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Archives Mensuelles: octobre 2008

1/100, f\4.5, ISO 400

Lately I decided for the first time in my life to pile up some money, instead of instantly spending it as usual. I don’t know if the recent turmoils in the economic world motivated me to do so or not. I guess I’m just tired of not having any fund when something unexpected happens, or when I’m suddenly struck by a consumerism rage and want to buy something NOW. I remember when I was little, and after gathering all those candies during Halloween, my only goal was to make my candy stash last longer than anybody else in my family. Same thing in Easter. I ate my chocolates so slowly that in the end it had completely dried up and was not good anymore.

When I was in Iceland this summer, everyone seemed to live a very confortable life, especially in Reykjavik, wich holds two third of the country’s population. Everyone were constantly using their credit cards, even just for a burger or a pack of gum. I saw young people in their twenties rolling by in big luxury SUVs and sedans, there were Audis, BMWs and Landrovers everywhere. Some of the folks there told me that almost everyone were living lifes far above what they could actually afford, and that someday, everything would eventually tumble down. It seems they were right.

I heard of a girl from Quebec now living in Iceland for school. She said that prices have doubled in the recent days. Even before the krash and all three major banks being nationalised, life was so expensive there, I remember buying a steak in a not so fancy restaurant for about 50$. People there must now be freaking out. And now with all this deleveraging going on, all these people’s loaded credit cards must be exploding. Goodbye, luxury cars and fancy clothes. Hello credit crunch.

We went in Iceland last July, just a few months before everything happened. Talk about timing.

My brother’s kids are growing up at the speed of light. And to think that these little person did not exist just a few years ago. Me and my girlfriend are talking more and more about having one of our own. I know it will mean a lot of changes in my life, and I know i just cannot expect or imagine what it is to live as a parent and no more as a kid (as long as you don’t have any children, I guess you’re still a kid, well, most of you is). Still, at 32 now, I feel more than ready to experience my life going upside down. A part of me (my brain) keeps asking me why on Earth would I want to put a kid into this troubled, maybe declining world. But the brain has not much power over this instinct we all share as a living being: being part of the life chain, give life. Biologically, that’s what we are made for I guess. That’s the whole point of eating, sleeping, staying alive long enough so we can shoot some arrows. Personnaly, i would not feel complete if I never become a father.

1/60, f/1.2, ISO 400

America (the world) really needs Barack Obama. That’s all I gotta say.

1/125, f/2,0, ISO 400

Our mind is such an awesome and mysterious thing. During most of our waking state, everything seems fairly simple, but you soon realize that there are so many other ways to experience consciousness. Have you ever made lucid dreams? Dreams in wich you know you’re dreaming? I have these all the time, and I have them since my youth. With time I have learned to not get too excited, because if you are, usually you wake up. You also learn that if you try to have too much control, it doesn’t work either, because then nothing happen. A few days ago, I was not sleeping very well, and then suddenly I started making these lucid dreams, in wich there were no blackouts between my waking state and my sleeping state. It was like, one minute i was lying in my bed, and then, i left my body and entered in this second reality, just like that. It was amazing, and at the same time, pretty scary. I was walking in my dream, very, very aware that I was dreaming and that everything around me was not real. Still, I was touching things, fabric, walls, and I felt it like it was real. It was like doing an experiement in a dream, live. I was walking in the dream, i didn’t feel like I was sleeping, my mind was not sleeping, it was fully aware, resteless, curious. But at the same time, i could not feel my body, and when i felt it, it as like it was paralized. What’s funny is that I didn’t know what to do. Usually, as soon as I realize that I’m dreaming, I fly. But this time I was just there, doing nothing, almost bored in my dream! I remember standing motionless in the dream, just being there, looking around, alone and thinking "What now? What am I supposed to do? Can’t I just sleep and not be here?" I remember walking and then watching everything dissolve around me, diving in darkness, feeling my body changing into water, feeling the waves going through me, and thinking "Hey, what if I can’t get out of here? What if I’m actually dying?" I then tried hard to wake up, feeling far, far away from my body, getting scared, closing my eyes with the strange but very real effort of trying to wake up and make my body move, or rather, make me move into my body. I finally woke up, almost with a headache.

