There is so little that is untouched, five years later; not much is as he left it. His studio has new occupants. The photography equipment - other than his camera that is now mine - has been sold. It has taken me all this time to finally find the will to begin the process of updating his website. This too is a letting go. Other than the cover page, I have made no changes. Technology does not wait. When he died he carried a first generation iPhone. These days, pulling up his website on a phone or iPad, which didn’t even exist at the time, results in nothing…a blank screen. I’ve had to start pointing people to the limited selection of photos in his online portfolio that was not meant for showcasing fine art prints. There is an odd noise coming from the computer he used to manage the site. The software it was created in is totally unfriendly and beyond my computer skills. Ironic, when I think back to the days when I first taught him how to use a computer.
So change continues as it will. I have to move along with it. The first small improvement I made was behind the scenes but has begun to stem the tide of daily spam that has been an overwhelming problem for too long. Now the stage is set for converting the site to something that actually works to keep his work in the world. Ken was an award-winning photographer who had National ADDYs to his credit, the advertising industries’ equivalent of an Academy Award. It would break my heart again to let his talent disappear.
As with all other events in this “after” life, I take it as I can. Early on I had a generous offer from a colleague of Ken’s to redo his website pro bono. I had his logo updated in preparation but ultimately I couldn’t do it. Going through all of the images to reorganize them, a necessary task, was torturous. He was not here to continue to create and that reality struck me in the face with every image I tried to catalog. At somewhere around three years I tried again to steel myself for the effort and again came up short. At least by this time I knew to simply recognize that fact and let it go until another day. So is today the day? Am I excited to jump in with both feet and give the site a fresh look and a new operating system? Truth be told, not really. But sometimes our hands are forced. This happens to so many in other ways big and small. We don’t want to seIl a house, but we can no longer afford the mortgage on one income. We don’t want to deal with belongings packed away in boxes but the basement floods and our choice is made for us. In my case, the technology is pushing me into it. Our daughter graduates from college this coming spring and she continues to receive her dad’s support in that as I sell his prints to pay her tuition. So while I’m not perfectly ready I have begun. I will take it one day at a time, grateful for the fact that I am more ready than I was in the first two attempts. As they say, third time’s the charm.