full moons etc……

i am such a romantic it is really sickening actually….full moons kill me……i am looking at a half-moon out my window right now and that is not bad either…cliche romantic that i am,  i like the wine and candlelight mood for "communicating" to someone with whom i am interested…jack johnson playing and my lights turned on in all the right places and reo-stated and tweaked just perfect…yes, i need the lighting just so so  so …

perhaps not oddly, one of the things that got me into writing in the last two years was that i had to "convince" the woman i was interested in by e-mail…yes, the worst…long distance "get to know you" mode….no tools…none of the above at all….only my keyboard and my thoughts…..we had long wonderful conversations about everything…seeing her name on my e-mail list, lit up my day….in addition to these often long missives , i started writing at least a poem a day and sometimes three or four…all this from just a 1/8th of a second of eye contact!!!

after three months of intense writing we finally "met"…..even after all of this, she  was not particularly "convinced" and after two years now of international drama,  i still do not think she totally  buys "my story"…but, i am working on it hard  and she surely "plays me" like a violin….and, of course, she says i do the same with her….but, two people could not have had a better time just enjoying each other than we have….good friends for one thing….and never mad for more than a few minutes…..no overnight anger or drama….no slammed doors…well, one…but always fast "kiss and make-up"…

but , alas, the worst again ….long distance "staying together" mode ….text messaging as a thread….chat line the high point of the day…unlike many photogs , my schedule is pretty flexible and assignments can often take me exactly where i want to go…and we have so much in common…. but an ocean or two in-between the two of us for long periods of time totally tests the veracity of the relationship…..only trust and friendship can bring you through….memories of the most romantic moments of all time are not enough to carry the weight of separation….

we met recently again in london….this was after a very long separation…..somehow we still "had it"…maybe even more….but now, real moves must happen….now or never….a poem and a moon  will not take me very far….


sorry, this was  a very long lead-in to my "relationships and work" story….or maybe this is the story….

it is often said that photographers lives make it very difficult to have a meaningful personal life……i do not believe this and it  has not been my case….

i am divorced, but not because of my  work….my ex-wife was such an amazing supporter of my work that i would not have made it at all without her gumption and spirit….and we were blessed with two amazing boys who make us both very proud…..she has re-married and we are all friends….my sons traveled with me on assignment all through their early years, so i had  a  relatively  normal  and even  particularly  special family life…and still do…so i am not "by the book", but i do have a very meaningful personal life…

but, successful marriage has eluded me …..am i "hard wired" all wrong?  i do not know. .. will i  always be too "independent"???  well, i would only be interested in a very independent woman… these are personal rhetorical questions really because there are no "answers"…

from all of your comments we know one thing…..trust and listening and sharing and friendship and  mutual  respect  are the keys…and, for sure, romance had better be in there in a big way too!!!  full moons will always kill me….

relationships take work regardless of work done….i know many divorced photographers….i also have many friends in this craft  with thriving marriages , like bruce and emily davidson;  alex webb and rebecca norris  webb;  nick nichols and reba peck;  eugene richards and genine altongy;  to name four  just right off the top of my head….

none of us should make our work an excuse for a failed relationship… surely , we do need partners who "understand us" and  just as surely we must reciprocate by "understanding them" as well…only fair….

i did not plan on writing this story tonight…pretty sleepy….morning is usually better for me…and i might decide to delete this story at any moment…..i can only "blame"  that half moon out there pulling away….yes, yes, of course i will write a poem before falling asleep!!

