He keeps getting older, and we get to watch, day by day by day by day. You probably know his face. He's Noah Kalina, the photographer who's been taking pictures of himself once a day, every day since the turn of this century.
Six years ago, he released his now famous video, which started with a wide-eyed, soft-cheeked boy staring into a camera, followed by hundreds and hundreds more self-profiles, bouncing through the years, time running through him like wind through his hair — in fact, his hair kept jumping and flopping and lengthening and shortening around those perfect olive-like eyes — his video went viral and now, whoosh! Another six years have passed and we're ready for Chapter 2.
This one is actually 12 1/2 years long, (but only 7:48 minutes to watch) and what you will see is, well, time doing its thing: Noah's face loses its roundness, he grows a beard, there are grooves now on either side of his nose, his forehead is higher (is his hair receding? I can't tell), there's a slight furrow in his brow. Toward the end, there's a patch of pictures where he seems to be grimacing, as if he's hit some rough weather, but maybe I'm just imagining that. There's music, of course, and it seems to be annotating, telling us something, but I'm not sure what. All I can say is the more I see of Noah's changes, the more fascinated I become. There are such sly details, so much to wonder about. But then again, we know where this is going.
"The years shall run like rabbits," the poet W.H. Auden once wrote. Time will do what it always does.
In headaches and in worry,
Vaguely life leaks away,
And Time will have his fancy,
To-morrow or to-day
But Noah doesn't seem like he's worrying. He's just being. And that's the joy of this. In the background, you catch sight of girls, friends, a wife maybe? He changes offices, changes hairstyles. He looks like someone richly absorbed in his day to days. As Auden goes on to say, "O look, look in the mirror, / O look in your distress: / Life remains a blessing / Although you cannot bless."
And that's what I see when I look at this newest installment of Noah's. The blessing part.
W.H. Auden's poem is called "As I Walked Out One Evening." You can find it here.