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:
Brucini w/New BlanÂket from aÂ Good Friend, El Paso â€“Dec. 9,Â 2009
So it comes to this, the semesÂter ends, we go our own way, we know more for havÂing known eachÂ other.
We have had our ambiÂtions and we have had our disÂapÂpointÂments but, what we mostly have had, IÂ think, is aÂ jourÂney of discovery.
At least, itâ€™s has been that way forÂ me.
I was given someÂthing wonÂderÂful today: aÂ very warm blanÂket from aÂ very good and thoughtÂful friend (she had heard that my Loft is frigid in the winÂters, aÂ conÂcrete old facÂtory buildÂing of aÂ palace, not designed to be livedÂ in).
I stopped on the way home for some ChristÂmas lights. First time in my life IÂ have bought any. How can one not sucÂcumb to this SeaÂson when such kind gesÂtures are extended? IÂ strung them on my only winÂdow, the winÂdow that looks south. Thatâ€™s Juarez you see in the backÂground, aÂ place of litÂtle light, right now, aÂ place that IÂ wish IÂ could make warm, aÂ placeÂ IÂ wish IÂ could breath some life back into, but, which, IÂ am afraid, has some more dark and cold daysÂ ahead.
But, IÂ digress.
I strung the lights up with photographerâ€™s gafferâ€™s tape (isnâ€™t that how you do it?)Â and then IÂ wrapped this new life-sustaining blanÂket around myself andâ€”what else!- got my camÂera and started goofÂing.â€¦my favorite thing toÂ do.
It crosses my mind, stuÂdents, that whether we put the camÂera on ourÂselves (which IÂ hope, in each of your cases, that is aimÂing at someÂone you like very much) or we aim it out at the world, we are, if we use it corÂrectly, aimÂing at our very soul, at the essenÂtials of ourselves.
It has been aÂ fine three month trip with all of you, JourÂnalÂism 320 class. IÂ hope your phoÂtogÂraÂphy grows and gives to you and that you use it well and give something good back to the world. You donâ€™t have to masÂter it, just make it your friend. It can be aÂ very good friend.
As acute â€œsee-ers of the world (funny how close that comes to the word â€œseerâ€) your â€œvoiceâ€œis imporÂtant. Keep lookÂing hard, keep seeÂing and please keep showÂing what youÂ see.
I have really appreÂciÂated our work together.
Best of every seaÂson to youÂ all.