This is my studio for exploring my work. Consider these drafts.

Former selves

I have walked through many lives,
some of them my own,
and I am not who I was,
though some principle of being
abides, from which I struggle
not to stray.
— Stanley Kunitz, "The Layers"


I think I first read this poem when I was 18 or 19 years old (I only quoted the first stanza, but let's stay focused here for a moment). That time and that self is only vaguely recognizable now.

I took these photos over five years ago and that photographer feels like a distant self.  And I think the self she is now can remember the shirt grazing her thighs, and the heels she would wear to boost her lips closer to her lover's (I've never forgotten them), the taste of whiskey in the glass, and the sensation of seeing herself watching herself. But the self she was then is a language rarely spoken. 

But it can all intersect at such an unexpected moment and you see how close you are to that past self. You see that you are very much the same as then in some essential way. And that is comforting.

I still look at her and feel the need to photograph her. 

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by Balthazar Simões