Archive for March, 2010


Day-Old Doughnuts © Jim Korpi

We hope our smiles will last until the day we’re placed in a coffin. I hear talks of hip and knee replacements more than oil changes. Our bodies, as the objects around us, have become subjects of our endless battle against the increase in entropy.
The loss of control to the natural order of things, even if this order is a guiding principle behind everything in the universe, hasn’t yet sunk into our psyche.


Downtime at Diner © Jim Korpi

“Claudia said, ‘But Mrs. Frankweiler, you should want to learn one new thing every day. We did even at the museum.’
‘No,’ I answered. ‘I don’t agree with that. I think you should learn, of course, and some days you must learn a great deal. But you should also have days when you allow what is already in you to swell up inside of you until it touches everything. And you can feel it inside you. If you never take time out to let that happen, then you just accumulate facts and they begin to rattle around inside of you. You can make noise with them, but you never really feel anything with them. It’s hollow.”
The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg

A friend, Beth Klaus, relayed this quote when I mentioned the anxiety of feeling like one should always be photographing. Beth said for her photography is a way to escape the “sameness of life,” but that downtime is just as important.

The insightful Mrs. Frankweiler, in the above book, helps Claudia understand that one can not always run away from the sameness and that there is a great importance in dealing with the necessities of everyday living.

Generations are watching

Dad’s new binoculars © Jim Korpi

“It takes three generations to make a musician,” cellist Yo-Yo Ma’s father Ma Xiao-Jun would say. “The first to leave poverty, the second to go to school, and the third to master an instrument.”

Pressure from relatives to succeed in life is often subconscious, but it exists. Why should it not?

My grandfather owned a farm now turned subdivision. Another grandfather went from running a service station to owning a farm in New Hampshire that eventually went bankrupt. The third worked in the mills after fighting in World War II.

Yesterday I presented my master’s project to a committee of professors in order to defend the year of work I’ve spent on it. I passed. I will soon have a Master’s degree in photography.

Whether I will ever become a “master” of photography is questionable, but I’m now keenly aware of those from the past who have carried me on their tired shoulders and allowed me the opportunity and time to pursuit my dreams.

It may also take three generations to make a photographer.