BEFORE WE WERE STRANGERS

We had a fight in the car as it wound on the back roads through the mountains. You yelled, and I turned away to look out of the window sullenly as the trees flicked past and blurred into one another. We pulled into a dirt lot bristling from the exchange. Took turns apologizing despite how sorry we actually were. Neither of us slammed the door. Neither spoke either. Side by side we walked up the trail, silently but not uncomfortably.

By the end of the hike we were laughing and holding hands once more. The earlier disagreement forgotten. We took silly photos and picked wildflowers to take put in a vase on our kitchen table. On the ride back I drifted off as I happily gazed at the same trees as before. I remember thinking in the fringes right before sleep that I could gladly spend forever next to you.

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SMOTHER

When I was a little girl she took me aside and told me that no one would ever love me. She said I would crush all of those that I knew. She said it was a flaw to be kind when it was to the point that you suffocated those who were subjected to the kindness. It was obvious that my affection should be more delicate. When someone picks up a leaf they must grasp it tightly enough that it does not fly away with the wind. But they also must hold it loosely enough that it is not crumbled in their clenched fist.

To this day she has proven to be correct over and over. I give too much of myself. I love too fiercely. And so when I open my hand there are just pieces.

I am sorry if I smothered you.

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GOOD THINGS TO COME

I always talk about running away. I always want to escape. Talk about the greener pastures, the places to see. I still want all of that too, I am sure. But finally I have a way out and I have reasons to stay. You need to realize, I guess that it is the people in our lives who are the best thing to see.

Hold them close while you have them.

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HOMEWARD

He said "Nostalgia is a dirty liar that insists that things were better than they seemed."

And he was right.

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I WAS IN LOVE WITH THE PLACE

Briefly, I journeyed back home. A place I had been so desperate to leave all of those years ago. I had felt trapped and bored. There was nothing for me there. I felt like Alice when she ate that piece of cake. Too big for the place. A leg up the chimney and an arm out the door. 

But when I returned it was pleasant and familiar. Everything seemed soft and warm. It seemed such a shame to leave.

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To Run Away

Get up as early as you can. Travel as far away. See as much as you possibly can manage. Do not go to bed without trying to view the stars. See the world before it gets dark.

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YOU WILL NEVER SEE THEM AGAIN

Take photos of everyone in your life. Do it as often as you can. Every day even. Capture the funny way they close their eyes when they smile and how they shake their head when they make jokes. Take photos. Take videos too. Record happy little conversations about nothing. You will want to look at these memories later. No many how many you take you will always kick yourself for not having enough. One day these easy moments will be gone and so will the people you shared them with. 

Over time the details fade. You can only remember the feelings you shared with the old friends. The way their voice sounds gets muddled and lost. It hurts to lose this. Do everything you can so that you do not.

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L I G H T S

I do not usually photograph bright colors. Usually I tend more towards muted palates. For this post I wanted to compile three bright photos together. Each is taken months apart. But they are similar because each one seems to glow. None of them really fit into any specific series or vein of work I am doing, but I think the three together emote a very interesting energy. I thought I would share.

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A CONCEPT

Sometimes you find yourself in a jam. Sometimes not everything pans out quite like it should. So here we have some 4x5 color film. I had several boxes of this film. This was the only exposure I really liked. That being said, I quite like it.

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A PORTRAIT

Do you ever think months or years later how much someone meant to you? You look at old photos and think about old conversations and just run through the memories over and over until even the happy thoughts make you sad.

 Conrad Valone  2017

Conrad Valone

2017