Tonight I tried to film and take photographs of a band called Copeland. In their early days, I stumbled upon this little group with their soft rock songs, melancholy but hopeful, and something caught my interest. I’ve kept up with them through the years, all the way up until their recent announcement to finally end their long career as musicians, with a final farewell tour to cap it all off.
It was a great show, and for me it was also frustrating. The Glass House in Pomona is a great venue to watch bands, but they don’t make any spectacle of their light effects, and the result on camera is just a bunch of people underexposed against a black void. I couldn’t make anyone look as good as they sounded. I couldn’t preserve this moment. I couldn’t save anybody.
This feeling is what kept me away from cameras of any kind for so long. The feeling that I would have the privilege of seeing all this beauty, pain, miraculous display of a compendium of life, and not be able to do it justice. It was like being asked to write an article on God. We’ll set up an interview with him for you, don’t worry. Don’t worry…
As I approach the end of my sophomore year, I feel the sand slipping through my fingers. I hear them scatter on the floor, and can do nothing about it. Sometimes I wish I could take a portrait of each one. An album of every one, on it’s own, with a group, by itself again, under colored lights, on mountaintop views, entire albums, full length movies, a trilogy…
But I cannot preserve it all, and what I do preserve is imperfect. I am reminded of this tonight. The more photos I take, the more undocumented life I am aware of. The more words I come to know, the more inexplicable thoughts come to mind. I film for an hour and the flying opera narwhals come floating in the minute I run out of batteries. Control does not belong to me. I cannot save anybody.
What I love though, is even though I was frustrated for a while that my article about God was awful… in the end, I’m just glad I got to be in the same room with the guy.