Off the Wagon

Iksan, South Korea.

Iksan, South Korea.

I haven’t written for a while. I would like to say the main reason is that I’ve been moving and having had any time. While the fact of that is true, it isn’t the real reason for not having made a new post.

As many of you know, or could see here, I had been working on a series of posts about getting over gear addiction which I had sarcastically labeled my “12 steps.” Well, as an example of the seriousness of such addictions I fell off the wagon myself before having written the “3rd step.”

Suwon, South Korea.

Suwon, South Korea.

It is true, I also had been in the process of moving. I blame that fact for my inability to stay true to a promise I made to myself just one post ago ( The Pact). I blame moving, because, before moving back to the small town where I lived before I started to think about the difficulty of shooting film there. I started to think about the problems I had before trying to do so. I started doing the math on the cost of film and developing over the next year. Stuff I usually don’t think about.

On the way from Suwon to Iksan. South Korea.

On the way from Suwon to Iksan. South Korea.

After thinking all night about this, I convinced myself shooting film in the small town would be too pricey and too difficult. I slept on that thought, thinking it would be gone by morning. Sadly, I woke up 5 hours earlier than I needed to for work the next day. I showered and left without much of a thought. No real plan, just knew I was going to Seoul.

2 hours later and I was holding a new Leica M 240.

UGH.

Suwon, South Korea.

Suwon, South Korea.

So, I fell off the wagon. I sold everything else I had to get this camera. Do I regret it? Not so much. I’m not sure. I’m numb to it, I suppose. Anyway, like an addict who has gotten his fix, I’m not sure I’d tell you anyway. I even had the momentary thought not to talk about this here with the fear of being called a hypocrite.

Iksan, South Korea.

Iksan, South Korea.

Then I remembered my own step 1. Admitting the problem.

And, I realized I’m not a hypocrite at all.

Just an addict.

My name is Josh, and I’m addicted to cameras.

I haven’t bought a camera for 6 days.

Suwon, South Korea.

Suwon, South Korea.

16 thoughts on “Off the Wagon

  1. Stay with the camera – get back on the wagon. It takes addicts a lot of learning why they fell off and the courage to keep getting back on to gain insight into the workings of their minds.

  2. Well done Josh, it takes courage to come clean. It has got me thinking about when I was chatting to you about how I sold my Ricoh GR because I couldn’t get used to the 28mm lens, and now over a year later I suddenly find myself longing for another one (only this time one of the older film Ricoh’s). Why this is I don’t know, it doesn’t make any sense. It is because I am frustrated that I couldn’t make a great camera work, or is it as I suspect that I am also fighting a mild addiction… Hmmm?

    Maybe we should all have a mass WordPress come clean session…lol

  3. We’re all on the same boat brother, suffering the same difficulties! But know at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter whether you use film, digital, rangefinder, compact– whatever. It is about you recording your memories of your loved ones, and know we are always here to support you! šŸ™‚

    Lots of love,
    Eric

  4. Well said, Eric. A camera at the end of the day is just a tool, some tools are shinier than others though, and like Magpies we tend to be attracted to anything glossy and new. Boredom can be a part of it too, we play with some new gear for a while and then the novelty wears off… it takes resolve of steel to stick to only one camera.

    I am just glad I am not rich. Things would suddenly get a whole lot worse if I was…Ha

  5. Too much choice is never a good thing, you wrote in your previous post. Well, if you have to limit yourself to one camera, it’s not too bad to be stuck with this wonderful Leica. Great shots (and that’s what it’s all about).

  6. Indeed, when I read about your proposition to embrace that crippled sort-of one-lens-one-camera-one-year project you talked about, I thought you would not be able to make it, but I refrained from posting a comment because you seemed so genuinely enthusiast about it and I did not want to ruin that mood. This is not to say that I was right; the point I want to make is that this kind of project is not for you. You already tried it in the past. You already failed. Just accept that it is something that does not suit you, despite it being such a fascinating idea and a great topic for online conversations, then go on with your life, move on to the next – more meaningful, more suitable – project – if any… it does not really matter.

    I heard that holding an addiction off is quite simple. You wake in the morning, and you just have not to do that particular thing during the day; you wake the next morning, and you just have to do the same. Over and over again. You get carried over by the nice feeling you get at night, before going to bed, to have escaped the addiction once again, I presume. You earn that feeling, and it is a good one; supposedly, you would want to earn it again, and again, and again. Once an addicted, always an addicted; at least, you could turn your addiction to worthy targets.

    I suffer from different addictions that usually involve wasting time rather than money – although you could argue that they ultimately represent the same currency, to a certain extent. I have come to believe that it is the feeling hiding behind the addiction – a deep dissatisfaction, some subtle panic, what have you that it is not yet severe enough to make itself an illness – that needs to be addressed in the long run. This is the problem that really needs to be admitted; addictions are just one of their nastier effects.

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