Oh, I spoke too soon last night. Considering the lilies of the field, the trees of the village, the things that leaf and bloom, and how they grow--tonight, such considering requires that I consider early, unwarranted death. The magnolia blooms that had popped earlier this week were wilting and rotting this morning; the daffodils have collapsed under the snow that still covered the ground when I woke up and that flew in the whipped wind all day; the hyacinths are toppling. Tonight, I start to be afraid of what will happen if the temperature goes too low, if we bottom out under 20˚ the way the weather forecast suggests we might.
How much worse would it have been, then, had my developing this afternoon actually gone as badly as it seemed ready to, at one point. Purple streaks on developed film: today I learned that this means that the film hasn't been fixed properly. I also learned that it's possible to go back to the fix step and do the second half of the film processing again. But as I watched 72 images of my Lexingtonian friend--her belly, her hands, her profile, her smile--floating in the fix and didn't see the purple streaks going away, I started to worry. "I hate to ask it," I said to my lovely photography professor, "but what if this doesn't work?" "I was just starting to think that myself," she said. "Then, I think we'll go to plan B, which I'll make up in about a minute." Fortunately, we didn't need a backup plan.
And fortunately, I took the time to take pictures of the first magnolia blooms before the freeze blew in. I am meditating the text that will go with the next photo project. These days, I'm thinking so much about what happens when development doesn't go as we hope it will; I might as well use these pictures to play that thinking out in semi-public.
Today, I didn't really have the heart to step out into the cold with the camera and shoot the things that are dying in the cold. Tonight, I'll just let you imagine them.