The Nature of Time


Editing photos is an interesting exploration. Sometimes it’s very easy, often it is. Softball, get the ball in the damn frame, get some action, whatever, move on. Not very tough. This is true with most of my “work” imagery. It’s easy, it’s easy because I largely don’t care in all likelihood.

Tonight was a bit different though. Tonight I was, did, deal with, only start to edit, the first review really, some images I had been emotionally, mentally, preparing for for months. Tonight I dealt with images I feared.

Over the past six months I’ve been working on a project, a wonderful project, a project I love, but a project which has created some great images through some moments I would never give up having witnessed and hope to never experience again.

A few months back a pretty major event occurred, and I was privileged enough to be able to document it. During the process I reviewed a few of the images on the back of the camera, some portraits, and they stopped me in my tracks, in my head at least. I kept shooting, kept working, kept doing what I needed to do. But in my memory were those portraits. I couldn’t not have them in my head, rolling around. I wanted them gone.

What she choose to share, the images haunted me, her generosity, kindness and openness amazed, still amaze, me. I couldn’t deal with the images, and I knew it. This has never happened to me before. Through the months of hard images, this had never happened. So tonight, over three months later, I knew I needed to deal with them. I knew the images were images that needed to be dealt with, edited, but I’ve just been afraid to look at them. I’ve been afraid of what they mean, what they mean to me, and afraid to “re-live”, afraid of being reminded of that time, and most of all, those images, I knew they would just hit me, hit me hard.

I opened them, and scanned them for maybe 10 seconds, then I had to walk away. Luckily, happily, while that was happening, a friend called (thanks Ya Looblue, you have SuperStar timing) and I was able to talk through some of it, and be distracted, get happy again, before getting back to editing.

Editing through them wasn’t a long process in the end, but I still want to block those images from my memory. Hopefully they’ll help and effect some other people some day, today, no matter how happy I am that those image exist, how honored I am to have been allowed to make them, today I want to forget those images exist.

3 Responses to “The Nature of Time”

  1. Ya Looblue says:

    i’m glad for my timing. thanks for the conversation.

    perhaps you could think of those images differently…as really really happy that they happened, because it was a means to a happy ‘ending’ of sorts. does that make any sense? i feel like when my knee is all better and i debut my new rope act…i’ll get to look back and be thankful for all the enormous amounts of shit that i’ve been dealing with for the past few months. because the other side is so far from those images…it was just a moment that helped you to get to the happy place…no?

  2. j.pal says:

    If they are the images I’m assuming, I truly believe in my heart that they will ultimately have a positive effect.

    The term “awareness” is often abused, but I think these images can help bring about change. Difficult as they are, they need to be seen. They need to be shared.

  3. Josh Hawkins says:

    I think the images have the chance to have a positive impact, no doubt. They are just tough for me to look at.

    Mind you, the image on my fridge, which seems to be the reference currently, I’d say is about as powerful as the images I was editing the other night. Whereas the fridge image is powerful through subtlity, the images from the other night were powerful (though not more so) in a sledge hammer like manner. Just makes it tough some days, part of the deal.

    And while I’m sure the end of this piece will be happy for both her and me, I don’t know if I really believe in happy endings, just getting through the shit. That’s just me though, and maybe just today. Whatever. :)

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