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7. Things that are loud, colorful and ugly, and make the children happy
About a medieval Japanese writer, focal lengths, carnivals, a castle, and colors
This week I haven’t been out much. I had to take care of the kids alone. I received the book by Sei Shōnagon I was talking about last week.
She’s such a great writer. Her book is a list of lists, poetic and pragmatic, hypersensitive to aesthetics, moods, seasons, social life. She goes on rambling about things apparently disconnected, until you realize it’s all tied up. Her sophistication is elegantly hidden under her easy going prose. It’s from medieval japan, and it feels like something you could read online. What a treasure this thing is! I would have loved to take a portrait of her.
I’ve been using a 35mm focal length for months now, but this week I’ve switched back to using the 50mm lens I’ve used for most of my own work. I very rarely use anything shorter than 35 and never any longer than 50. It doesn’t seem like much of change between the two, but to me there’s a whole different relationship to the world, to the context, to the scale of things. I rarely change anything about my photos beyond cropping a little, but using AI generation has made me want to change absolutely nothing, to show photos as they truly are.
What is a place that is loud, tacky, and offers expensive nausea-inducing thrills?
The fairground indeed, that comes once a year! I took my kids there. The trick is the same as with casinos: you know how much you’re ready to lose, and get out right when you’ve spent it (I never go to casinos).
Once in, it’s an assault on the senses. The bright, loud, agressive colors and the bombastic music. You feel you’re somewhere else, secluded from regular life. Only if you raise you eyes you can see the contrast with the city in the background.
I completely understand the connection with scary stories, carnivals are somewhat always a bit disquieting, and there’s this time of the year too, leading up to All Saints' Day and Halloween. The worst thing is there actually is a scary story to tell about this one that happened last year, I’ll have to wait until at least next week to tell it.
Soon it was night and time to go back home.
Walking in the small labyrinthine streets.
Next to the cemetery gate.
The day after we walked next to a castle.
And somewhere along the way home, on the side of road, we discovered a patch of flowers, miraculously intact and full of flowers in full bloom, probably because of the warm weather we’ve had until now. These beautiful natural colors soothed me.
This morning I noticed the heating system was on in some buildings.
Thank you for reading! À bientôt !