A film for 321 Magazine's second issue "Signs of Life."

A sign of life. A web spun. A paper crumpled. A table set. A goosebump formed. A crab shell hollowed. A trash can filled. A wrinkle formed. A shirt ripped. A ladder left. A cabinet stained. A tree cut. A road paved. A trail marked. A cairn, arranged. A mug collected. A pillow squished. A garden kept. A bench neglected. A journal written. A name carved. A footprint stamped. A glass fingerprinted. A breath released. A ribbon tied. A feather alone. A wall decorated. A floorboard loose. A door slammed. A faucet leaking. A sign of life. A cake’s candles. A tree’s rings. A fire’s smoke. A voice heard. A sink filled. A window lit. A window opened. A sign of life.We want to have lived fully, maybe now more than ever. We worry we won’t leave enough behind even though we know how much a single day accumulates. We can forget that a cold cup makes a ring, that a stain won’t always come out, that the fort made of sticks will last for years, or welcoming a person once will make them feel welcome for a lifetime. Minutes of life are frozen in time when we forget to, can’t or don’t want to pick them up. Collections of stones, shells and objects decorate a window sill and tell your story and remind yourself, and others, that you’ve lived. We leave our mark and the living is revealed in something used, in something stacked, in something broken, in something forgotten, in something faded. In a fire built.

Ilse La Haute, Maine and Los Angeles, California 2023