in the darkroom

I remember the days when being in the darkroom meant spending lunch break in the art class darkroom with Stacey L (who was a fun friend then & is now a great friend and a fun babysitter). She’d process nudey photos of some friend of hers and I’d turn negatives into pictures of things like doorways & piles of rock. I was, see, an artiste.

Then, of course, in college, I spent all of this time in the animation studio with cutouts from magazines & hand-scrawled Elliott Smith lyrics. Me, the animation stand, and collages. Those were my favorite darkroom days: walkman, midnight in the studio, and my heartbreak being reenacted on a small space for small film. Days later, after the film returned, I’d sit in the editing room with Sammy D and we’d cut and splice and tape. Then, of course, I was an auteur.

These days, darkroom time means dragging the laptop into Eliot’s room while he goes to sleep. I browse the internet, update our online banking, and dawdle while he whispers to himself, flops, adjusts his bears, demands additional trips to the bathroom (n.b., according to E, he will “DIE if I don’t PEE.” Uh-huh), and insists on water. I hear him whispering even now. Shortly, I will relinquish the laptop to B so he can do what it is that he does (this week, I think it’s “read end-of-year best-of record lists”), but for now, I am enjoying my quiet darkroom time browsing all of the giveaways posted on Sew Mama Sew, and even entering a few.

My creative time is no longer so much aligned with a dark room, but I do work in a dimly lit space, usually pretty late in the evening, and I’m quite excited by all of the crafty giveaways: some handmade goods, some crafting supplies. After making seven small tote bags this week and starting one of two messenger bags, I’m ready to start thinking to new and different projects, perhaps even one just for me.

Until I wrap up these bags, though, I’ll just sit in this dark room, think back to old days (winter makes me so nostalgic), and look forward to more nights in a quiet space.


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