21 Responses to “full moons etc……”

  • Ech.. David…
    as you said before we are in the same boat…

    I met my boyfriend during “full moon” :-)

    He is closer (in Turkey) but same situation, because we are not able to travel a lot (no time, no money… and stupid visa)…
    I saw him 3 monhts ago, and now i was expecting him to come to Poland (firsth time!) in two weeks… but there are some problems with visa .. so in the worst plan we will see each other in July :-(

    It’s really hard… it’s so easy to have misunderstanding by internet (we mostly talk on msn, because phone is too expensive.. you can say – use skype, but his sound card in computer is broken so we can not)… i really have bad time last weeks…
    at the begining is always easy… you are excited to be back at home, you have nice memorys… even missing is nice at the beggining (so romantic)… but after few weeks (especialy after 2 months) it becomes horrible…
    we also can not fight more than 5 minutes, but with this distance it’s always very hard :-(

  • This sounds so familiar. As I mentioned before I was involved in a relationship that went from New Jersey to Stockholm. Very, very difficult. Airport goodbyes are terrible things. We did the email, text messages, chat ..with the internet communication is actually pretty cheap ..but it makes more clear the need for actual contact..messages can never speak what the eyes can ..can never truly replace the communication that happens from mouth to ear, from eye to eye, from skin to skin…

    We eventually married & divorced ..I still really wonder why ..I can tell you all the reasons ..lack of communication ..lack of true support.. etc, etc ..but something got lost somewhere and I still don’t know how ..

    But I’m with someone who I see constantly and for me it’s a better thing ..the trust is stronger ..the faith deeper ..

    Anyhow ..I hope you and your lady bridge the ocean between you two ..life truly is too short ..and love is never long enough ..


  • David, I think it’s no coincidence that the oppotunity to shoot the photo you chose for this piece was the result of you having listened to your son and his friend (“Right Scooter, right”).

  • Maybe..as photographers, we try spend so much time trying to bring out the emotion and feeling of our subjects perhaps we don’t spend enough time trying to invest our emotional energy into those we love.

    In the past, religions and society made it difficult to leave a relationship (whether it was justified or not). Times have changed and maybe we are in a new evolution of relationships?

  • I could say tons of things about this particular issue… I was married too; i divorced, but not in a peaceful mood; i lived a long distance relationship either (she was in Italy and i was in Brasil), although it was only for six months; i’ve got lots of problems to communicate simple things cause i’m so proud of myself, so zealous of my space. And once i wrote 31 stories, little pieces — sometimes happy ones, sometimes not — when was waiting to see my girl again. And i was fulfilled with this feeling that i was actually doin’ something to make it happen. Well, i don’t know how long we’re going to be together as a couple, if we’re going to marry, to have kids and all, but i don’t care. Cause nobody can take from us these things we carry within our memories, our hearts. And i dare to say that’s what life is all about. Suerte, David. Todos la necesitamos.

  • I think most important is what David wrote… “trust and friendship”… i should repeat this two words every morning… and few times during a day ;-)

  • exactly what Aga has pointed out here,”trust and friendship” is the key … i am married for two years now with a girl whom i did not know earlier … it was an arranged marriage ( this things happen in India )… after our marriage was fixed, we saw each other only at the time of marriage,we did not go for any outing, neither a dinner …
    … trust and friendship has taken our relationship in a different meaning of life altogether… we have no excuse, no complaint to each other in any matter… we care for each other most … and we love … she is such a gift i got in my life that i will always cherish in my life for … and all because of our understanding and “trust and friendship”… rightly said David .. Sandip

  • trust, friendship, love, mutual respect… spiritual connectedness and physical chemistry.. and a mutual sense of humor! these are a few foundational aspects… i’m coming into this late and i’m going to have to return later… thank you for the views and insight.. ciao for now.. lance

  • wow Sandip! I heart about arranged marriage, but didn’t know one of people who i know (YOU!) have it! wow!

