Perfect Blue
Kona Macphee
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Commentary: Marchmont Road

I've always felt ambivalent about taking a camera on holiday. It's easy to get snared by the neurotic desire to "capture everything", becoming so desperate not to miss a shot, not to lose a "memory", that the whole holiday experience is mediated via that small viewfinder window or that four-inch-square preview screen. You're so busy documenting the experience that you miss out on half the having of it.

It's a bit like this when you start trying too hard to "be a writer"; you end up violently strip-searching even the most innocuous experiences, in case they might be harbouring a poem or a story somewhere. This introduces a kind of self-consciousness into your life that distances you from it, and prevents you really being present in the moment.

It's taken a while, but I've learned to back off from both the compulsive snapshottery and the forced writerliness. I've learned that the things you need to write will come to you. You don't need a full-body scanner or a steel bear-trap or a CCTV network to catch them; you just need patience and a fishing line. The well of creativity in which you fish is easily replenished; you simply need to be present in the gloriously raw and immediate experience that is your life.

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