Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Today a friend was faced with a difficult decision. It was a decision she has tried to skirt away from for many days but it finally caught up to her today. I have learned her pain was real and some people may not understand because there are many more difficult and profound decision to make. But I was faced with the same one 3 years ago and before I had been put to the test I really did not appreciate the pain of those who had suffered the same. I am guilty of having been cynical and smug, and sometimes I can forget myself and return to that unsympathetic and unfeeling egotism. My friend put her dog down today. Through her tears and struggling breaths she asked for my help and immediately I was taken back 3 years before. Murphy was 16 and had lived a good life and suffered so little but it was hard for me to make the decision. Once done I was immediately relieved, sad but relieved. The decision is the difficulty. Afterwards the business of grief and adjustment can get on; healing can begin. The pain is very real though and I am thankful I remembered today.
My sisters and I struggled with the decision of my mother's care. Each of us would have our days where the one decision we had made was the wrong one and the other sisters would have the duty of talking the distraught off the proverbial ledge. We can loose touch with reality when we are too blinded by emotions. I like to think of it as standing too close to the painting.
One day many years ago during a particularly cynical period of my life a very kind and wise gentle friend sweetly shared that judging another's pain is impossible. I try to remember that every chance I have and use the opportunity to love the sufferer towards hope and healing. It is stupid and egotistical to compare pain. But I must be honest I have been guilty. Now I want to appreciate where I am going and remember where I have been.
Friday, October 24, 2008
I am hoping to get to Foto Week in DC this November. To me photojournalism is the highest rung on the photography ladder . I fantasize that I will become a documentary photographer or a photojournalist working for a news magazine or paper. I'm not saying that I don't enjoy what I do now. I just would like to leave my mark on the world in the service of education.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Pleasant drive to Calhoun today to photography a woman of strength and hope. She is a survivor of two heart surgeries. As I type this I realize I can't post the image without possibly infringing on the rights of the magazine. It was a clear day and the sky was cloudless and deep blue. It was a perfect backdrop for our subject. I love the autumn sunlight too. The sun hangs low in the southern sky for hours. It created a angelic glow around her body.
I can post this image. It was a nice surprise for the Monday. All day Monday we lit each picture and it can stifle the emotion of the subject. Or is it just me that gets stifled. Anyway I love how his eyes are dark and he is a man who can pull it off and still look good. This has been added to my "work in progress" website.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
I shoot many images that never see the light of day. This is one image I have only revisited today and thought I'd post it for me. She is such a beautiful person and I'd love to shoot more of her.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
It was a wonderful turnout at the Tennessee State Museum for the show "The River Inside." Along with the Platinum prints the curator, Susan Knowles, had maps of the Mississippi showing the areas each set of prints were taken. Also John's canoe and selected equipment was displayed. It brought home to me the massive undertaking this adventure was for John. Quotations from the book accompanied each photograph and John's openness with the physical, psychological and emotional pain he was enduring was endearing and warming to me. And even though I had some initial negative reaction to the props typical of museum exhibits there was more of an emotional impact.
I have talked a little with John about art and the struggles of being an artist. It got me thinking after seeing this show how artist almost have to keep an internal struggle going to be creative. There seems to be some driving force to tame inside artist, otherwise there would be no art. The title of the show suggest this symbolically. Some artist struggle more than others but there seems to be a place of pain until the art is out. I couldn't help think too that once the struggle is over for John how empty he may feel. I wonder what his next project will be. This one will be a hard one to follow.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
A friend of mine, John Guider, is finally having his photography show, The River Inside. I was just at his place a couple of days ago dropping off 20x24 inch developing trays that I no longer use. John is printing only Platinum prints now. And I got the privilege of seeing one of his newly finished Easter Island prints up close and unframed. I gasped involuntarily; it was just so beautiful. I was able to get one of his books that chronicles his adventures while I was there too. If you aren't familiar with the project, John traveled the Mississippi River from its source to is terminus in 6 months.
His opening is Oct. 14th. I hope to see you all there to support an artist who continues to live life to it's fullest.
Monday, October 6, 2008
Sunday, October 5, 2008
This morning earlier I was at the Buddhist Temple Chua Tinh-Tam again. I am loving it. I plan to return at some point to record the chanting. It is the entrancing. An hour and a half gone from me without notice. This photo of the nun was taken last week. It is amazing how much she looks like Buddha.
I am mesmerized by her ears. I want to take a picture of them really close so you can see how they are fleshy and large like Buddha. Her teeth are perfectly straight and perfectly white which makes her smile that much more jovial. It seems she has lived a comfortable life, but a scar on her left hands leads me to believe otherwise.
This image is from last weekend at the Sri Ganasha Temple. He is a precious 3 year old, who shares a birthday with my great niece. He is learning to JJ, which is prayer for the little ones. Notice his bindi smudged onto his nose.
Today the Temple was busy and I am a becoming more comfortable. I received a blessing today and a gift that was handed to me in a white paper bag. I got a banana, 10 grapes and a mum bloom. The temple is exciting, festive, bustling. Families bring offerings and ask for blessings and the comings and goings are all morning long. It is serenely chaotic if that is possible.
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Today my sisters and I will be preparing for a yard sale. It will be the sale of my mother's things she has held on to all these years that will not make it into any of our homes. Although much of what Mom has has come home with us. We do have to draw the line. I was over at the house recently by myself, the home I have only known as a child, and it was emotionally exhausting. If my time isn't limited to 30 minutes I will be in a depressive state for who knows how long. I am predisposed to see sad in things. It is work for me to keep "the glass half full." I'm improving, hence the time limit on being there by myself. What I tell myself about it all is "it isn't my home any longer. That home and my heart is at West Meade Place with momma." It is the having to say goodbye on all so many levels that is so sad. Being there with my 3 sisters softens the edge. So I am reluctant to photograph this process and her things, but I am compelled. I fear doing it because I may be going out onto a very delicate emotionally limb and I fear it may be disrespectful and trivializing to this part of my mother's life. As I am writing this it occurred to me to even photograph some of the things I have brought home already, like all momma 1950's style shoes. My mother loved shoes and clothes. I remember when I was little how beautiful my mother was to me particularly when she dressed up for an evening out with Daddy. I dreamt of having long hair that curled up in a neat flip at the shoulders like my mothers, wearing evening dresses that sparkled. I wanted big bosoms like her and to be able to wear calf skin gloves and high heels.
A friend of mine lost her father prematurely 1 year ago this week and she took me to a stone bench she and her siblings had engraved by Bessie Stanley winning poem of "What Constitutes Success" and placed in the neighborhood of her childhood. She felt so strongly that this wonderful man not be forgotten. Today the kids gather there each morning to catch the bus. Where ever Donald is, he is smiling.
So part of me wants to record in my way this process of life and to commemorate my mothers beautiful spirit. I feel blessed I get the opportunity to go through it with her. I feel me growing, maturing painfully so, but with gratitude and love.