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“Photography has two antithetical ideals: in the first, #photography is about the world and the photographer is a mere observer who counts for little; but in the second, photography is the instrument of intrepid, questing subjectivity and the photographer is all.” (Susan Sontag)

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“You can grieve for what you are grateful.”

I was out of town when @jacquelineviola’s last installment of the (inconceivable and unbelievably absurd) times landed in my mailbox, so when I opened the carefully wrapped package this morning, I was more than a little surprised to see a sentence that so directly spoke to my mood while away.

Wistful, but like I’m mourning over the good things. Like I’m much too charmed to contain it all in one body. Like I’ve got one foot planted across the border of feeling like I really really belong, with the other foot still firmly in the loss of moving on.

These are some of the ways that I’ve tried to express how I’ve felt. “Grieving for what I’m grateful,” though, says it best.

How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?

If I do not remember you, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth.

Happy shall he be that taketh and dasheth these little things against the rocks.

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Do you remember how, 47 posts ago, a change in tone became palpable? I had found myself finding my self wearing out a welcome, so I stepped outside and I went for a walk.

This may look abrupt, but is, in actuality, nothing new. These excursuses reflect an inconjunction of the with-in & the with-out that I’ve parametricized before, as the angle of separation between “poiesis” & “exstasis.”

That’s my ad hoc categorization of all my “work”—ad hoc, because it follows no strict rubric nor adds anything to the conversation, necessarily, let alone sheds much light on my intent or meaning. But it does help me think.

These two coordinates help me map out the distance between the you and the me, that perennial specter of mind-mismatch dogging all communication theory for centuries, if not millennia.

And while I’m bad at following maps and have an even worse sense of direction, one thing I’m good at is sticking to the road; just seeing where it goes, ‘til the very end.

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