Monday, September 10, 2012

Photo series 1: Julia gets serious

So I mentioned here that I was working on a photo series to share with y'all, and I finally got my act together to do it. It's required a lot of sorting (especially for a series that is comprised of RANDOM posts...), but I'm excited not only to show you some photos that mean a lot to me, but to share a more serious side of myself in this series.

And yes, these photos are all from 2007 or later - that's when I got a digital camera. Maybe someday I'll be pulled together enough to scan my print photos, but part of me enjoys having some private memories that live only in one place in the world - big surprise, I am preoccupied with places in space...

This was the first time I properly lived as an expat, in Prague in 2007. I wanted to start this series with the terra cotta rooftops of the city of a thousand spires.

I also ended up becoming fascinated by street art in Prague, and have continued to "collect" it to this day. It's actually something the Boyf and I have in common, of all things, and when he came to Praha with me in the spring of 2011 we went around photographing all the graffiti we loved.

Alexandria, Egypt, 2010. I was here in January - not exactly the time to visit a resort town. But I remember having long, rambling conversations about life, love, adventure, and amusing ourselves by finding the one bar open in the whole place. Oh yeah, and cigarettes sold on the street corner under the brand of BOSS.

Varanasi, India, 2010. The light is so beautiful here, and in fact, though I know I perused the pirated DVD stalls like a hunter stalking prey, all I really remember of that afternoon is that light. And it makes me wonder just how many afternoons I have completely forgotten, because they had nothing like this light to recommend them to my memory.

Shinto prayers at a temple in Tokyo, 2010. I love this. It reminds me of the Tibetan prayer flags - you put your wishes into the air and let the breeze take them away, to a god's ears.

A globe shop in Barcelona, 2011. I was charmed - who sells globes? Exclusively? But it was the reflection on the window that really got me, as if the universe was sending me one little, tiny, easily missed signal of who I really am. A person superimposed over a planet that she had better get to know.

When I first came to Mayfair in the summer of 2011, I borrowed the flat of a family friend. I remember calling my friend up in Edinburgh and breathlessly realizing, "I'm in fairy-tale London!" I had spent a year living in infested dorms, feeling sad and lonely and trying to make the best of a terrible situation (in large part by reviving this website), and was feeling as though I was finally in a position to enjoy London as a resident instead of as a student. While I still spend a lot of my time in London by myself, this was the first time I didn't really care - because the city itself was my companion. In fact, the streets of London are my ultimate therapist. That lonely year made me learn them shockingly well, and I left the city as a much more tenacious, willful, and centered person than I have ever been.

Stay tuned for Part 2...

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