So, I bought an LC-A+ right before I stopped working for Lomography. I’d been meaning to get one for the longest time and it seemed like the perfect time to get it. Anyway, here are some of the shots. I have some more but they are blurry to the point of unrecognizable (I haven’t been able to properly gauge which option to use when shooting), so this is what you get.
Clearly, I need more practice. I was attempting to document the process of my recuperation, but that didn’t work out too well. I really love my LC-A+, though. It’s very fuss-free and easy to use. Can you imagine that these were taken with a roll of ISO 100 film? I am super impressed with how well it catches the light.
Walking with Petra to get some coffee.
Paoie & Anton.
Dinner with papa. Best meal I had that week. :)
The place had these kind-of sad sunflowers.
Bia took this! At Moonleaf.
AMP bench. Forest, PJ, Rage (I think?)
I haven’t had that many chances to shoot, so if anybody wants to go on a photo trip with me, that would be an awesome thing. I also don’t have a name for him (yes, he seems like a boy), yet. I was thinking either Jack or Frank—perhaps, for obvious reasons. What do you think?
The rest of the photos are under the cut. I’m excited to get better. Continue reading O HEY, LC-A+!…
In which I find things in Singapore to be happy about. I was being a whiner the first few days, but I learned to enjoy Singapore. Despite the weather (sometimes, unbelievably, even hotter than Manila) and all the walking around and everything else. I was thinking: I might like to live there, maybe.
A random series of photographs! I took along my dad’s D80 and the 35mm lens we got him for his birthday last year. I’m pretty sure I want to get back into this.
Brother. I like to think that this is, even a little bit, Wong Kar Wai-esque. Feel free to disagree.
MM Yu, documenting the exhibit. The reason why we went on the trip in the first place is to be there for the opening of Complete & Unabridged: Part I. My parents had works up. I’ll make a post on the exhibit within the week. Also, more photos under the cut, some of which are my favorites.
I’m not really one to believe in destiny or serendipity or the stars aligning in my favor. On the rare occasion that I do allow myself the thought, it almost always bites me in the ass. However: I mostly enjoy the idea of it. I’d like to think that sometimes, synchronicity does occur, and whether the cause is fate or coincidence, or simply good timing, I don’t really care much for.
Synchronicity (or part of it), this past week, came in the form of some of the books I’ve finished reading, namely: Light Boxes by Shane Jones and Refusing Heaven by Jack Gilbert. These aren’t reviews; they’re just tiny ruminations on what I’ve been reading and the unexpected weight they bore on recent events.
(I realize I should post this on my book blog, but it seems as though it became more of a burden than a motivation for me to post, so I’m probably shutting it down and relegating all future book posts over here, under a tag. Also, this is kind of long, so it’s mostly for my sake more than for yours. But you are very welcome to read & comment & share your thoughts. I know it’s wordy, but I hope you read it.)
I brought Jones’ novel on my trip because it was short enough to read on the plane. I had always been curious about it, and although it was difficult to get into at first (atypical format, especially since it’s classified as a novel), I quickly drew parallels to my life. It tells the story about a town that has been forced to endure hundreds of days of February. Funnily enough, my February had started out pretty horribly. Reading it, I feel, instigated a sort of Existential Standoff, where I found that I could choose from many different ways of looking at my then decidedly crappy situation. In Light Boxes, February meant a lot of things, but it stood for a bleakness, a desolation and unending sadness that could be fought relentlessly against, but was hard to escape from. Not to give too much away, but Jones, in his last few pages, allowed me to see that there is a way out of February, but that I would have to make my own light boxes, to invent ways to see myself out of the dark. The final pages do not depict a soaring victory, but a resolute finality—a sigh of relief instead of masses of loud cheering.
This tiny book gave me hope that things will definitely get better, that even though the shortest month sometimes feels like the longest, it will come to an end.
It is in reading Gilbert’s collection of poetry, though, that I began to understand what it meant to make peace with loss, and that it was possible. I had been on the look-out for Gilbert’s collections (any, really) for months, and I found two in Kinokuniya. I started with his earlier one—out of respect for chronology than anything else—and found, quite serendipitously, that it brought me to a place where I needed to be.
