When I took this picture I didn't know what it was, exactly, that bothered me so much. It was instinctual, really. There was just something really sad about it. And that's the power of photographing: capturing things that give you a momentary feeling and later dissecting why you felt that way. Peering into the world only to see inside oneself. Perhaps this is one of those glass half full vs. glass half empty instances, and in turn, it proves my perpetual pessimism.
I look at this box and see such sad, used limes. I imagine someone stumbled into the box and knocked the limes out all over the sidewalk. And when the garbage person would then come to pick up the waste, and see this mess, it would most definitely make that person roll their eyes in frustration: not again, they'd submit. And then they would move form location to location, bringing with them the frustration of sad, used, limes.
This image so perfectly illustrates the carelessness I see in this generation. We sadly don't just take what we need, rather, we take what we want, and then leave the rest on the sidewalk. Everything is someone else's problem. Don't get me wrong, I'm just as guilty as the next person. I could have stopped and helped clean up those limes. And maybe someone would have seen me and that would have empowered them to do something similar. Maybe what really bugged me was not just this generation, but the amount of carelessness I find in myself. And now I look back and wish I had cleaned up those limes. I would have then walked to work with disgusting, sticky hands, sure. But maybe the satisfaction of knowing I did something small and good would be rewarding enough. Maybe tomorrow.
It was about 90 degrees in the South of France. Coming from San Francisco, where it's sweater weather all year round, I was definitely out of my element. On this particular day, I went on a walk on my own. It was at the peak of the day, and the sun felt like it was unnecessarily hovering overhead. The place I was staying at was just beyond those houses in the background, and to reach it, one would have to walk around this large area of grass. It was funny to me that this old Mercedes was parked out there in the middle of the grass. It looked so sad there, out in the middle of nowhere. But who knows, maybe I was projecting.
She led the way up the ladder. The roof isn't exactly easy to get to, or even safe, for that matter. In order to get up there you have to climb up a poorly welded ladder. Most people take one look at the rust, and ask, "Are you sure it's safe." But not mom. "Don't worry, Honey, I'm a monkey!"
We sat there, on the roof, and she told about when she was younger she used to climb up into water towers, late at night. She and her friends would dangle their feet off the top, high above the ground. This is the side of her that I love imagining: adventurous and daring. I never really got to see that side of her because she always had to be responsible and set a good example for my sisters and me. But I love thinking about what she was like before she had children. We always joke that we would have been best friends back then, but in retrospect, we pretty much are now. I guess I just wish that I could have been alive during the funnest part of her life.
Before we went back down, she took a moment to look out at the city; her hair and dress lightly blowing around in the wind. It was a beautiful day.
She looked over at me in that way. We were having dinner with some family friends. The hot summer day was finally a temperature we could tolerate. The sun twinkling through delicate leaves just beyond the window. She's eating less now, I've noticed. She always watched what she ate. As children, when she made a mistake, as a punishment we'd tease her that she couldn't have salad for a week, as if salad was her honey pot. but this is different. I know it's a symptom, but every symptom is so quietly apparent, a slithering gas leak slowly moving nearer. One more bite.
Garments created by Dongni Xu for the Arts of Fashion Foundation.