American-born photographer Thomas Ives has worked for international news and feature magazines for over 38 years. His photo essays and images have appeared in National Geographic, Time, Geo, Stern, Newsweek, Life, Smithsonian, and many others publications. He currently lives in Vilcabamba with his Ecuadorian partner.
The Incredible Lightness of Lint: Light over dark
I pulled my jeans out of the washing machine recently and as I was walking them to the line I noticed bits of white tissue paper clinging to them. I’d forgotten to check the left rear pocket where I keep a spare Kleenex. My head filled with old voices:
-“How did this happen?” (sub-text: “Your careless Tom.” Voice of the poisonous pedagogy).
-”You didn’t do it right.” (sub-text; “And you never will.” Voice of the perfectionist oppressor).
-”You will just have to do them over again Mr. Ives.” (sub-text: “I’m a victim of my failures.” Voice of Sister Mary Whats-Her-Name).
– “Is loser spelled with two o’s or one, Ives?” (sub-text: “I wont be going to college … ever.” Voice of 7th grade English teacher.”
Meanwhile, my Ecuadorian partner had pulled her cling-to-anything pants out of the machine and, with the laugh I fell in love with, shook them vigorously, sending a slow cascade of snow white bits onto her hair and smiling face. Shouting like a four-year-old, she exclaimed: “¡Mira! Es como una fiesta! “Look! It’s like a party.”
— Thomas Ives