Line after line came blow after blow. Gilbert was telling me about the temporariness of things, that the state of things is always going to be uncertain and precarious—but also, that it was OK. Not to speak of every poem in the collection, but I came to the understanding that some things were meant to come to an end. This used to terrify me and in some ways, it still does, but Gilbert reminded me that endings also mark new beginnings. And that endings don’t negate the things that came before it. “Thinking love is not refuted because it comes to an end,” he ends “Elegy for Bob (Jean McLean).”
I know it’s not the central, all-encompassing theme of this surprisingly dense (90 pages!) collection, but it really helped me get through a lot of stuff, and let go of a lot of attachments. I have been welcoming the idea of momentary things, and being at peace with the reality that they might go. I know it sounds kind of bad and dismissive and defeatist, but this idea comes from a good place. For example, in “The Lost Hotels of Paris,” he writes: “But it’s the having not the keeping that is the treasure.” There is an awareness of the fleetingness of things, and I think I’m slowly understanding what it means to be OK with that. He puts it brilliantly in “The Manger of Incidentals“:
We are blessed
with powerful love and it goes away. We can mourn.
We live the strangeness of being momentary,
and still we are exalted by being temporary.
The grand Italy of meanwhile. It is the fact of being brief,
being small and slight that is the source of out beauty.
We are a singularity that makes music out of noise
because we must hurry. We make a harvest of loneliness
and desiring in the blank wasteland of the cosmos.
And also in “Burma”:
Used, misled, cheated. Our time is always shortening.
What we cherish is always temporary. What we love
is, sooner or later, changed. But for a while we can
visit our other life. Can rejoice in its being there
in its absence. Giving thanks for what we are allowed
to think about it, grateful for it for even as it wanes.
For knowing it is there.
He talks about the endurance of the human spirit, despite everything, and that is comforting to me. (“Until all the world is overcome / by what goes up and up in us, singing and dancing / and throwing down flowers nevertheless.” — A Kind of Courage; “Our spirit persists like a man struggling / through the frozen valley / who suddenly smells flowers / and realizes the snow is melting / out of sight on top of the mountain, / knows that spring has begun.” — Horses at Midnight Without a Moon; “We must admit there will be music despite everything.” — A Brief for the Defense; “But the air stills, the heat comes back / and I think I am all right again.” — A Close Call )
One of my favorite Gilbert poems is “Failing and Flying,” which I read way before I got the book. I was glad that it was part of Refusing Heaven, because I got to “own” it—whatever that means.
“Failing and Flying”
by Jack Gilbert
Everyone forgets that Icarus also flew.
It’s the same when love comes to an end,
or the marriage fails and people say
they knew it was a mistake, that everybody
said it would never work. That she was
old enough to know better. But anything
worth doing is worth doing badly.
Like being there by that summer ocean
on the other side of the island while
love was fading out of her, the stars
burning so extravagantly those nights that
anyone could tell you they would never last.
Every morning she was asleep in my bed
like a visitation, the gentleness in her
like antelope standing in the dawn mist.
Each afternoon I watched her coming back
through the hot stony field after swimming,
the sea light behind her and the huge sky
on the other side of that. Listened to her
while we ate lunch. How can they say
the marriage failed? Like the people who
came back from Provence (when it was Provence)
and said it was pretty but the food was greasy.
I believe Icarus was not failing as he fell,
but just coming to the end of his triumph.
Hello from Singapore!
Flew in yesterday morning and spent most of the day sleeping and eating. I’m hoping to have an adventure or two today, though, so please cross your fingers for me! I’m not a stranger to Singapore, but I’m also not a super-expert. I want to see if there is still some magic over here to unearth. Hopefully, I won’t be looking for it too hard that I miss it completely. If anything, I’m really just here for the laksa. (Kind of) kidding.
Anyway, as expected, I was assaulted by a couple of dark days since the last entry that I posted. It’s difficult to get into these things while typing from my phone and waiting for my hair to dry, but I’ll try.
