Mario Villalobos

A Pound of Pictures by Alec Soth

  • Journal

Earlier this week I received Alec Soth’s newest book, A Pound of Pictures. This book represents a few things for me. The first is that it’s both my first Alec Soth book and my first photo book, and because of that, I had to get it signed.

This is a massive book, one of the biggest books I own. I’ve only seen the first few pictures because I want to clear an entire day to slowly go through the entire book. Going through his YouTube channel last month taught me so much about photography, especially about building and reading narrative projects, so I want to give the book the respect it deserves, or at least, as much as I can give it.

This book also represents my intention to climb up a new mountain. I look at myself in the mirror every morning and seem to find new grey hairs and wrinkles. I look at the calendar and think, Damn, it’s already March? I look back at my days and think, Am I really living? So I want to do something new and challenging, something that scares me, something that I can look back on and be proud of. So—what is it?

I have no idea.

Okay, sure, I have a few ideas, but I don’t want to reveal them publicly. I don’t want to set some sort of imaginary expectation in people’s heads. I don’t want to set an intention to the universe and not follow through on it, because I’ve done that enough in my life, and it doesn’t feel good.

I’ve been quietly working away in my notebooks this year, and my thoughts feel clear for the first time in a long time. I can see a path opening up in front of me, and I hope I have the courage to walk down it. These ideas are crazy. They’re insane. They scare the shit out of me, but oh my god am I eager to see them through. I have to do the work, and none of this, this life, this existence, matters if I don’t do the work.

I’m getting way too old to leave so many projects unfinished. Every day I wake up thinking if this is the end, and every day I live my life in mediocrity. I’m sick and tired of living this way. I need more. I need to do more.

So I bought a book. And now my life will be better.