Yes, I am absolutely celebrating tonight.
The candles are lit, the jazz is loud. Bring out the Baccarat coupes and oh, to hell with it, just shake up the champagne and shower it over my poor grinning face, I don't care.
For I am so deeply happy. I have been given quite the gift.
But. I have something to admit. While I am a stickler for honesty, I haven't been so with you. Not about one certain but very important (to me) subject.
For some time, there are those amongst you who have been kindly making suggestions (or occasionally, demands) that I do a book or sell art prints, to which I always demured or agreed, but vaguely.
Now, hold on, no editor has approached me yet, that is not the news. You see, I know how your mind works because we are so in sync after all these years...
More than six, to be precise.
And for these past twelve months...for a reason that is lengthy and deeply personal to explain...I thought that all of the photography from the first five of those years, the full files, were gone. Lost. Just gone.
During that time I was publishing three times per week with anywhere between 20 to 50 saved images for each post. This times 260 weeks. Even at a conservative estimate, that is over 5000 photos. Without high resolution versions, there could never be a book nor could I sell prints. I would really like to do both, once my life is more in order.
Now I can.
Because, in such a wonderfully mysterious fashion, those files were found today. Very much hidden in an unlikely source, stacked away under miscommunication amidst the deep confusion of my leaving Provence. Of course, now I am here again, and miraculously, so is the photography.
So not all is Lost forever.
For me, that is quite something and a source of Hope so tangible that I could stretch to kiss the night stars shining. And do you know what? I just might.
These are a few of a series of photos that I have saved for quite some time; put aside, squirrel-like, for the eventual day that I might do a book. At least some of them. But oh, how I have come to learn to not wait for life to give you the green light. They were taken at a friche industriel, or abandoned industrial site in the hills above L'Isle de la Sorgue. I think that they pretty much sum up what I am aiming for at Lost in Arles, in a very general way, to express my love for this time-worn and tested region...
I know that quite a few of you in the past have been interested in participating in Together Rising's incredibly positive and inspiring fund-raising efforts, in which all proceeds go to directly help individuals in dire need. In light of the most recent anti-Muslim travel ban, today's is especially poignant. Tonight I will be celebrating by giving. It may be little (donations are a maximum of $25), but it will be a tangible echo to the gratitude that I deeply feel.