Sunday, January 24, 2010

Too Long, Days Too Short

(A glance back while moving forward.)

I am not at home. I wish I were though since it's 2:33 a.m. and I've been parked in front of a computer for the good part of my Friday and Saturday. I arrived in Oxford, Miss. on Thursday evening, and I've spent most of my time in a office working on the documentary film, which debuts in less than two weeks. I can honestly say that I've thrown everything into this project and it will be nice - and daunting - to see it in the company of an audience that's been waiting patiently for it.

Getting to Oxford was interesting. It's been half of a year since I've returned. The landscape was green then, and the heat forced me indoors, but it's been mild the last few days with the exception of the cold rain that only began to fall a few hours ago. I am enamored with the landscape of north Mississippi, and driving across the states gave way to a pleasing transition of shape and color. Hard edges became soft hills. Pale vegetation glowed beneath a blue sky at en route to my destination.

This morning I awoke to birds and soft light. A few hours before, the neighbor announced his return home with a drunken farewell I heard outside the window. His goodbye seemed more like it was a part of my dream and it didn't bother me. I smiled and feel into a sleep I haven't had in too long.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Choosing the Path Home

(What children think of home.)

A crazy but long week. I head to Oxford, my former home and stomping ground - at least until I started grad school and disappeared into academia - Thursday. I'm staying with a friend while I work with colleague and co-director of the film, Joe York. I feel like this has been a long time coming and I'm ready to finish this project and move on to the next one. I was just telling Chris last night that I don't ever wan to be one of those people who constantly recycles old material, and part of moving forward is letting go, or putting things to rest. Of course, mastering something would be nice, too, but what to master?

A few friends have inspired me to pick up my camera again. Armed with a better understanding of the process of art making, I think I'm ready to switch gears to a visual language. I've even discovered a cache of photos of homes I shot a few years ago and I'd like to play with that topic again, but this time dig deeper. There are a few books I'd like to order to expand my thinking on homes, and after finishing another film project of sustainable building, it would be nice to combine the research. I find it tragic that we endeavor to built a sustainable home, investing oodles of money to create a livable, earth friendly space, rather than work on the relationships with the home that give it its meaning.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Dear Isla-

We made our temporary home in Isla Mujeres, Mexico, for New Years. It was a striking contrast to our Atlanta digs - white, bare, airy. It was enough space though, a bed, opposing side tables, a small TV on a table, and a chair not to be used for sitting, but for drying wet bathing suits. A bathroom with a door provided the essential privacy needed for a vacation in gastronomic hinterlands, and it also was home to a mini-fridge capable of cooling the entire room were it necessary. But my favorite thing about the room was that just beyond a floor-to-ceiling panel of windows: a balcony that faced west. Naturally, evenings were spent there sipping leftover wine from the night before or cold beers. It's true that the simplest environs are the most satisfying.

Over the course of the week the room became cluttered with things collected from our adventures around town: sea glass, wooden toys, a can filled with beans and covered with Christmas Contact paper used as a shaker to ring in the New Year, and sand, lots of sand. Every day, a maid came and mopped the floors clean, made our bed, and altogether made me appreciate the life more lived. Instead of making our bed we were speeding around on a moped watching waves crash and the sun set over emerald water.

In Isla, People left their doors open for my prying eyes. Beyond each threshold were small spaces decorated with dolls and twinkling lights, pink cinder block walls, statues of the Virgin Mary, and worn furniture. There seemed little difference between the interiors of these homes and ones I seen in my own. All of these things, these trinkets, are memories.