All images shot on Portra 400 120 film with a Hassleblad 500 CM
Where have I even been? Around the world a few times and in and out of my head.
Here’s the Pacific, from the other vantage point, a world away, two weeks ago when I went to the very last ever @yeahfieldtrip. I spent a week in El Capitan Canon with a feeling of expansive openness, rooted in my certainty that there exists at the center of us all an ember of the same matter that is the universe. For a solid week, I existed in a quiet that we hardly ever experience; I looked up at the trees, I watched the sky, I followed the creak with my eyes. There were no podcasts to distract me; no WeChat notifications to pull my attention; no instagram likes to give me a serotonin boost; no sibling spats to navigate. There was quiet, and time, and awareness.
Every person in that valley was trying to make something out of this wildly improbably gift of being a human on this planet with these other humans who we are so lucky to get to love and grow with. I had conversations all week with people who looked in my eyes, where I remember every word, and every feeling, where we said thank you, and you’re lovely, and I’m so glad I get to know you, and meant it all. Those few days I felt as though my ribs would crack open and my heart would manifest out in the open air, expanding ever outward, ruled by creativity, growth, and that human light. It was as real as the tension in my shoulders now.
Then I got back to Shanghai and took the kids to a birthday party at a Soft Play and had conversations that I can’t even remember about who cares what. I’m making list of things I need to do, fretting over doctors’ appointments (I live at the doctor), school drama, about big changes coming up. I’m back here, bombarded by the forces of the capitalist machine and very sure that a new pair of jean shorts and just the right sunglasses will fill that human sized ache in my heart.
I’m trying to remember that feeling, to make small changes in my life that get me back there. I’m trying to breathe a little slower, to look a little longer in my kids’ eyes, to to find a flashing second to tell the one I love thank you, you’re lovely, I’m glad I know you. Because I’m pretty sure that’s all that really matters in this life.