every, every minute

Two things of note occurred today.

1) A gaggle of 8th grade girls* stopped in their tracks, stared me square in the eye, and then checked out my entire outfit. I’ve never felt more simultaneously cool, self-conscious (I did button my shirt, right?!), and 14 years old.

*I work at a middle school. That should make this less weird.

2) My friend Harish passed along this incredible video:

If you have the time, take a second (well, many seconds) to watch it.

In any case, aside from distracting me from an ever-so-thrilling bout of scanning, this video struck a chord with me. The basic gist of it is this: a 30 year old photographer took one picture each day for a year, and compiled it into a 1-second-per-photo video. Many people have attempted this, but his take on it was hauntingly profound. In large part, he shares a fear I’ve long suffered from — the fear of forgetting. In an attempt to counteract this, he photographed the banalities of day to day life, and created the narrative of a life that increasingly was becoming less linear. For those of us who’ve grown into ourselves amidst social media, the lack of a reflective understanding of our lives is deeply relatable.

Having gone through years of gradually losing someone, I’ve always longed for a narrative to flatten the complexities and forge some sense to it all. But more urgently, I longed to never forget. And in those moments of heightened reality, photographing the banal came easily. Watching a Giants game together, going to the grocery store, sitting in our favorite coffee shop. My mom and I photographed those moments endlessly because the narrative already existed — this was time dwindling, turning inward, i love you’s, goodbyes, and what’s for dinners.

It’s the moments now, when time has suddenly regained its “how is it already may” pacing, that I find difficult to capture. Perhaps because the plight of the twenty-something is the plight of the ever-waiting. We say things like “I’m just figuring out what I’m going to do with my life”, not realizing that this IS our life. In some ways, I feel like I’m aging backwards — afters years when self defense meant living singularly in the present, I’m finding myself continually living in the seemingly more glamorous future. And you can’t really photograph a future.

In any case, living in the present — trite as it may seem — is at the heart of the daily photo project. And as my life has slowly slid back to normalcy, its a philosophy I’ve found harder to stick to.

So, ironically, it’s a favorite quote of my dad’s that I constantly turn to in moments like these, and one I think many people my age should keep in mind: “Do any human beings realize life while they live it — every, every minute?”. It comes in the final act of Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town”, a painfully boring play we’re submitted to in 8th grade. But the point, and my dad’s favorite part, is that it’s boring for a reason. It’s boring because it’s life. And though boredom is largely associated with the DMV and 11 hour flights, it’s something we need to practice, celebrate, and document.

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3 thoughts on “every, every minute”

  1. “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans…” -John Lennon.

    Poignant post, Casey. Nice to see you switch platforms, and looking forward to more. Keep ’em coming sister.

  2. Great blog post and thank you for sharing the video! I’m a big fan of photo-a-day projects. SO glad to see you reemerge from a long blogging hiatus.

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