A Map to the Way Back - Part II of II
We walk back across the bluff. The sisters, and their balloons, are gone. The bouquet is tied to the fence. We are quiet as we return to the car and drive to Gosman’s Dock for a late lunch.
Gosman’s was Mom’s favorite restaurant in Montauk. The fishing boats unload their catches nearby and Gosman’s reaps the benefits of the freshest seafood available.
Erin and I sit at an outdoor table under an umbrella, looking at all the moms, their husbands and kids surrounding us. We are not sad (I tell myself). We are healing (I pretend). I have no regrets (I lie).
Afterward we walk around the beach and dock, browsing in a shop that sells shells and candles, beach wood frames and Montauk maps.
Erin returns from a back room and rushes up to me with a journal in her hands.
A Map to the Way Back - Part I of II
My earliest memories are of Montauk:
Pine needles and pine cones.
Walking barefoot in ankle-deep grass.
The hot sand of the dunes between my toes.
The salty smell of the ocean and the chlorine of the pool.
Pink flowers tucked behind my ear.
Foghorns blaring. Waves like thunderclap.
Flying kites on top of a hill.
Mom laughing, trying to push Chris through the sand in his stroller.
When I was a student I used a view camera. A 4 by 5 color negative cost three Deutsche Marks, development was another three Marks, and I was able to do the contact print by myself for 10 Pfennigs. That meant that each time I wanted to take a picture I had to very carefully think about whether I could spend the six Marks. I always took just one image. It’s likely that helped me to work very precisely. Now when you work digitally…
"I like to think of photographing as a two-way act of respect. Respect for the medium, by letting it do what it does best, describe. And respect for the subject, by describing as it is. A photograph must be responsible to both."
— Garry Winogrand