I can be stuck at home for days at a time.
It’s not that I want to be, but rather a combination of being a stay-at-home mom and having no license due to epilepsy. Then, when my husband comes home, we are both usually too worn out to get out and do anything.
Needless to say, I can develop quite the case of cabin fever, which is usually treated with quick trips to the grocery store, and weekend daycations to nearby hiking grounds and/or the mall.
But on top of this, I also begin to take my home for granted. And I think we all do this, not just those of us who are stuck at home, but also those who work outside of the home. We stop seeing our house as we did when we first bought it, fresh and new and empty, and instead begin to eye it as an inevitability. Our day-to-day lives become so routine that we often overlook the tiny fingerprints on the window, the pictures on the wall, the blue stain on the rug your daughter made when she spilled her nail polish.
Recently, a fellow photographer named Monika began to post images from a series she called the Housebound Project. The beautiful black and white images, taken with a pinhole camera–A Reality So Subtle 6X6–showed the subtle changes of light throughout her home. Each photo is almost a metaphor for the life she’s lived in this home, dozens of memories all caught within one motionless frame.
And soon enough, I began to notice the light in my own house. Those same patterns as the sunlight slipped through blinds in the early morning hours, or as the trees drew shapes on the closed drapes in the living room.
But not only this. I also began to see the flaws. Flaws I had to capture with my rolleiflex.
When I began to scan them, I saw they were foggier than normal, grittier and grainier. They looked almost as if they’d been taken a hundred years ago. Bad fixer seems to be the cause, but it was a happy accident. Because it gave the photos a timeless appeal. They show how I felt, at that moment, that my house was only a second in time.
One day, it will be gone. One day, I will be gone.
And these memories, these muddy pawprints and fingerprinted windows, will be in the past forever.
My husband and I bought our little condo in 2009 after looking off and on for nearly a year. We were picky, and because of that we have yet to fall out of love with it. I wish I could pick it up and take it with us wherever we go in life.
And a lot has happened in nine years. We’ve had pets, we’ve lost pets, we’ve had crazy dreams that have lived and died.
We had Goo, painted her room a color called “Marshmallow” and put in wood floors. This condo, once barely lived-in and empty, is now covered from top to bottom with our messy and awesome lives.
If there’s anything I’ve taken from this roll of FP4, it’s that inspiration can come in the most unlikely of places. Sometimes the “perfect light” is just down the hall.
And, of course, if I ever begin to feel stuck in the routine again, I know now that all I have to do is simply pick up my Rolleiflex and start shooting.