Some days maybe it's better just to listen to your gut and stay home. I took today off and dropped Swee'pea off at daycare with the intention of taking my camera to the drop in centre. But once I dropped him off, I had cold feet. For one reason and another I haven't been to the centre in a few weeks, and I started to feel scared and self-conscious about just showing up with my camera. But since this was what I'd taken the day off to do, I made myself go. I figured I was just being silly, and once I got there I'd be fine.
On the way out my door, I had sudden misgivings. I have a brand-new winter coat. How can I go there in my brand-new winter coat? What if someone asks where or how I got it? I can't possibly admit it cost nearly $300. But it's my coat, so I wore it.
Sure enough, the first person to greet me comments first on my hair -- for once it is down and really long and big. Next he asks me about my coat - is it really made of titanium? I look to where he's pointing, and see the word on the sleeve. God, I'm such an ass where this stupid coat. I chuckle, "No, I think it's just the brand."
I end up having some really nice conversations, mostly with people I've photographed before. I ask them for more pictures, because the overcast light is soft and the sky is reflected in their eyes, but they all refuse. As I left, memory card blank, I wondered if maybe I should just quit this project. Maybe it's just not the right project for me.
So I go to the used bookstore, which had a gigantic red SALE sign on its wall yesterday. I'll feel better if I just buy more books, if I can just learn enough to feel comfortable. I pick out two books, The Writing Life, by Annie Dillard and Inventing the Truth: The Art and Craft of Memoir, edited by William Zinsser, whose On Writing Well I already own. I rant internally about the price of even used paperbacks on my way to the cash register. Once there, the sales dude tells me they're on sale: one is 25% off and the other is 50% off. Oh, right. The whole sale thing that brought me in in the first place. I was too busy doubting myself and feeling stupid to remember.
So I go back to the shelves. May as well take advantage. And I pick up three more titles: Homesick by Jenny Lauren, another memoir of eating disorders (I haven't yet blogged about the anthology I read a few weeks back on the same topic), Another Bullshit Night in Suck City by Nick Flynn, a memoir by a man who met his father while working in a homeless shelter, and Eudora Welty Photographs.
So a slight change in plans. Rather than spend the day on photography, I'll spend the rest of it reading. I still have to finish Gabor Maté's In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts.
Weekend Reading: The Trying to Rally Edition
2 days ago