Amanda's View: What was lost

By Amanda Knox
 
Some things are irrevocably lost. The time I spent in Perugia—when I was just another young college student in the crowd—feels that way. I had been there for only a little over a month before tragedy struck. I couldn’t say that I knew even my own roommates deeply. There is only so much you can know about a new place or person in so brief a time.
 
And then, for circumstances to turn on their head… It’s difficult to reconcile Perugia, the paradise, with Perugia, the prison, especially when the duration and intensity of prison dwarfed my experience of paradise. For that reason alone, looking back on my memories of blossoming friendships, cultural discovery, and delicious food feels painful. It’s as if wrongful accusation not only physically removed me from Perugia, but by redefining me as something I was not, it also stole from me who I had actually been in Perugia, and everything I had actually done.
 
Long ago I gave up dreaming that any piece of Perugia, the paradise, would ever be restored to me. Because that’s life.
 

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Amanda's View: Unity

By Amanda Knox

On his birthday, my partner introduced me to this tradition he has, of writing himself a birthday sonnet. He read me a few from the last few years. They weren’t festive. Rather, they attempted to encapsulate sentiments for another year of life past, goals moving forward, what could be or could have been. They weren’t depressing, either! Just that particular combination of warm and cold often characterizing the thoughts of an adult on their birthday—another milepost on the mortal road.

I decided to take up the tradition myself, and for my birthday—July 9th—I’m going to break the usual mold of my weekly column by instead submitting my birthday sonnet. Because I can. It’s my birthday.

“Unity”

Juggling eggs, each one the one and only.

They’re potential, and serious; each a

transparent pre-hatchling, each a creature

worth being, but utterly, totally.

I struggle to warm one long enough

in hand for limbs to form, stretch, and break out

of their thin cast, to be. Be! Not without

dropping the others, equally worthy.

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Dawndra Budd
Dawndra Budd is a Seattle based photographer whose work ranges from simple realistic portraits and family photos, to the dark surreal and evocative. She’s a busy photographic artist and often incorporates props, effects, and lighting and digital recombinations into her final images. The results are images that reflect not only her subjects relationship with the world but her own.

Amanda's View: Photographing Women: Waters, Reds, Writings, Wraps

By Amanda Knox

Prior to the final stage of Dawndra’s and my collaboration—the composition phase—Dawndra was very much a team-player, even more so than I expected. First, getting to know each other required a spirit of openness and imagination, because the information we gathered about ourselves, and the imagery we brainstormed, became our project’s subject material. Then, getting out in the field, setting up materials, posing and photographing, Dawndra and I each poured our physical energy into our shared ideas. Dawndra photographed, directed, encouraged—she even laid a towel over the bands of sharp pebbles on the beach so I wouldn’t cut my feet which were already frozen from wading in the Puget Sound. Finally, in this last stage, Dawndra took the reins, and I was eager to step back and witness her vision coalesce, and in what ways. What emerged is a series of portraits that sought to convey my inner world in response to my external one during a particular period in my life.

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