“I didn't realize. All that was going on in life and we never noticed… Good-bye, Good-bye, world. Good-bye, Grover's Corners… Good-bye to clocks ticking and Mama's sunflowers... And new-ironed dresses and hot baths. And sleeping and waking up. Oh, earth, you're too wonderful for anybody to realize you. Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it? - Every, every minute?”
-Thornton Wilder, “Our Town”
I’ve wanted to see the play “Our Town” since I was 14 years old. I remember being moved to tears as I first watched Emily Webb’s goodbye monologue so candidly performed by “Rayanne” on “My So Called Life” (circa 1995).
I could never get her tone and those words out of my head. Even 15 years later, while preparing for our recent move away from Los Angeles, I would hear myself silently ramble my own version. “Goodbye, California. Goodbye to palm trees and Runyon Canyon. Goodbye to eternal summer and flip flops in January. Goodbye, mountains. Goodbye to Bhakti Yoga and gelato on Sunset. Goodbye to our coffee shop up on the hill. Goodbye, my friends…“ Heart-wrenching, it was, to leave that life.
Sometimes I wish that I wasn’t so emotional and sentimental, but then I realize that we are the way we are for a reason. Maybe that’s why I am a photographer. I can’t help but become overwhelmed with the little things.
We arrived to our new life in Michigan one month ago today. My tears over what I was leaving behind were washed away once I realized our new life’s surroundings. We were met with the sight of leaves turning the vibrant colors of fire. We have new cities to explore and new beaches to discover. For the first time in 10 years, I’m not surrounded by buildings and millions of people... and I feel so much more relaxed. Nights are finally quiet enough to sleep undisturbed. There is a clear view of the sky out my windows and I can see the stars at night! (Sometimes you just know when you are on the right track. And I finally saw “Our Town” this past weekend, performed in our new town.) :)
As I’m sitting here at my computer, across the country from where I was a month ago, I can’t help but reflect on the whirlwind that is life. For my clients friends, near and far, I can only hope that the photographs we make together might act as daily reminders to be present and to fully realize this beautiful life you are living… every, every minute!