>i felt it.

two hours this morning (waking up at 8, like usual these days) was spent developing black and white film, a necessary evil to commence the procedural process of printing photographs, the application of my thoughts pressed deliberately and carefully onto paper. the whole photographic medium is surreal… people i know, things i see, elements i taste on every breath appear in fragements, like moments lost that can be reclaimed and savored once again. to relish… a still moment, silent, a visual yet visceral image that stares back with thrice the intensity that you throw it. the imaginary becomes real, in this intermediate space between your mind and your oily hands.

you continue staring.

every week i walk in to the darkroom, with hands numbed from the cold, cast my bags hastily on the black tabletop, and prepare myself for the little dark cell. i carry only myself, a can opener, scissors (with shiny red handles that match the bright red grease pencils and coordinate with my red sneakers, but only i notice the coincidence) and four tiny cylindrical packages that contain more time and space than my own reality can handle. reeling film, the first step in developing, is like no other experience you’ll ever have. in pitch ebon, with only the floor beneath you and the four encroaching walls as absolute truths, you are expected to pry the film from the rolls, reel them onto these cold wiry contraptions, place them into an aluminum canister, and finally seal the light-proof container. even with eyes wide open, all you can see is a swallowing blackness that throws doubt on the fact that your body even exists. my fingers prove invisible, the table vanishes, and all that’s left is the whir of the cool pipes and my own intermittent breaths. in this little room, time stops. blankness envelopes the moment, and you cannot even think, suffocated by this numbing emptiness. as you reel the film, which is akin to threading needles with your eyes closed, you think of nothing except how the wires are smooth to the touch, and how slippery the film is, and the faint squeaking that comes when you tug on the end of the spool. you don’t think about the weather, nor what lunch has in store, or your fantasy of choice. for ten minutes, your thoughts are replaced by emptiness and your sight by darkness as your fingers fumble for the right items at the right places. this fumbling in the darkness, fumbling for ecstasy, fumbling for art, fumbling for truth.

the lid is secured. you go out into the light, and those ten minutes have disappeared. your brain readjusts to visual stimuli, but those dark moments will forever be imprinted in your mind as this nothingness. a continual, blank, clumsy nothingness.

despite the fact that today i have been out, talked to friends, been here and there, ate honeydew, and jingled keys, it’s like i’m still in the darkness. i cannot think, but only feel the tangible. stains in the wood and leaves on the ground. the glow of artificial lights and the touch of nepalese wool. everything on the outside, and an irreplaceable blankness on the inside.

these times are tentative, vulnerable. i was discussing with a friend tonight on how strange the paradox lies… at this moment, so much is expected of us, yet this is precisely the time when we are most insecure about our futures. a turning moment, of revolution, of self-realization, of downfall, of sublimination.

my muse has flown.

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