Good Things Come in Pairs: Part 1

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I’ve been on Instagram for a while. I was one of the early ones who tested the waters, decided it wasn’t for me, then realized maybe it was. I was one of the users that survived the apocalyptic Facebook buyout and the (I hope you’re sitting) addition of video, all with little snark. And I haven’t looked back.

I don’t have a massive following, but I know what a great community Instagram can be. I enjoy the talent that fills my feed and I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a few (excellent) users in real life. While there are dozens of others that I’d like to meet over coffee or a beer or even a brief conversation in passing near a distressed brick building, the few meetings I’ve had have made me pay a bit more attention to each photo I see. With that in mind, I wanted to draw attention to some couples I follow on Instagram. Because good things come in pairs. How many couples? I’m not sure yet, but I have a few in mind and I enjoy each of these photographers as individuals, so I thought it would be interesting to present them as couples while looking at some of their photos side by side.

I’ve never met either half of the couple I’m featuring today, but that hasn’t stopped me from loving the way they see the world. And, for the record, I’d like to someday cross paths with them as they’ve both been nothing by amazing on all forms of social media: Nicholas Pritchett (@nicholasjared) and Laura Pritchett (@bythebrush).

These two have an amazing talent for photography, an eye for the everyday (and the not so everyday), and a very genuine approach to what they do on Instagram. I wanted to feature both of them because, while they both have their own way with a camera (be it on Instragram or elsewhere), one of the things I’ve enjoyed most is seeing the parallels that pop up from time to time, with the occasional portraits they take of one another being major highlights. The similarities in their photos are great and the differences are no less enjoyable. Take a look at these few comparisons and head over to Instagram to see all of the amazing photos from these two talented people (who make one talented couple!).

Urban Coos

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Several months ago I wrote a series of haiku. I had no real goal in mind, but they all fell loosely around a common theme. I’m not one for poetry, but I liked these and, deciding that sometimes doing what you aren’t comfortable with can be a good thing, I thought I’d share them.

Urban Coos

Rows of yellow cars,
Horns pronounce an angry red,
High score in Tetris.

The construction site,
Forgotten and left to loot,
Deconstruction sight.

Red bird on Saint Street.
“Much is lost with nothing seen,”
speaks the Cardinal.

In Your Windows

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I will look in your windows at night when the yellow iridescence of the street lamps meets the warm glow from you home over a dark patch somewhere between the sidewalk and your walls. I won’t stop in front of your house or apartment or townhome. I won’t linger or stare or invade the space that you’ve created. But I will look into your windows and into your life, into the shadow-box formed by the unique light of your house against the night. I will look and I will make guesses and assumptions as I walk, bundles against the cold, past your home bundled.

I’ll compare the light to the paint color. I’ll wonder if that color is crimson or terra cotta or some more exuberant shade such as “roasted macintosh” or “brick in sunlight.” I’ll guess at the temperature in the room from this one clue, with a certain fondness for deep reds and browns and rich yellows. A fondness that never extends to my own home. I’ll wonder at the art on the walls, squinting to see the positioning, and I’ll wonder just the same at the lack of art if that should be the case. I’ll tell myself a story about the portraits and the landscapes and the frames, dark heavy wood or faux gilt or cold metal, that hold each piece.

I will look into your windows and into your life, into the shadow-box formed by the unique light of your house against the night

I’ll catch a glimpse of a tight-backed sofa or a loved armchair or a floral no longer considered in style, but loved none the less. I’ll see furniture used and loved or pampered and protected. I’ll see table lamps with cloth shades resting on tables that remain hidden beneath the sill. I’ll guess at which seat is most comfortable, most inviting, most often offered to guests. I’ll see flickering screens as big as the window with watchers lost in the programming. I’ll see dinners is progress, phones pressed to ears, the isolating glow of electronics, laughter, exhaustion, and laziness after a long day.

I’ll see these things through drawn shades or parted curtains. Through each of three panels on a bay window or the various compartments of a latticed frame. I’ll see what I see without invitation or invasion as I pass by with only a few moments to glance and wonder and enjoy. I’ll see what only I can see from my spot on the sidewalk, outside and alone in the cold.

On Facing Rejection Every Day

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I received a rejection on a creative piece of writing about two weeks ago. Like others in the past, this one was honest. Thanks but no thanks. Unlike the others, this one came in the mail in an envelope I addressed to myself five months ago. It’s the first rejection that I’ve been able to hold in my hand.

I’ve been spending the last 9-12 months trying to get my writing out there, really pushing both my art and my skill, but rejections on creative pieces, real pieces of who I am, have yet to hit softly.

It makes me want to write more and it makes me want to stop writing.

I could go on about rejection and getting up after being knocked down and moving on and all of that, but there are thousands of other places to read such things and many of them probably have deeper insight than what I can offer. But what I can say is that this recent rejection, this one general form letter, is sitting on my desk in plain view. And it has been since the day I got it. In fact, it’s sitting upright and I can see it from my bed. I can stare at it before going to sleep and it’s become one of the first things my eyes focus on when I wake up. I see it and I hate it. But I won’t move it. I won’t even touch it to adjust its awkward crease.

It makes me want to write more and it makes me want to stop writing. It makes me want to submit two pieces for every one that gets kicked back and it makes me want to burn my laptop to the ground. It makes me angry thinking they rejected my work and it makes me embarrassed thinking that I actually thought my work would be a good fit everywhere.

Because it’s not. And it never has been. And I hope it never will be.

To some my work it quite good. To others its just the opposite. To others still its *shrug* “let’s just send him this form letter that we’ll crease off center because somehow we can guess that he’s oddly particular about that sort of thing and that one crease will bother him more than the rejection, therefore diminishing the blow.” But I’ll keep writing for those that enjoy it. And if I happen to run into someone who doesn’t? Well, I’ll just prop their thoughts on my desk, too. But if I know one thing, I know this: I never want rejections to feel commonplace. I never want to like form letters and I never want to grow numb to them. I never want my work to mean that little to me. I want to feel every rejection I receive and I want that feeling, that humbling, angry sting of rejection, to be something I never make peace with.[/two_thirds]