Discover more from Jim Kroft
Frames of August
Stories from a Little Ricoh
Isn't it funny, how our willingness to be 'in time' can lead us to panic about the time we have?
I mused about this while perched on the Citadel of Pamplona, watching a storm unfold.
While doing so I snapped the picture above with my little Ricoh GR IIIx. For a moment I marvelled at time, and then the storm, and then the compact technology in my pocket.
I thought about writing my newsletter as a love letter to the camera but realised there could be no love letter without the images it captures.
August was already rushing by and I’d already travelled thousands of miles in pursuit of the things which mean most to me.
And now, once again, they have evanesced into my rearview mirror. Some lives are for forever moving on, and others for forming great roots in the ground.
But that’s the thing, isn’t it?
We can never possess what we love, just let it pass through us.
It’s like writing a song.
Something opens up, chimes with the universe, and then arrives.
But you only capture it for an instant. There is never any possession. Instead, you’re just a portal for its onward journey.
So love fills you, even as you are letting go.
But it’s not an emptying like the heaviness of a hollow. Rather a space filling with the lightness of gratitude.
In that space, the love you have - but which isn’t there - is perhaps never more fully fathomed.
"Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself. Love possesses not nor would it be possessed; For love is sufficient unto love."
And so love is embellished by absence; like how a photo needs its negative.
Are we ever complete without our opposite?
I watched the storm draw nearer and trundled on, my steps a little misshapen because earlier Martin had embellished my map reading with a few local specialities.
Filling up and letting go. Maybe that is just the way of August. For things to be at their Apex, but on the cusp of their Nadir.
Full flush, radiant rush - allowing things to stop while preparing for them to go again…
“Take a picture of me with the good Sénior, he is issuing life advice but it is his smile I wish never to forget!”
Thanks for the memories, Martin.
And then the sky flashes and the rains come down. I find the last taxi in Pamplona and make my way through the deluge to where Donna is parked.
Huddle up, look back.
Memories in Ricoh:
I thought of that scene in American Beauty. Had to look up the script:
And this bag was just dancing with me. Like a little kid begging me to play with it. For fifteen minutes. That's the day I realized that there was this entire life behind things and this incredibly benevolent force that wanted me to know there was no reason to be afraid, ever.
Rikky Fitts, American Beauty
The words moved me back then, but it is only now I understand them.
I don’t feel afraid any more. I understand the animation within things.
But when it comes to letting go? A forever work in progress.
And so after the UK, with a heart filled, it was time for the ocean, and for moving on.
And, on arrival, are we ever the same as we were?
I ventured up the Spanish coast, sometimes rejoicing at the shimmering Atlantic, sometimes cursing how hard it is to park near it in a van.
Crazy Rachid and his lovely wife Nadia gave me some insider tips, but it was hard to concentrate, so curious was it that they had taken their caged birds for a walk on the beach.
I headed up the coast and stood awestruck outside the Guggenheim.
This is why I love you, little Ricoh, not just because you are miniature and ever present in my pocket, but because your limitations make me work for the shots.
"The more constraints one imposes, the more one frees oneself. And the arbitrariness of the constraint serves only to obtain precision of execution." - Igor Stravinsky
And so, what started as a little love letter to my Ricoh GR IIIx signs off.
It was all about the Ricoh, but nothing to do with the Ricoh.
Instead, it was about celebrating marvels in miniature.
It was about giving thanks for how love fills us and accepting its inherent ebb and flow.
It was about being replenished by Basquiat, Rothko, Yiadom-Boakye and Kusama.
And for a while, not worrying about what you are working on, or what the future will bring.
And instead, allowing life to signal you, and through its mysterious forms and cryptic calligraphy, letting it imprint on your spirit what comes next for you.