Day 1097 – Three Years
Hey, so my day count is pretty close to accurate: 1097 days have now been expended in the Great Idaho Experiment. Upon reaching any milestone i suppose some reflection is in order. Right?
Ok… so here’s my report: After three years the only irksome fact of life is that my wife felt it necessary to bolt when her situation at BSU melted down. I empathize with her reasons and i’m not for a second disagreeing with her decision, but that doesn’t make me like the current situation more; i share the responsibility for it and in that vein i’m a co-owner.
I bought a new camera a couple of days ago (from a mom & pop store in Amityville of all places) and it shipped today. This is a real camera as opposed to the remarkably functional, but limited, Canon G5 point-n-shoot i’ve been using for almost seven years. For those who may not know, my “degree” is in photography. I was accepted to the masters program in photography at Ohio State University, too. I suppose that means i’m supposed to know something about photography. I guess i do, but here’s the thing: aside from contact printing 4×5 Plus-X onto hand-sensitized platinum substrate i don’t miss the darkroom at all.
I still have my two beloved Canon F-1’s (and their associated ‘glass’) sitting not ten feet from where i’m typing this, but the idea of shooting film now is akin to writing on paper. The whole notion that a physical negative is the sole article of evidence of a photographic moment now terrifies me. I feel compelled to scan all my old crap just so that when i one day misplace that big-ass box of negatives i won’t lose the moments contained within.
But then i’m reminded of something i saw on a fluke visit to an artist’s studio in Saint Paul: “50 years from now nobody is going to find your emails lovingly tied with string under the bed.” That would seem to debunk my “digital is the way” mentality.
But wait… if i have my negatives scanned… and assuming i don’t lose the hard drive (or misplace the password to my off-site backup) then assuming i have electricity and the “nuclear war proof” internet still functions, then i could conceivably call up an image from my past and broadcast it to the world. Well… to the world of other people who also have electricity… and computers.
But what is driving this whole compulsion? Simple… Alexander Supertramp (aka Christopher McCandless) said it best (written into book) “Happiness only real when shared.” So with no wife in my house i share what i have via the internet.
We arrived in Boise Idaho three years ago. I can say with confidence i’m not the same person i was when we arrived. I feel better now, more confident and more aware than i did when we left Minnesota. There were some serious dark times, but i sought help and that help made a difference and i’m still here. I’ve pissed off some people, i’ve made some new friends, i’ve taken some photographs i’m not embarrassed of, and i’ve ridden my motorcycle many, many miles along the utterly spectacular Oregon and California coasts. We all measure success in our own way and given the people i knew growing up, the “adults” i came in contact with, i can’t help but feel i’m doing ok. The past three years have been just fine and I have no regrets.