Save These

These Burning Man polaroids from 2002 made me smile, I look so carefree and cool. I’m glad someone took them because coolness is as elusive as a breeze on a summer night. Lovely but so fleeting. No sooner do you notice it then it’s gone.

The Story Behind the Photos

Imagine what you want is just outside the thickness of a camping tent wall. You are laying on top of a nylon sleeping bag that’s cozy in the cold but sticky in a greenhouse, which is your tent in the noonday sun, especially if you have a fever which you do. Everyone you know is outside having the most amazing fun that can be had, a fun so rare you can only get it right now, in this exact moment and location, but you are imprisoned by ill-timed ill health. The amount of pity you are wallowing in can be seen from outer space.

That was me a day before this photo. I think it was the flu. A fast acting one that cleared up as quickly as it came. I was only out of commission for a few days and still had enough time to have a blast. So grateful! It’s crazy how much one’s perception can shift in 24 hours depending on outer circumstances and the inner narrative response.

The Story Behind Finding the Photos

I found these while cleaning out an old storage cabinet. That’s number one on my list of things to accomplish this year, look at everything in the cabinet and eliminate two thirds of it to create space for Sidewalk Face Prints and mailing supplies. Does it seem like a no brainer? One cabinet, one year? It’s not. I think it’s more likely someone will crown me queen of England than I will be able to claim I have solved the riddle of too many physical artifacts from the past. But I am going to try and slay the dragon.

At least one outcome is seeing myself looking cool from a long ass time ago. That’s how the dragon gets you, you wouldn’t want to through away any spare coolness laying around. My first impulse was to appreciate my youth but as I remembered the actual events, I realize the real joy is in acceptance. Everything is coming and going and coming and going again. So, if it’s good right now, definitely take time to feel it. If it’s bad right now, it won’t last, don’t mistake it for reality. Be a good friend to yourself, tell yourself you’ve handled worse and you got this. In a few days you might even get a cool photo out of it.

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