Diary (archives) - Claude Lavoie Photo

Photographic chit-chat

Photographic chit-chat (image unavailable)

Wednesday 2011-12-21 :

Life seldom gets as perfect as in the darkroom.

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Our modern society : addicted to telecommunications, sick of solitude.

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So many choices I made, without even realising!

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Short night, agitated sleep; foggy morning with a coated tongue. The morrows of alcohol, that make the brain sluggish and the heart soppy.

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Whoever still believes that logic shall prevail certainly never had to agree with the other parent on the education of the children.

Sunday 2011-11-27 :

It is 2:45 PM. The headlights of the cars cut through the half daylignt.

It is unusually warm for this time of year; the clouds are opaque and the air, as heavy as an effort, is saturated with humidity. The atmosphere is suffused with a languidness conducive to reverie : November suggests that we match our pace to nature's, whispering in our ear that we too deserve a little rest.

November we do not heed, through which we will plod with stubbornness, emerging relatively unscathed at the end, without even bothering to keep any memory of. For we know that December, with its blue sky and snow as bright as a mirror, is just around the corner. Just to think of it makes one smile . . . and quicken the pace.

Dédé was right : "Outside November!" It is in November that we feel most tired, but it is in December that we take some time to rest and celebrate.

Friday 2011-10-14 :

Some practise compassion; I practise photography. They relieve the world of some of its suffering; I relieve the world of some of its beauty. Beauty to be found everywhere, beneath the weight of which its spine bends, but that so many overlook.

At each step in the street, wherever the eye wanders, in whomever one speaks with : an underestimated treasure, like one found in a chest cast ashore by whimsical currents on the beach of a deserted island, in which one cannot believe, even when one buries their arms elbow deep into it.

I train myself to see and recognise this beauty everywhere; I stop, aim at it, release the shutter, and go on, taking part of it away on film.

Saturday 2011-09-24 :

We came back to the apartment after midnight, still dizzy from the nocturnal animation of the cliché tourist tour of Rome : the Trevi fountain, the Piazza di Spagna, . . . As my beloved felt feverish, I poured two glasses of chianti from the bottle bought in the afternoon, set her comfortably on the couch, and cooked pasta.

The night was advanced when we went to bed; she fell asleep right away. I kept turning over at her side, too excited by wine and the rumour of the Eternal City.

When she breathed with the regularity of deep sleep I got back up, opened the window wide, and returned to bed. Just like the reassuring noise that wafted up from the street, the words of a song that lulled my teenage years resurfaced :

(loose translation)
It is midnight, I listen to the world outside,
Breathing loud in its agitated sleep
Of a big city . . .
Lying in bed, I hear the rain falling,
I wait for sleep, just like one waits
For an old friend who is often late . . .

© Beau Dommage, 1975

Monday 2011-08-22 :

A few years ago, while ironing the shirt I would be wearing that day, I noticed on the floor a large black butterfly. I approached it cautiously, intending to catch it between the cupped palms of my hands, providing just enough space for it not to be squashed, and release it outdoors. When one of my fingers brushed against it, it toppled on its side and remained motionless. Trapped indoors, it had died from starvation.

Since that day, I save no effort to make sure this will not happen again. I open the door only for the briefest moment, when going in and out of the house, and I vigorously shake the clothes I hang outside to dry, before carrying them back in, so as to dislodge any insect that would have landed on them and could otherwise be taken indoors.

Yet, yesterday night, when bringing in clothes duly shaken, two insects unwillingly found themselves sharing my home : a slender moth that floated gracefully into the air, and a stocky hairy butterfly that filled the air with the buzzing of its frantically flapping wings.

All my attempts at catching them were in vain; as soon as I approached, the frightened creatures just set out for the other end of the room. I soon lost track of them.

I went to bed feeling worried : I was going out of town for a few days the next morning, and I feared that my guests' fate would be the same as the large black butterfly's. What a tragedy, even when this small, to starve to death in the cold silence of a hostile room.

Upon stepping out of bed this morning I saw, on the top shelf of the dresser and already sluggish from hunger, the hairy butterfly. I easily wrapped my cupped hands around it and carried it outside to the backyard. And at the last moment before walking out, as I bent to grab my luggage, the moth, alive but weak, took to the air and landed on a nearby chair. Catching it was a breeze; once outside, when I opened my hands, it flew to the shrubs flanking the entrance door.

And now, in the bus that takes me downtown, I happily picture my winged companions feasting on tender leaves, having already forgotten about their night long fasting and the risk they incurred.

Tuesday 2011-07-19 :

In my wildest fantasies, I would never have to ask anybody to pose for me. Graceful ladies, after visiting my site or looking at the photographs I took of a friend of theirs, would earnestly request from me the favour of a sitting.

And I, aloof and bored, would grant this privilege only to a few lucky ones, the most inspiring, dismissing off-handedly all the others, cruelly sending them back to their disappointment.

Don't say a word : you could wake me up and bring me back to reality.

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