Downpour cordiality.

Sometimes spam messages hit some proverbial nail right on the head, even if they are both dumb and unsolicited. For example: tonight's title comes from the subject line of an idiotic e-mail, but as a phrase it's strangely fetching.

It's been a questionable day here. The weather was so heartbreakingly beautiful, though still so, so cold, and I used the excellent light as best I could when I ventured into taking pictures of people, which is more difficult for me than I'd like it to be. My father likes to say that the reason my brother's photographs of people are so striking is that he relates so well to people, and when he photographs them, they're responding to the man behind the camera, not to the camera itself. Somehow, I fear that my difficulties with taking pictures of people are symptomatic of some more grave difficulties with dealing with people themselves. But I did my best with three subjects who were perfectly amiable about being moved about, in and out of sun and shadow, and being asked to do strange things for my art, while I fretted self-consciously the whole time. I'm afraid that I'm still not blurring motion in any of my images. Years of taking a particular kind of picture, I suppose. I suspect that my extra age means that I have more visual habits to unlearn than do my classmates. On the other hand, I probably have a more developed visual personality than a lot of them. Everything is a tradeoff.

Today's biggest tradeoff: going to our annual faculty and senior class February party, where I had to shout a lot in order to converse with my lovely former students while crazy loud music blared. Thus: the fun. But the moment my excellent friends and I left and I began speaking in my normal voice again, I realized how much damage I may have done to my throat, which was already on the way down with some kind of cold. Not as fun. I look forward to being everyone's favorite darkroom companion tomorrow.

At midday, I looked out an upstairs window and realized that across the sky lay a cloud like a feather, like a fishbone. "Like a feather! Like a fishbone!" I said to myself again and again, running to get my shoes on and to get the camera out. "Like a feather!" While I shot, an airplane streaked right across it. If you look carefully, you may be able to see the plane in this picture. It was so high. Someone I love but don't know yet is perhaps on a plane that high off the ground, some ground, somewhere, at this very moment.

It was that kind of day.