My body defends New York like a younger sibling. It remembers the last few months, and it celebrates with great joy, where we are now. The talk of phases have eased out in my home as we enjoy what we have, and wait for what we don’t.
Early on in the pandemic, I took out my camera to snap digitial photos of River and Oak. I felt that documenting as it stood was imperative for them and me. There’s a folder full, and their ipads are home to carousels of their very own. But still, I managed to forget about the film camera I brought with me to Miami, Florida, our vacation two weeks before the city shut down and life as we knew changed along with it.
In the photos, you can see the contrast. There’s the blue sea the kids swam in, the sand looped around Oak’s ankles, and the adventure of simply taking a photo of myself brushing my teeth during a late evening in a hotel room. Weeks later, when I found my camera again, it was for an adventure. A morning of coffee and scones on forgotten benches in our forgotten city.
There were tears that started to usher their way out, struck with the stamp of time. But most of all, there was a sense of serenity too. The cereal in the morning, the endless long dances around our streets—our home, and the way R and O relied so much on one another, their bodies weaving closer with each frame.
These days, as we emerge from a cocoon of sorts, unaware of what lies ahead, my camera remains tangled with my body. Their simple late afternoons of bouncing a ball in the inflatable pool and short boat rides to re-discover the city, hold still for the film. I am not a photographer, but the freedom and the connection to this changing landscape called life is of comfort these days.