Saturday 1st June
Couldn’t sleep for thoughts; as I lay in the dark I was reminded of why, last year, I didn’t sleep before six in the morning. It wasn’t so much about excitement as expectation. I questioned why I, in choosing to participate in this project, demand so much of myself. I’m terrified I will waste it – throw away this chance to do something a little out of the ordinary and end up with one hundred mediocre photographs accompanied by garbled text.
No unsettling dreams but still woke late. Read a while, and then went to Becki’s; from there, she, Steve and I walked to the village green for the annual fête. Wandered, and had ever-so-slightly awkward conversations with people we’d not seen in almost a year. I felt a little out of place – a sense that seems to have followed me recently – and started to consider just how much I have changed since this time last year, since starting my new school. So much has happened since I last began this project, far more than I could possibly write here (and a great deal of it I would not care to), and whilst I have constantly been aware of the fact that I have undergone many changes during that time it is only now that I started to consider the effects of that on people around me, if there are any. I wonder how my photographs have changed, and my writing, too.
Our route home was a woodland track, listening to Frank Turner as the sun started to show for the first time today. Don’t waste it, I thought to myself, meaning the warmer weather. I walked on ahead of the others and before even having processed my reasoning, suddenly I was running down the path and across a little wooden bridge with a couple of the planks missing, not noticing the nettle grabbing my ankle because the light in the meadow on the other side of the tiny bubbling stream was too perfect.
The pictures themselves were unremarkable (most were later deleted), but that glitter of glee as the summer sun washed its way through the meadow sparked a smile to my lips. That’s what I meant, I realised as I crouched in the grass. That un-thinking leap to a sprint, just to speed my way across a bridge into a brightly-lit field – that is ‘not wasting it’. Not leaving the house without my camera around my neck and a spare battery close to hand – that is ‘not wasting it’. And taking these photographs, and having these thoughts and writing them down – that is ‘not wasting it’.
We sat out in the garden for a while and played with Rebus, Becki’s lovely cat; watched The Devil Wears Prada, and then I left for home, where I was greeted by my wonderful sister, home from her second year at university, preparing to move to California for a year, and also beginning her second summer onehundred today. Talked about books at dinner and the big concert we’re attending in a fortnight, and then she and I disappeared into our adjacent rooms to type up our days.
I did not ‘waste’ today. And, though that ten-second run (the fastest I moved all day), I think I have shown myself that I will not ‘waste’ the next ninety-nine, either. Yes, I am pressuring myself with expectation and demand; yes, I am asking something a little out of the ordinary of myself – but if I lie awake tonight, I think it will be due to excitement: a thrill at the photographs and text this summer will produce. Perhaps mediocre and garbled, it is true – but maybe, just maybe, a chance shaft of light (not necessarily from the sun) will glitter ahead of me. I will not waste it.