Thursday morning, hi. I am in a mussed bed with Bon Iver in the longest hotel room in the history of hotel rooms. Coffee was sipped an hour ago and after feigning interest and struggling through the Dryden Chronicle (terrible journalism, worse than that of the Cadrillion), I crept back to my room home to not one, but two terrible wallpaper patterns that cling to the walls with desperation behind the gaudy wingback chairs and the strange selection of lamps, to write. We are treating ourselves by staying in this place called the Riverview Lodge on the edge of town (where the only view is that of the looming and quite disgusting mill) in Dryden, Ontario now that Spray has finally ended and we are out of the bush and fliffing cash into the wind like careless teens.
I had a bath last night.
A bath. It has been months since I have had the pleasure of a hot bath (and Lord knows how I love the bath). Sounds of killing and bloody murder came from around the corner where Call of Duty was being played passionately on PS3 in the longest living room in the world, but I happily blocked out the calls of death and sunk deeper into the water until my ears were filled and then my eyes were under and I was gone, away, lost in the silence of the scalding bath water.
Yesterday morning I woke up to orange light pouring into the trailer back at the Nursery in Dryden and marveled at the fact that it was nine and I was still horizontal in bed and not dragging my body over forever long logs and taking branches to the cheekbones and poison to the eyes and getting hung up in the middle of a ten foot thorn bush loaded with daggers under the stifling weight of the pack. FML Spray. I am happy it is over. But, with that said I will miss desperately the quiet of the land and the way the earth would send up pockets of hot air like deep breaths on warm days depending where one steps. I will miss eating Roundup berries and the smells of pink sphagnum in the swamp (swamps smell amazing sometimes), and I will miss catching Konan's eye whenever we would witness something amazing at the same time and I will really miss Birdman's insane sense of humor and Lindsay's Spray Olympic running commentary. Poison makes people crazy. I would have these moments of sheer insanity while working some days and other days I would be completely thoughtless and long faced while the four of us: Birdman, Lindsay, Konan and myself would sweep in the land in a four person swath.
I saw some amazing land, some grandparent trees as old as the hills, but the best part was feeling my eyes come back to me, my sight weaving back into my system through my hands holding my camera after a long time apart. I have not been seeing for a long time. I was blind, but now I see. To feel these eyes begin to look at things in a way that I have not recognized beauty in a long while was quite something. I shot rolls and rolls of faces, of people I fell in love with sitting beside me in these giant, outlandish work vehicles, in the reflection of mirrors, of trees shutting down and turning color (everyday a little more yellow, orange, coral, red red red) before my very eyes, of fires at night, of the land that I feel the most myself on in heavy boots [in the literal sense due to steel toes], of one impressive fish fry, of Brad's face so close to my lens (what a beauty of a man), of Birdman standing on top of the cab of the truck looking at the land in a way I have never seen anyone look at land before. I shot and I shot and I shot and I shot. My Call of Duty, my camera, my weapon, myself, my land, my friends, my twenty third summer. Point, focus, click, shoot. The spray contract, as shitty as it was, was brilliant. I fell in love with photography again and now I know this is what I need to do, always.