When we started to feel the wave of social distancing roll in, the minutes and days started to bundle into one. Like a roll of rubber bands discarded then collected in an evolving ball by small hands. Gatherers. Super spreaders. Germ hoarders. Wonders. Sponges. And resilient little people. The texts and news alerts felt far more ominous then they do now. Currently we are in it, but back then, for a few days it was the impending sketch lining of a gut, curving and looping. In reality, it is much like the lines I conjugally visit late with bagged-filled eye-lids. Waiting like the pause itself to see things dip. I’ve never felt more connected to the world at large, betting on others as a form of relief for myself.
In Brooklyn, many lay packed into one another. I’m sure the corners feel smaller than they once were. Or for others, they present oppurtunity and expansion, as they find themselves folding into a new normal. I’ve reconnected with what I’ve loved and revisited what I thought I most despised in the city. Longing.
What I noticed in the transition of that first week, and maybe in the weeks ahead, is a need to capture what evolves even when the scenery remains the same. Like time-laspes. But not really. The minutes are actual woven chunks of time. Transitions and photographing them rate equally to my heart.
I’ve been considering why I feel this need. And maybe it is the same version of myself that is also trying to piece together a flood of words during an unchartered path. To have words in the unknown nature of today, is, at best, some level of control. And seeing the way our bodies move and scatter between our Brooklyn walls through the lens is much of the same.
I’m not a photographer by any means. So maybe I have this all wrong. The angles and the light aren’t perfect. But the legs crossed over the floor, bodies tangle with cords and new-screens I’ve given up on managing. I don’t have many words as explanation for the kids about these days. But maybe, when the sun shines and the grief of this time is but a wavering blip of the past, we can look back on photos. We’ll see how we spent our days and nights in Brooklyn. How we hung low on the stoop for charted minutes, imagined what everyone on our block was doing at certain hours, found privilege in the comfort of our walls, and even in our sweat and frustration, felt connected to those singing on balconies of countries we’ve never met.
Pick up any camera, buy one if you have the means, and take note of it all.
Tar Beach by Faith Ringold is a must for families right now.
Here’s the kids’ camera
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