My betta died over the weekend. After my trip to Hong Kong, for which I left him a slow-release food tablet, he was never the same. The tablet was barely eaten, and turned his water a very muddy colour and opacity. In the weeks since my return he stayed hidden in his little shrub at the bottom of the bowl.
I named him Connor, after the main character in the Highlander series, because he was very much a fighting fish, and “there can be only one” betta in a bowl at a time.
Bronwen reminded me that the characters in the Highlander series are immortals, who resurrect after some time. And Connor MacLeod, being the immortal and his namesake, should come back to life shortly thereafter.
So now, in the back of my head somewhere, I expect to see Connor reincarnated and swimming happily in the nearest body of water. Since I cleaned out his BiOrb, leaving in it only aquarium rocks, that would be my Brita water jug. Good thing I don’t keep it in the fridge.
I found this old video of a bunch of us cooking burgers on the old Coleman while camping in 2004. Back before Trolley or Tyler were married (or even engaged). I love the way Adam, as the only gay member of our crew, puts a t‑shirt on his head and sidles up to Tyler to join in the merriment. Every time I watch this clip, I laugh at this exact point, in the exact same way.
I haven’t been camping in too long. Even though I’m a city slicker, I love to get out and away about once a year. Waking up in the cold, fresh air; talking around a campfire; forgoing the luxury of showers and the internet; these are the things that bring you back to your humanity. And often it’s as much about the people as the event, because there are barely any opportunities for us to get together. I miss those guys just as much.
Taking portraits of families is a lot harder than I expected. It’s not so much the amount of light and large depth-of-field required (although that does play a part), but the fact that there are so many things going on at once. Getting everyone to co-ordinate what they’re doing becomes exponentially difficult with every extra person. And if only one person blinks, the photo is ruined.
One of the biggest assets a photographer can have is a sense of humour. If you can make your model laugh, you lower their apprehensiveness, which brings down their guard and provides you with much more natural expressions. Not to mention the fact that it’s a pleasure to see someone smiling or laughing.
Remember this one, or even this one?
I wrote those entries four years ago. Amazing how much they apply to the situation I’m in now. Except this time, I’m stronger because I know that I survived this once already. It’s sad that at the end, all my efforts turned into an attempt at making sure I wouldn’t regret anything by giving more of myself than I should have. Because when all that you’ve given makes no difference, and you have nothing left, you know for sure that there’s nothing else you can do. You can always say that you took the chance, and it doesn’t matter if you get hurt in the end, because often you can’t separate the two.
That’s the price you pay to look back without any regrets. That’s the price of moving on.
And I always pay it gladly.