I have a tremendous fear of standing in front of a camera. It's the last holdover of a time in my life in which the very notion of what-I-looked-like seemed so big and so beyond my control that I avoided cameras and mirrors and barely got out of bed in the morning. Now the fear has changed. It's not nearly so big. It's just that small pinch I get when I look at a photograph and think well-that's-not-right-I-can't-possibly-look-like-that. It's so curious to me that we are the only people who never really know what we look like. We only ever see our image in reverse--reflected back to us. How fascinating and totally odd.
On the Saturday that I was mean to be in Paris, but was not (which on a tangential note, while reading The Fault in Our Stars this second go round there's a line where a character says, "It took me a sleeve of Girl Scout Thin Mints and forty minutes to get over that boy" which is so deliciously good and so exactly how I feel about the man behind my ill-fated-adventure) a friend from college called me up and said Let me take your photo--I'll come to Brooklyn and I said yes because you get over your fears by facing them.
Lydia was a dancer who followed her love to New Zealand where she first picked up a camera. It was so fun to meet after not having seen each other in a few years--after both having trudged through our own muck and come out the other side, better than we were before.
I look at the images and I see my gummy smile and too-small-teeth. I see my forehead wrinkles and the way my eyes sometimes disappear and the strange line separating my under-eye-bags from my nose. I see all the things that I very often don't like...but all together they aren't so bad, you know? All together I can look now and think, Well, there's a girl who made it through--who is imperfect, but happy and full of experiences and stories and memories that belong just to her.
I'm always going to want the pictures that convey movement and history and language--images that embrace imperfections and flaws and the marrow of a life well-lived, even, and especially, if that means they're a little messy.