it’s me again. i promise i won’t ever tell your friends about this as you get older, which you will (inevitably) continue to do. time seems to go by so fast, but the time that we spend together seems to carve out it’s own corridor in my memory. i’ll never take that for granted, because i can’t even remember what i had for lunch by 6pm most days. lately, things have been quite difficult and i see how it impacts you. just know that we will work through it together, i will always do everything in my power to make it better, and also know that there is always iced-cream. some of those things will stay in my letters to you, and off of the internet. we’re making progress, through grace and time – i think things will get better. for you, i’ll always do my best to be the bigger person and please believe me when i say there have times when that has been hard. but for you, i’ve had to bite my tongue until my mouth feels like it’s filled with real blood.
time solves most things, and what time can’t solve, you have to solve yourself.
i look at the photos that i take of you, and i can remember those days spent together. i think all of these are at least six months old, and i remember them like yesterday. we have a routine, and i know that you hate to break that but you’re starting to come out of your shell a little bit and that’s really cool to see. as much as i love bodega, if i’m being honest, that tempeh sandwich lost its appeal a year ago. with this new job bringing me closer to you, there is moving pieces that are coming together to allow us to build more routines. because, how could i ever tire of them?
time for something new. after two years at my current position i felt myself grasping for change. my loyalty to my employer has always made me feel bad for looking out for myself, so i stuck around. the main pull for me to find something new was the realization that my distance from my daughter was farther than i wanted it to be. not that i didn’t know this before, but when she started to bring it up to me and be upset about it, i knew i had to make a change. i thought it would be really great if i could find something on the other side of the bridge, so i wasn’t separated by an hour commute (and only sixteen miles) from her. i wanted to be more involved in the day to day things that rush hour traffic and a non-flexible work schedule kept me from. also, we just needed to spend more time together and i was determined to make that happen.
so, starting december seventeenth, i start a new job. flexible, and five minutes from my daughter. i really am looking forward to leaving work and being able to pick her up from school and then spend the day with her. so this memorytapes is about just that. how sometimes, it all works out.
thanks for reading, peace.
every morning i wake up, i feel a little better in my space. i read this article about people who suffer from depression and this idea of an ‘impossible task’, it could be something super simple that you just avoid doing because it feels impossible. the writer talked about how she would have her friends come over and help her with the simplest tasks. stuff like doing laundry, going grocery shopping, sending a letter. shit that should be simple felt like such a burden. i felt that and i didn’t want to feel that way anymore. the last three years in my home have been rough, and i think that’s even an understatement. i got walled in with impossible tasks. half painted walls, finding reminders of shit i didn’t want to be reminded of, letters that weren’t meant for me to see. i would spend all day working from home and the second i was done, i would leave my house. spend time with avery, read at a bar, go out and take photos, see movies by myself. i wanted to do anything but he here because i felt surrounded by these impossible tasks at hand. making the decision to start processing my own film slowly made me want to be at home. putting in late nights to learn everything that a few months before felt like an impossible task was so rewarding. everything was full cycle and it felt like i was becoming a better photographer with every roll i’d shoot. a lot of people think it’s a pain in the ass to shoot film, and it is.
mom, thank you for helping me start over (and just being you).
dylan, you already know how much you’ve inspired me and i hope we continue to push each other to be better.
gabe, thank you for learning with me, all of the late nights in the lab, and enabling me to eat zekos at 2am on week nights.
and like that promise ring song, ‘things are just getting good’. so lets keep it going.
anyways, thanks for reading and here’s a playlist: memorytapes:five.
and i always tell myself that i should go to sleep (but i never do). it feels like this is the only time i have to sit here, listen to music, and start typing out some words about how i’m feeling. last week i was sitting in a camper van in fucking iceland, and while gabe drove us down the north coast he put this record on. i kept singing this line back to myself in my head, “do you feel ashamed when you hear my name?”