    It’s always like this… until some things are not in your environment, you think about such things as about adventure book (I hope you understand what i mean)….
    Interesting thing…
    I suppose it was not easy for you.. and probably love didn’t come in one second (it wasn’t love from firsth sign)…

    for me it’s really something different…
    I wish to meet both of you (you and your wife) some day! it’s really interesting for me…

  • ofcourse, Aga,if you come to India, or If i go to Poland, we will meet and keep in touch …:)

  • great! :-)
    maybe some day we all will meet :-)

  • I met my girlfriend two years ago, in Madrid, looking for a flat. We lived toghether for six months. Now she is living in Argentina and I am still in Spain, waiting to travel to Argentina. There are three long months that I don’t see her, and three long months of mails, calling by phone, and sometimes chating, even if I think theese things are frequently very dangerous, because they can create misunderstanding almost everytimes, even in a very strong relationship.
    She is a classical pianist (and I am a half photographer….perhaps!!), and we know that it’ll be frequently to separate. But the LOVE is stronger.
    I think the right keyword in theese cases is “SELFISH”. Because the selfish creates problems: you always want your lover with you, pretending all the right attentions for you, and al this is named selfish.
    The love is the other thing, It’s a thing that moves through space and time. I konw It’s harder living far (it’s very very hard, I know, I’m trying it), but if it’s for good reasons (especially if it’s for one of your lover reasons) I think the love can resist.
    Ciao David!

  • I am very sensitive with this subject now… Seems like your words are my words from a couple of weeks ago. Now I do not have words at all. Just want to believe in what I always believed, no matter time, no matter space… just feel and trust what you feel.

    Overcome space, and all we have left is Here. Overcome time, and all we have left is Now….

    Don’t ever change, David.



  • This is your fairest text David…

    …and photo…


  • david,

    this topic has been on my mind the last four years and three long-distance relationships i’ve had. i know there’s a path and a person out there for which everything will fall into place eventually.

    there’s a book i read recently that was a beautiful evocation of distance, and intimacy, and wanting, and waiting. next time you have a long flight pick up “the time traveler’s wife.” absolutely stunning book that i can totally relate with the life of the creative nomad.

  • thanks julia..

    i will pick up that book…i had heard of it, but never read it…

    peace, david

  • Mate, Jude and I were separated for a year and we stayed together on the strength of 3 fanastic weeks over the summer of 03/04 ,one week of which I was away on assignment.
    On Paper it did’nt look great,but I wrote down all the text messages in a notebook ,precious,ephemeral things and can see that it was written then and there in my mates kitchen in Darlinghurst the day after I quit my staff job at “The Australian” and was about to start a new life freelancing I met the girl I was to marry.
    A couple of paid trips to England helped a bit too ,
    Time to arrange some gigs in Old Blighty Me Old Mate?

  • glenn..

    there is an aussie photog who lives across the hall from me and i would have him come over and translate your letter for me, but he is out riding his bike or something…

    but, i think you said i should make a few more trips to london????

  • David,

    It sounds like you’re definitely in love. If you need to move to Italy, or Paris, or London, to be near your woman, then by all means do it! You’ve got nothing to lose, and everything to gain.

    My wife and I are celebrating our 13th anniversary today. She is the love of my life, and God has blessed me immensely by giving her to me. One thing is for sure, and that is that I don’t deserve her. I’m a very selfish person. We’ve been watching these videos on marriage recently, and I’ve actually learned a bit from them. One of the things that this guy and his wife have been saying is that men want and need to be respected by their woman, and that a woman wants and needs to be loved by her man. If the man is not respected by his wife, then he will not give her the love she needs. Conversely, if the woman feels she is not loved by her man, then she will not give him the respect he deserves. So, if they’re not careful, couples can get on this vicious cycle, which can be difficult to break out of. However, he said that even if your wife is not respecting you, you still need to love her, and that if the man is not loving the wife as he should, she still needs to respect her husband. By doing so, they can get off of this vicious cycle, and thus stay together and also really improve their relationship.

    Sorry for rambling on. I didn’t mean to go on so much about this.

    Anway, I guess the keys are: respect, love, trust, and definitely friendship. And, like you said, romance, wine and roses, full moons, and fun stuff like that. Speaking of that, I need to figure out where we’re going out to dinner tonight!

    Please keep us posted, and I hope it works out well for you with your lady friend!

  • David: that’s a poem in itself :))))))))


    p.s. as for successful marriages between artists/photographers:

    ‘got another: bob and marina black :))))) (she’s the better spouse and better artist to boot :)))))

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