A photograph of a pair of binoculars with a reflection of a tall brick building in one lens.

Alt text: A photograph of a pair of binoculars with a reflection of a tall brick building in one lens. Image by Laura Collins Britton.

This post is part of The Periscope Project

This is not what I expected from you. I know you take some photos of urban landscapes, but they do tend to be landscapes.

This is a still life. A beaten-up pair of binoculars with a reflection in one of the lenses is not what I expected. So perhaps this first blog post is about our expectations.

What does one expect to see when one looks out the window of one’s home?

You used to live here, near me, in our small town in the south. But you don’t anymore. Now you live there, in a massive city farther north, farther west. You live in a city where, in a reflection out of the window of your home, I might see through the metal bars of your windows the tall scape of a brick building, much taller than anything that exists in the town where we used to live together.

I still expect you to be here. You haven’t been gone long enough for my expectations to have changed. You haven’t been gone long enough for my expectations to reflect your new reality—your new life in your new city.

I still expect to be able to pick up the phone and call you and have you be here. I do not expect to be required to travel a great distance is to see you.

So perhaps this is a perfect photograph for the first photograph of this series. Binoculars, a telescoping set of lenses intended to bring far things closer.

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