A good thing about morning coffee walks is that I am content to see the same thing each day and try to find the way that it has changed, while Al can only do the same route and see the same things so many times. We both want a little salt in the hash, we just have different strategies for getting it. My camera is sort of a mechanical augment that lets me be my way. As I spent the day sorting photos yesterday, I kept seeing things coming back up and my first impulse would be to say “I have that already,” until I thought about what was different each time. Sometimes the differences were environmental: That tree died or finally fell over. That building had a business in it and now it’s boarded up. Other times it’s me: that tree was just there in the background, now it’s the focus. I wanted to capture the golden light or the busy clouds. I wanted to capture the stark white of exposed wood against the dark, rich patterns of the bark.

I like watching things change, age, wear down, end. Maybe that’s an adaptation. I like my routines and I like the feeling of dawning awareness of the constant things over time. What’s new today? Or is it new? Maybe it just took more beats to come back to this point in this thing’s lifelong rhythm.

Like, I’m always interested when Ben introduces me to some new music he’s discovered because he is drawn to things where you can’t find the rhythm over two or four bars. You almost despair of finding the rhythm at all. You have to sit with it for a while. It’s a little strange watching his youthful impatience in so many things, then listening to his music, which you want to write off as random bleeping until you sit with it.

It feels good to recognize rhythms over time, and it feels good to watch change. If I’m going to enjoy my rhythms, routines, and rituals, then I need to also enjoy change, decay, and endings. And I think this is all good preparation for when the system that is me descends into final chaos.

“The more a thing tends to be permanent, the more it tends to be lifeless.”

An Instax photo of pink plastic flamingoes perched on top of a fence with a twisted tree behind them. There is some discoloration, like a slightly misaligned printing process.