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Saving Daylight

Last summer, I participated in a 100 days project that resulted in me making hundreds of color photographs, all of which I had developed and printed (as 3x5s) at a local lab.  My main motivation for this work came from my own emotions as a mother, since to me time will always pass too quickly. . . . . and here it is a year later (already!).  For the occasion of my daughter's 9th birthday, on the grand day of July 4th, I decided I would finally publish some of the writing I jotted down in my journal at the time, as well as a larger collection of the photographs than I have shared before.  

As with any project, Saving Daylight grew and changed organically.  I broke down the end result into three categories:  the personal photos, the straight street photos, and the summer photos.  Out of those, I put together an Official Collection, which was framed and exhibited, although for the most part I found that it was lost and mostly overlooked in the vast array of all the other 100 days projects.  That (huge) photo collage now hangs on the wall at my house. What I am sharing here is my favorites from among the personal photos; I apologize for the dust; there are only so many hours in the day and removing all the specks from the scanned prints just wasn't in the cards. . . . 

Saving daylight, chasing down the sun.  Preserving memories, like the sweet berries of summer, into photographs.  The camera is our jar for little points of light, amalgamated together with color couplers, chemical processes, temperature, and time.  We reach for the sky, pull it into the lens, and save it forever:  precious days, precious light, love and moments shared from different angles.  Joy enters a little black box, and emerges again brightly.  How we see, how we show it -- we lived it, and loved it, like this, and together.  

Things are changing.  I can feel it in small moments.  Little by little, day by day, she is letting go of my hand and walking away.  It is both wonderful and terrible to watch.  It is a small change, but a big change.  The physical learning to walk at age 1 was exciting, but this imperceptible, slow parting is a pain in my heart - a pain, of course, tinged with joy at her little declaration of independence.  Growing up is, after all, the whole point.  A brave, healthy, strong woman is my overall goal.  

In many ways we are alike, but in so many ways more we are different.  I am proud of her for these differences.  For forging ahead and being her own unique individual self, separate from me.  For not conforming or seeking overly to please me.  The world doesn't need a carbon copy of me; it needs a real version of her.

Where will she go?  Who will she be?  What will she do?  Anywhere, everywhere, herself, anything that makes her happy and brings her joy.  The rest is just details.  And my hand will always be waiting, at the ready, just in case.  

All photographs various color films, with Nikon FM2 and Nikonos cameras.