A few years ago, I discovered a new passion. We had been traveling a lot, and while I was capturing the sights and sounds with my phone camera, it left me more distant from the memories. Like they were trapped in the device, instead of taking me back to the moments.
During this time, a friend had offered to take some photos of us for an upcoming release. She had just received a camera from her grandfather's estate that had been repaired and she was eager to test it out. She knew we would be up for it (as she knew our love for all things 60s/70s retro and analog).
After the film came back - we were in awe. It was considered a toy camera in its day, but yet it held some cosmic magic in its simplicity. It shouldn't work well - but what it did do was make each moment jump off the page and tell a deeper story than even the true moment itself.
After this experience, I discovered these toy cameras, called Holgas, were being reproduced, and very cheaply. I found one easily online with all the extras and proper film rolls. I studied up on all the best youtube channels. And set about to see the world through this new lens (sorry that pun was just too good to pass up!).
I've now developed roll upon roll - color and black & white - in the past few years. Anytime we travel, or even explore the city we live in - I bring it along (mostly on sunny days, as the colors it captures just blow me away).
I am always beaming with pride when the rolls come back and there has been some double exposure or light leak magic that made a moment I forgot I captured come back into richer focus.
I am always torn between posting all of the photos immediately, and usually end up cherishing them in private until I can't bare to keep them to myself any longer.
All of this to say - my recent developments after almost a year of forgetting I had so many rolls piled up - pleased me beyond measure. Mostly because we had traveled so much and there were wonderful memories to explore.
The photo in this post is one that I took in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Each bench has a placard with the donor's name and usually a quote. But this one was too remarkable not to capture on this magic film. And I am so glad I did. It seemed silly at the time. Why not just use my phone and post to insta stories? Something in me said, you are going to want to make this one permanent.
Life is music. Life without music wouldn't exist. Our universe was literally propelled into existence by sound. I hear music in the distant sirens, mixed with strollers clacking on the sidewalk, and children's voices criss crossing the alleys everyday. I feel it in my skin. I write songs in my dreams. Life is unknowable to me without music - and most of the time, unbearable.
Walking past this bench - I felt seen, and known, in a busy, crowded, overheating world that is always telling me to get in line and get my head out of the clouds.
Whoever A.Z. is - perhaps a euphemism for existence itself - they have reminded this passerby to listen even harder and dream even bigger.
Life without music would be a mistake. -A.Z.