Later I went back into the same conscious dream state. I then tried to meet someone, anyone, talk to someone. At first I was talking to my father, I heard him, but I couldn’t see him. And then, I decided to meet my grandfather. It worked, I went into a room and there he was. I remember telling him that I was his son’s son, that he was not recognizing me because last time we met I was a very young child.

The more I have these dreams, the more I believe there is enormous potential in this state of mind. It an amazing feeling, scary too, but I’m sure that there is a way to be able to stay conscious and make decision while letting the dream go on and lead you too.

Have you seen Waking Life? It’s an amazing movie. When I saw it, It renewed in me this interest for lucid dreaming. I couldn’t believe they actually made a movie about that!

1/400, f/4,5, ISO 100

1/80, f/7,1, ISO 100, fill flash

30 sec, F/22, ISO 100.

I was recently talking with a friend of mine about how easy it is for us "rich country dwellers" to feel careless, spoiled and downright wrong. I mean, even when you try to make a difference, there are for still lots and lots of stuff that you do everyday that will probably damage the Earth, or violate the human right of some children in India, or steal something from someone.

The problem is, as long as you are part of the big, careless, unstoppable machine that is our society, as long as you want to survive in there, you gotta play by the rules (not all, but at least some, obviously). What is the other alternative? I mean beyond recycling, not using the car, giving to the poor, be nice to everyone, eating well, buy locally, and so on? I do all that stuff, because I feel it’s the right thing to do, even if most of the time, I’m afraid it has very few to no consequence in the end. I praise all the efforts that are made worldwide to improve our way of life. But still, there’s no way you cannot be involved in this or that harming this or that. I mean, I still live in this world, so in a way I still encourage it’s way of life. If I was not, I’d be living in the wild, but now is there any "wild" left anywhere? And hey, what would I want that? I mean we humans are better off together, no?

Sometimes I wonder, is this world ever going to be a better place, not for me, but for all of us, at the same fucking time? Are we, like, in dark ages that will one day lead to brighter days? Or are we doomed, like the dinosaurs? (it was not their fault, unlike us) By the way did you know dinosaurs lived on this Earth far longer that we did?

Or maybe there’s nothing like dark ages or bright ages, when we look at it, during our whole history, it was always a bit of each, depending on who/where/what you were. Just, you know, us, messed up and beautiful.

Still, pretty messed up. All these marvels and horrors we are capable of. All this sweetness and violence.

I guess that’s what make us what we are, and that’s why there will never be any kind of peace as long as we are here.

That play will be spectacular, but it’s also gonna be one of the most demanding I’ve ever been part of. There is this huge wall filled with holes and poles sticking out of it. Dancers as well as actors are dancing, climbing as well as fighting on it. There’s water at the base of the wall and one place is deep wnough so we can slip under the wall. My character is coming out of that pool three times during the show. First time in my life that I’ll be playing drenched in water. Quite an experience.

1/60, f/2.8, 1600 ISO

85mm, 1/60, f/2.0, 1600 ISO. I have a vertical version of this shot here. I used to do a lot of these shots with my first digital camera, a small Fuji Finepix E550, very nice camera for its price. You can all the pics I shot with this camera here. My most faved picture on flickr to this day was shot with this camera. Since I uploaded this picture on Paronamio I receive comments almost on a daily basis, mostly via Google Earth. I was at the right spot at the right moment. Since I had almost no zoom on this camera, I had to crawl next to it to take the shot. I was very surprised that the butterfly never took off. I gues it’s a proof that whatever camera you actually have, what matters most is your skill at getting close enough. Like Robert Capa said, If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.

24mm, 1/400, f/2.8, 400 ISO.

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