(Also: in case you want to know, one of my picker-uppers is this song called “Hang Tight, Hero” by Bones Like Snowflakes. I feel like it knows what I feel.)
Brought these two books to keep me company. “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay” by Michael Chabon has been praised to death, I’m kind of worried I’ll expect too much and be the jerk who hates it just because. It was a Christmas gift from Isa. The other book is a po-mo (?) novel by Shane Jones called “Light Boxes,” also gifted but by Sasha. I’m about halfway through.
And because it really is just the kind of thing I tend to be curious about, what are you fine folk reading right now? Would you recommend it?
February has been off to a rough start.
I think I’m being confronted by the casting away of the things that didn’t fit in my life, which started off with me not getting regularized by the company I’d been working with for the past six or so months. There wasn’t bad blood or anything like that. To be honest, I’d been expecting it, because it really wasn’t a good fit, even though they are an excellent company, and I really admire what they stand for and what they do. So much so that I actually kind of went crazy and bought a lot of their products for myself. Exhibit A:
The LC-A+ has been my partner-in-crime for the past two days. Hopefully, the photos don’t turn out too horribly.
And, then other things happened. It’s not really something I would like to talk about, but it’s kind of funny-sad how life can take a severe turn in the span of two weeks. A friend said to another friend that that fortnight (a word I’ve always wanted to use) ran a little bit like a season finale. I’d like to think it would be something like one from Veronica Mars or Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
In any case, I’d been doing a lot of crying and moping and thinking over the last few days, and these tragic moments, funnily enough, have been bringing to light one of the truths that, deep down, I’ve always known to be true: that life can be so good, in spite of everything. I want to keep on focusing on that, I think. It’s amazing how much better good friends can make you feel after a slew of horrible situations, despite distance and inconveniences.
I have a couple of projects up my sleeve, though, and I’ve been keeping busy. I think time away from my normal routine has been very helpful. I’d like to share one of the things I’ve been up to lately! Here are some pins. I was supposed to sell them during We Are Triangle, but they never made it in time.
L-R: The Social Network, The Royal Tenenbaums, Doctor Who
L-R: Auden, Vonnegut, Foer
L-R: explosions in the sky, Tilly & the Wall, Broken Social Scene and wishbones
Yeah, I still do get sad sometimes, especially if I let myself wallow. But I don’t want to be in love with my sadness anymore. I want to be able to move on to better things, so I’m letting myself do that. And, I suppose this is apropos! for Monday, Valentine’s Day:
Remember that love comes in a lot of shapes and forms. Just because you are not romantically involved with anyone, doesn’t mean you aren’t loved. That’s one very important thing I’ve been learning from The Horrible Week That Was. And I hope I don’t ever forget it.
(Under the cut are other good things I wanted to take a note of. Just because it’s nice to remember that even though things turn to shit, there are things that you can smile about, no matter how small they are.)
Truthfully, the title and the cover art have nothing to do with this mix. I made it quite a while ago, with the intention of maybe making a new mix, but I just made one now that I didn’t have a title for. So, here we are. I hope you enjoy. Some of them are quite sad, but lovely all the same. Didn’t really plan for this many covers, either.
- C’Mere by Interpol
- Heart in Your Heartbreak by The Pains of Being Pure At Heart
- Sentimental Tune by Tegan and Sara
- Crossed Out Name by Ryan Adams & the Cardinals
- Your Heart Is An Empty Room by Death Cab For Cutie
- Ghost by Voxtrot
- You and I by Wilco
- By Your Side (Sade cover) by Beachwood Sparks
- All I Have To Do Is Dream (The Everly Brothers cover) by Bob Dylan
- Without Permission (Caroline Martin cover) by The National
- Suburban War by Arcade Fire
- Maps (Yeah Yeah Yeahs cover) by Rogue Wave
- Sea of Love (Phil Phillips cover) by Cat Power
- Don’t Have to Be So Sad by Yo La Tengo
- Pale Blue Eyes by The Velvet Underground
I’ll leave you all to read between the lines, I guess.