No matter how important I make up my job is, there is always the number cruncher who reduces it to the cold and lowest terms of dollars and hours and widgets and grubbing and the taste in my mouth is of ashes. And then the other side of that truth is that someone else could do my job. I am not necessarily what is important about “my” job. And, also, I am what is necessarily and wonderfully important about my job. We can hold both of these three truths inside us at the same time. The tension between them keeps them afloat.  (Augusten Burroughs writes about the unending pain of a child dying and the first time one laughs after that and how both those things are true and true and…ok.)
When I am drubbed by the unimportance of my job, I walk out of the hotel in Burlingame and stand with a smoking man and wait for the smoke to cross my path, the acrid smell of it (and also kind of nice, I can’t deny it) swirling in eddies as the stream of wind finds it, and I stand there and the smoke comes past me and I make a photograph. Then I have made something today. There was not this photograph and then I worked with my camera and we agreed on this moment. And I love that and inside me it settles the way a leaf settles in the water, dropping this way and that until it is really settled, in the bottom of me. And I exhale the breath I have been holding all day at my important job.

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3 Responses to Burlingame

  1. Barbara says:

    rich photo, with equally rich writing……

  2. Stephen L. Parkhurst says:

    I really like this.

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