A Warm Farewell

A piece written to my photography students at the end of a fine semester at New Mexico State University. Forgive the “first person.” Originally posted on their class website at www.nmsu.documentaryshooters.com:

CrazyHands_WarmBlankie LoRes

Brucini w/New Blan­ket from a Good Friend, El Paso –Dec. 9, 2009

So it comes to this, the semes­ter ends, we go our own way, we know more for hav­ing known each other.

We have had our ambi­tions and we have had our dis­ap­point­ments but, what we mostly have had, I think, is a jour­ney of discovery.

At least, it’s has been that way for me.

I was given some­thing won­der­ful today: a very warm blan­ket from a very good and thought­ful friend (she had heard that my Loft is frigid in the win­ters, a con­crete old fac­tory build­ing of a palace, not designed to be lived in).

I stopped on the way home for some Christ­mas lights. First time in my life I have bought any. How can one not suc­cumb to this Sea­son when such kind ges­tures are extended? I strung them on my only win­dow, the win­dow that looks south. That’s Juarez you see in the back­ground, a place of lit­tle light, right now, a place that I wish I could make warm, a place I wish I could breath some life back into, but, which, I am afraid, has some more dark and cold days ahead.

But, I digress.

I strung the lights up with photographer’s gaffer’s tape (isn’t that how you do it?) and then I wrapped this new life-sustaining blan­ket around myself and—what else!- got my cam­era and started goof­ing.…my favorite thing to do.

It crosses my mind, stu­dents, that whether we put the cam­era on our­selves (which I hope, in each of your cases, that is aim­ing at some­one you like very much) or we aim it out at the world, we are, if we use it cor­rectly, aim­ing at our very soul, at the essen­tials of ourselves.

It has been a fine three month trip with all of you, Jour­nal­ism 320 class. I hope your pho­tog­ra­phy grows and gives to you and that you use it well and give something good back to the world. You don’t have to mas­ter it, just make it your friend. It can be a very good friend.

As acute “see-ers of the world (funny how close that comes to the word “seer”) your “voice“is impor­tant. Keep look­ing hard, keep see­ing and please keep show­ing what you see.

I have really appre­ci­ated our work together.

Best of every sea­son to you all.

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