind...


Robert Smith's red lipstick smiles...


Robert Smith still being beautiful... and still making me shiver inside like a love-struck schoolboy...


(Me not really caring what any of you think of that)


Porl Thompson's amazing guitar playing... 


his 3-inch ruby-red glitter platform shoes shimmering in the stage-light...


his grins and smiles, as he looked at us...


(Me knowing that one of his guitar picks now sits in my pocket)


65daysofstatic being a freakin' awesome band!


Blondes in black cheerleader outfits with knee-high black pole-climber boots, quietly screaming "LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME!"...


Me looking...


Holly and I "arguing" about whether or not it was worth the look...


(Yes... it was)


Heading back to South St...


Sitting by the window upstairs at Jim's around 1am...
... downing two more steaks with whiz...

...
... and another can of Yoo-Hoo...


Heading to a pirate bar...


Spending an hour or two sitting at the bar... staring at the single hottest bartender we've ever seen...


(Holly and I not needing to argue on THAT one... for we both agreed)...


Having a one-armed man buy us drinks...


Watching a very drunk man drink the contents of the barmat on a dare...


A night of falling asleep with the music of The Cure in my mind... and visions of Robert Smith...


Billboards that make you laugh every single time you see them...


Car-rides that become commercials for Lexapro...


Not being able to finish a Grandpa's Country-fried Breakfast - for the first time ever...


Sleep...


Seeing the kids for the first time in almost three days...


Smiles...


Happy-ness...


Mother's Day...


The desire to move to the city...


Plans...


Dreams...


Desires...


Love...


Having my best friend be my wife...


Having my wife as my best friend...


Those moments alone.... even when we're in a crowded restaurant...


Love...


And the shy-ness of Robert Smith as he thanked US and blushed his way off-stage... and into a memory...



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