I’m reading William Allard’s five-decade retrospective, but slowly. Most photobooks I go through quickly, then forget. Not this one, although it may be too early to tell.
Mr. Allard is certainly not an author I identify with, with his love for Peru, cowboys, and people on the margins (the Amish, the Basques), but he does ring true as a human being. Although it seems to me that his work is primarily flavored with many stark and iconic images (involving light and shadow), there’s a humanity in it that grabs me. I think that it’s his view of life that I identify with – at least in his earlier sections.
So as I type this, I’m thinking about his introduction; I’m thinking about how he identifies with “Comfortably Numb.” As we grow older, it becomes easier to lose our wonder with the world. I see it in myself: I deliberately numb myself during the long winters up here, so that I don’t notice time passing quite so quickly. I do the same when I’m busy, and need to focus, or when I diet.
And it seems a shame.
I lose much of the joy in life by doing that. I suppose it’s time to stop.