i’m back home now, and i won’t lie. it is just now starting to feel like my home. there was shit packed into drawers and closets that i couldn’t find the courage to deal with until now. it reminded me not of a failed relationship, but of something that felt more like resentment. the carelessness and disregard for all of the lives that had came and went before. going through everything with my mom (thank you for your help, i love you), i couldn’t bring myself to throw away the memories of a family i’m no longer even a part of. the memories that sat in a musty laundry room and outside in a shed, for the last four years. maybe left for me to find and then feel bad for throwing away. but me being me, a me that i’m happy to be. i’ll pack it neatly, and return it. maybe it’ll mean more this time around.
photographs were taken on a fuji klasse w on a mix of kodak portra 160 and fuji superia 400.
i felt more purpose in spending my mental capacity on the thoughts of being a better father, a better friend, even a better reader. rather than focusing on social media and partaking in the endless scrolling. i would be lying if i said i didn’t get derailed by the attention my photography received, by the people i met all around the world through our similar interests. i started to learn how to be relevant on the internet. it made me feel good, temporarily. making sure i posted every other day to stay in the algorithm, using the right hash tags, posting at the peak hours, all that shit. for what? to have my photographs be seen for a fraction of a second by people that i would never meet or even have any real interaction with? all the gratification i received at the end of the day, through instagram, meant nothing to me. it was sort of a false inspiration to keep doing what i was doing but not without also making me feel distracted and starting to take photographs of what i knew other people would want to see. i realized that sharing my photos in person, even though i left no trace of how to contact me, or who i was, felt better. knowing that the people who took the time to look, knew the street names, the architecture, the laundromats and their neon lights, the feel of our city. a place that we all dwell together. thats the gratification i want. that is what i want to take photographs of. i want to make connections and have conversations with the people that connect with me on a deeper level. it’s so easy and cheap to create things for the sake of attracting a “following”. i cannot imagine being one of those people who saw that as a viable source of income, or could feel comfortable selling out for ad revenue or click through revenue. now there’s ads for these fucking people to teach you how to make money off making dumbass youtube videos. i cannot believe this is even real.
we are not here for long, if the whatever medium you use, whatever you’re trying to create is for anything other than representing of the ups and downs of your life to the people in your real life, you’re selling yourself short.
photographs were taken with a bessa r3m + zeiss 35/2 on fuji superia 400/cinestill 50d
the first time i heard ‘isaiah’s unsung love song’ was wandering around patterson park taking these photos, and sitting on that bench. that sample never leaves my head. all of these have been on heavy rotation. memorytapes:four. enjoy.
photographs were taken with a contax g1 + zeiss 45/2 on portra 160.
first off, looking back at some of these photographs really makes me realize that we go to bodega maybe a little too much. hopefully soon your rice & beans only diet will evolve a little bit. oh well, i’ll still love you either way. i always found it a bit sad that i never had any letters from my dad, to go back and read after he was gone. it took me til you were four years old to feel like this was something i wanted to do. unfortunately, he didn’t get that long with me so i won’t hold it against him. i want nothing more than to live as long as possible so i can continue to be your dad, and watch you continue to grow into the human i know you will. but in the event my time runs out, i want you to have these pictures and these words so you never forget how much i love you.
i hope by the time you read this, that things are much different. right now it seems like no one lives their lives for themselves, but rather to make themselves look like their life is just super-fucking-awesome, like all the time. i hope that by now you know, life isn’t always super-fucking-awesome. it gets tough, tiring, overwhelming. without a doubt, at times you will feel defeated, and that’s okay. surround yourself with people that love you, and they will build you back up. it is the people like this, that make your life awesome. the long term friends who know a side of you that i won’t ever be able to know (that’s also okay). so please take a lot of pictures to remember these people, and to catalog your lives together. don’t take pictures to make other people feel left out, or to try and prove how great your life is. i’ve found that our own happiness is better kept a secret. i hope that you’ll look through the photographs of my life and feel how great of a journey it has been. what an honor it’s been to just exist. from being your dad, to visiting amazing places with my friends, and just simply capturing my every day. this is what photography is for.